International Conference on Community Heritage

University of St Andrews, Scotland, Friday 8thNovember 2019




Museum Studies: Past, Present, Future, 7th-8th May 2020


Deadline for proposals:1st November 2019

Announcement of accepted proposals: 31 January 2020


MGCI Annual Lecture 2019

“Picasso in the 21st century: new meanings, new disciplines”

This year we are delighted to welcome Anna Guarro Navarro of the Museo Picasso in Barcelona, where she runs interdisciplinary outreach programmes to interpret Picasso for the 21st Century through contemporary art performance, digital media, samba dance and other art forms. Anna will present a 40-minute lecture leaving ample time for questions and discussion from the floor.

While Picasso was undoubtedly one of the great masters of the 20th century, how is his legacy received in the 21st? Is it still relevant to contemporary artists and, more importantly to a monothematic museum located in one of the most complex, historical neighbourhoods of the city, can it be used as a meaningful tool for community outreach? From the perspective of the Museu Picasso in Barcelona, involving contemporary artists from very different disciplines in the exploration of Picasso’s work has been the means of engaging the multiple audiences that the museum serves.    Free and open to the public.

18:15, School III on Monday 15 April 2019, followed by a drinks reception at the School of Art History, 79 North Street

“Understanding Cultural Heritage at Risk in Latin America and the Caribbean”

Samuel Franco Arce, President, International Council of Museums Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Alliance (ICOM-LAC).

Free and open to the public.

Preceded by a presentation on the MGCI Community Craft and Culture, and EU-LAC-MUSEUMS projects.

17:00-18:00, Tuesday 18 September 2018, Barns-Graham Room, School of Art History, 79 North Street


“Defining the Museum of the 21st Century” Symposium

“Defining the Museum of the 21st Century” Symposium
9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Saturday 25 November 2017
Upper College Hall, University of St Andrews

To attend this event please order your FREE audience ticket via:

This conference, open to all informed researchers within and outwith the International Council of Museums (ICOM), is hosted by the University of St Andrews Museums, Galleries and Collections Institute (MGCI) in the School of Art History. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 693669.

Professor Sally Mapstone, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews will open the conference followed by internationally renowned keynote speakers. It will form part of an international debate on the definition of the museum taking place under the auspices of ICOFOM – ICOM’s forum for Museology. This multi-lingual discussion began in Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris in June 2017, and continues in a suite of symposia in Brazil, Argentina, Japan, Iran, China and other venues in 2017-18. A tri-lingual publication in English, Spanish and Portuguese is being planned in collaboration with UNDAV Buenos Aires and UNIRIO Rio de Janeiro.

After registering with Eventbrite, you will be emailed an e-ticket. Please bring your e-ticket (printed or via the Eventbrite App) with you on Saturday 25 November to the symposium registration desk at Upper College Hall.

Further information is available on the symposium’s website:

If you require further information or encounter any problems with ticket booking please email:

“The Politics of Display: Collateral Pavilions at the Venice Biennale” Symposium

9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Friday, 24 November 2017
Upper College Hall, University of St Andrews
To attend this event please pre-register by emailing Kate Keohane:

During the late 1990s, the structure of the Venice Biennale underwent a dramatic overhaul, expanding into the Arsenale buildings that once housed the city’s shipyards and armouries. Its interconnecting rooms provide a counterpoint to the Giardini’s national pavilions, and the greater curatorial fluidity that this enables has been further extended through the introduction of collateral pavilions and events. These now proliferate throughout the Biennale, offering sites through which artists and curators can explore the charged issues of transnationalism, resurgent nationalism, and globalization. As was particularly evident in Okwui Enwezor’s 2015 Biennale, these interventions can resonate strongly with both Venice’s long history of maritime trading, and the current challenges it faces as a city inhabited primarily by tourists, in a continent struggling to respond coherently to the ongoing refugee crisis, with an ecology that has been tangibly affected by climate change.

While critics rightly continue to challenge the out-dated nature of the Biennale’s underlying structures, its vast expenditure and excess, and its imbrication in commercial markets, the event is hardly the ‘goldfish bowl’ once described by the critic and curator Lawrence Alloway; it is now an expanded and contested field of activity, in which the politics of representation and display are constant and highly charged.

The connectivity represented by the collateral events could be said to reflect increasing cultural homogenization, yet this programming might equally demonstrate the rise of diversity and a resurgence of interest in local identities. In Autumn 2001, the Scottish Arts Council (now Creative Scotland) and its partner, the British Council, announced plans to exhibit new work from Scotland at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003. Scotland used the possibilities provided by the concept of the collateral pavilion and event programme to differentiate its cultural status from that of Great Britain. This example encapsulates cultural and artistic shifts around the way difference might be mobilized to gain visibility, as well as the intense debates about the status of national and cultural identities in an era of globalization. Equally, the logistical arrangement of these events and pavilions – as well as their very designation as ‘collateral’ – indicates the endurance of power imbalances and global inequalities both in the art world and wider culture.

Drawing on the rich history of the Venice Biennale, together with recent art historical interventions into issues such as globalization, migration, biennial and triennial culture, the status of ‘the contemporary’, and the relationship between art and politics, the symposium will explore the ramifications of collateral pavilions and events in Venice.

The Politics of Display: Collateral Events and Pavilions at the Venice Biennale is organised by Dr Karen Brown, Kate Keohane, and Dr Catherine Spencer as part of the EU-LAC-MUSEUMS project, run by the Museums, Galleries and Collections Institute (MGCI). It is supported by the School of Art History at the University of St Andrews and has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 693669.

For further information please email Kate Keohane:



MGCI Annual Public Lectures 2005-2019

2019 13th            Anna Guarro Navarro, Museo Picasso, Barcelona

2017 12th             Alissandra Cummins, Director of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society

Plantation to Nation:  Museums and Caribbean Identity

2016 11th             Martin Roth, Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum

Growing the V&A in the 21-st Century: Challenges and Opportunities

2014 10th             Victoria Pomery, O.B.E., Director, Turner Contemporary, Margate

Turner Contemporary: From dream to reality

2013 9th                 Derek Gillman Executive Director and President, The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia

The Barnes Collection: In and Out of Context

2012 8th                Dian Lees, Director General, Imperial War Museum

Imperial War Museum: Working with Difficult Narratives

2011 7th                Dr Christopher Brown, Director, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

The New Ashmolean

2010 6th                Richard Fortey, FRS, Emeritus Researcher at the Natural History Museum

Natural History Collections and their Curators

2009 5th                Desmond Shawe-Taylor, Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures

Conversation Pieces

2008 4th               Virginia Tandy, Director, Manchester City Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery and the Original Modern City

2007 3rd                John Leighton, Director-General, National Galleries of Scotland

Facing the Future: The National Galleries of Scotland

2006  2nd              Mark O’Neill, Head of Art  & Museums, Glasgow City Council

Rethinking Museums: the Experience of Kelvingrove

2005 1st(MGCI launch ) Dr Charles Saumarez Smith, Director of the National Gallery, London

Art History and the Museum