A new generation of directors is rethinking the roles of art museums, shifting away from the notion of the institutions as “cathedrals of culture” in an effort to remain relevant and reach out to younger and more diverse audiences, says The Wall Street Journal.
Museum chiefs in their 30s and 40s, like Kaywin Feldman, at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; Christoph Heinrich, at the Denver Art Museum; and Thom Collins, of the Miami Art Museum, are using new media, interactive exhibits, and social events to make the institutions more than simply places that collect and display art, The Journal writes.
In other arts news, the start of a chamber orchestra in Charleston, S.C., is raising concerns that the new group will draw donations away from the struggling Charleston Symphony Orchestra, The Post & Courier reports.
Faced with dwindling cash reserves, the symphony canceled the remainder of its 2009-10 season in March and has scheduled a single fall concert. It recently wrapped a series of public forums to assess community support. (Read The Chronicle’s profile of the symphony.)
Also, Jane Henson, widow of the late Muppets creator Jim Henson, has donated the original 55-year-old Kermit the Frog puppet and other early Henson characters to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, writes the Associated Press.
(Free registration is required to view the AP article on The Washington Post site.)