The art museum ecosystem: A new alternative model

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


This paper provides a theoretical perspective on an art museum as an ecosystem, drawing on the ecological perspective described by Gregory Bateson. This perspective views individuals, human societies, and nature as interconnected and interdependent through communicative networks. Museums fit nicely into this paradigm in that staff members, departments, collections, mission statements, visitors, and other cultural and educational institutions are linked together, influencing and being influenced by each other. The operational systems of many museums, however, are hierarchical and non-communicative. As a result, knowledge and ideas are not efficiently shared and transformed among museum professionals and the communities they serve. These museum practices have excluded diverse perspectives and neglected the interests of underrepresented people. Through hypothesizing the ecological museum model, I provide an alternative museum management and educational model that sees museums as holistic and ecological institutions as part of their larger communities and societies. By introducing this theoretical model, I hope to influence museum discourse in ways that make museum practices more inclusive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-338
Number of pages18
JournalMuseum Management and Curatorship
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Art museum
  • Constructivist museum
  • Cultural diversity
  • Ecology of knowledge
  • Inclusive museum
  • Museum management
  • Social inclusion
  • Social responsibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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