MUSEUMS play an important role as stewards of communities, museum practitioners said in a conference hosted by UST last March 31 to April 1.
Ateneo Art Gallery Director Ma. Victoria Herrera tackled the role of museums in sustaining cultural development and linkages with other disciplines.
“Museums are stewards of communities. There is this careful, sound and responsible management of tangible wealth which is entrusted to a museum’s care,” Herrera said in her lecture.
“Museums may be a private, government or state entity but its nature is still being a public trust,” she added.
Ricky Francisco, curatorial consultant of the Lopez Museum and Library, described collections entrusted to museums as an institution’s own “heart.”
“This is why collection management is important. Museum practitioners should always keep in mind the information about the art piece as much as possible to be able to use, preserve and develop the collections,” Francisco said.
Francisco stressed that descriptions must distinguish an artwork from other collections.
“Data is what makes the object important,” he said. “With data, we can practice a proper way of collecting, using and preserving. We can’t really collect properly if something is missing.”
On proper data management, Ateneo Art Gallery Managing Curator Yael Buencamino said information about the collection should give people the opportunity to interpret art pieces.
“Art descriptions should also be an exhibition to enhance the experience of the viewers,” Buencamino said. “Texts should not take the viewer’s attention away from the art. It should make the viewers take a second look.”
Analyn Salvador-Amores, who teaches anthropology and psychology at the University of the Philippines in Baguio, stressed the importance of ethnography, citing the collections in the indigenous-themed Museo Kordilyera.
“The ethnographicality is actually dependent on the ethnographic foci and scholarly content of the exhibitions. What do you want to exhibit and what stories do you want to tell? These are important questions to ask,” Salvador said.
The conference, “Plotting Points,” was a “museum summit” organized by the Lopez Museum and Library.
Other speakers were from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, National Committee on Museums, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, Filipinas Heritage Library, Ayala Museum, Oscar M. Lopez Center, San Sebastian Basilica Conservation and Development Foundation, Riceworld Museum, Holy Angel University, Roberto M. Lopez Conservation Center, and Bahay Tsinoy.