From Gareth Southgate’s World Cup waistcoat, to the Donald Trump Baby Blimp, the Whitechapel ‘fatberg’ and a 3D-printed gun – no sooner does an design object achieve media attention than museums seemingly begin lining up to add it to their collections. While museums have always collected contemporary objects, the collecting of objects that have a live connection to contemporary events is a growing and increasingly contested trend in museums of architecture and design.
In this series a variety of speakers reflect on the contemporary collecting practices they are involved in, exploring the motives that drive them, the contexts in which they operate, their results and impacts (both intended and otherwise), and the broader implications they have for the present and future of museums.
How much of a new departure is this type of collecting and how does it relate to ongoing contemporary collecting practices, for example in ethnography or oral history? In what ways does or can the practice reflect the changing nature of objects which now more than ever exist within complex systems and networks, digital or otherwise? What does this practice say about the changing role of museums in cultural and society?
Sharon Ament is Director of the Museum of London. Her career has been driven by the simple premise of “turning people onto great ideas and causes”; working for a number of social causes in Liverpool and wildlife conservation. Ament worked with the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, the Zoological Society of London and from there joined The Natural History Museum. This built her passion for the power of museums, her skills at fundraising and creating new visitor facilities such as the Darwin Centre. Sharon sits on the International Panel of the ArtScience Museum in Singapore. She is a member of the Arts Council England’s London Area Council; the Mayor’s Cultural Strategy Group and is a Fellow of the Noyce Leadership Institute which focuses on community impact.
Doors open at 18:45. We are in a Grade I listed, 19th-century building, so access isn't straightforward. If you require step-free access or extra assistance, please contact us in advance of your booking on email@example.com or 020 7405 2107.