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UP Museums celebrate and engage with International Museum Day 2019

Posted on April 18, 2019

UP Museums celebrate and engage with International Museum Day 2019

The University of Pretoria Museums (UP Museums) are joining more than 40,000 museums in 152 countries to celebrate on and around the 18 May 2019, International Museum Day (IMD). This day represents a unique moment for the museum community to engage with their public and highlight the role of museums as institution that serve society and its development. 

As a long standing institutional member of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), the UP Museums reflect on this year’s theme for IMD 2019, namely “Museum as Cultural Hubs: the Future of Tradition”.  The focus of this year’s IMD celebration is to look at museums as cultural hubs, which are centres that promote the arts and cultural heritage.  After all, museums are not only places that exhibit collections, but they serve a diversity of communities and they also tackle contemporary social issues and conflict, as identified by the code of ethics of the ICOM.  The UP Museums serve both the immediate community, the research community, the student community and continually strive to reinvent themselves in their quest to becoming more interactive, audience focused and community orientated.

The UP Museums have to be adaptable as they have become cultural hubs functioning as platforms for not only research within the University but where creativity combines with knowledge and where all visitors can create, share and interact with the UP Museums. The UP Museums serve the University community and the wider public and are ideally suited to create a dialogue between a diversity of collective communities.  As an integral part of society, the UP Museums examine their collections and interpret their relevance to local communities, as well as within a global context, thereby creating “the Future of Tradition”.

While the UP Museum’s primary purpose is collection, conservation, communication, interpretation, research and exhibitions- the museums remain committed to transformed practices to remain closer to the communities they serve. The UP Museums mission for 2025 is to find new ways to honour the institutions collections, their histories and their legacies and need to create new traditions that have meaning for future generations and relevance for an increasing diverse institution.  

The UP Museums will be celebrating for the whole month of May 2019, International Museum Month and wish to draw everyone’s attention to the unique museum collections right here on Hatfield Campus.  Look out for the IMD Poster which is themed with the localization sign, representing the museum as a hub in relation with the local community. The red localization sign is transformed it into an entity gathering other entities and is used to create a mesh for the background on the poster. This repeating sign also evokes the concept of polycentricism. It highlights the new role of museums as a platform and the link between museums and the future while respecting traditions. This theme coincides with the Kyoto General Conference to be held in Japan in September 2019, the colours have been chosen to recall Japan and the pattern is close to Japanese indigo textile.

This May, come locate the UP Museums in the Old Arts Building and the Old Merensky Building and follow the red locator symbols on campus up Tukkie Lane, starting at Javett-UP, past the Musaion, to the Old Arts Building. Join us to partake in the collective call for museums as cultural hubs in their communities. 

- Author Sian Tiley-Nel & Nicole Hoffmann
Published by Nicole Hoffmann

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