An Insider’s Overview of U.S. Museums Today
Audrey O’Connell,Audrey O’Connell + Associates, Bainbridge Island (Seattle)
With the perspective of decades of global working for The Natural History Museum in London, Audrey O’Connell’s view on the U.S. museums market brings with it a unique understanding of the similarities and differences between the U.S. and European museum sectors, particularly the willingness to integrate theming and multi-media technologies into both indoor and outdoor museum spaces. The influence of technology innovation and a growing responsiveness to customer interests, creatively balanced within the frameworks of museum identity, can be seen in galleries and exhibits as varied as the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, and the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History. This overview of the current state of the U.S. museums industry, and its future, will help to identify opportunities in the market. Focus will be given to the growth and renewal of U.S. museums, trends bringing change and challenge, the strategies to meet local target audience expectations, and the scope for a healthy openness to design and technology input from international suppliers.