Building a transformative museum? Getting to ‘Our Place’ through the creative industries lens


The purpose of this paper is to examine the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa as an early example of a curatorial institution that illustrates the process and impact of the ‘museum experience’ concept, which has been influenced by what is now thought of as creative industries rhetoric. Drawing on Getting to Our Place, a documentary about the Te Papa project, the paper serves as a case study of the pressures of introducing fundamental change in New Zealand’s museum sector.

本文的目的是探讨新西兰的Te Papa Tongarewa博物馆作为策展机构来说明了“体验馆”的概念,that illustrates the process and impact of the ‘museum experience’ concept。借鉴这个地方,一个关于Te Papa项目的纪录片,本文作为新西兰的博物馆根本变化的个案研究。

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Model of a full-sized blue whale heart, fun for kids and adventurous adults alike. (Photo credit: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa)

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa


A full-size skeleton of a sperm whale is the showstopper at Whales Tohora (Photo credit: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa)


In the 1980s, the museum sector began facing changes that promoted a shift from conservation to commercialisation (Gilmore & Rentschler, 2002; Rentschler, 1998). This shift was based on the growing primacy of the ‘museum experience’ (Alexander, 1999; Rowley, 1999; Twitchell, 2004), which embodies a shift from the traditional museum visit involving static exhibits and passive observation, to one that features multi-media and interactive participation (Rowley, 1999). Much of the recent scholarship regarding the museum experience has been driven by the ‘creative industries’ concept, which espouses the idea of using art, culture and creativity to stimulate economic growth and generate wealth (Florida, 2004; Hartley, 2005). In many countries around the world, museums and galleries are now governed by creative industries policies (Flew & Cunningham, 2010).  However, before such policies had become commonplace around the globe (Flew & Cunningham, 2010), in New Zealand a museum development took place that epitomised the concept the ‘museum experience’. The purpose of this paper is to examine the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa1 as an early example of a curatorial institution that illustrates the process and impact of the museum experience concept, which has been influenced by what is now thought of as creative industries rhetoric.

介绍在20世纪80年代,博物馆部门开始面临改变,从保护型转向商业化(吉尔莫&伦奇勒,2002;伦奇勒, 1998) 。这种转变是基于对“体验”不断增长的首要地位(亚历山大,1999;罗利,1999;特威切尔, 2004) ,这体现了从传统的博物馆参观的转变,涉及静态展览和被动观察,以一个具有多媒体和互动参与(罗利, 1999) 。对于很多体验馆近期奖学金已带动了“创意产业”的概念,它信奉以艺术,文化和创造力,以刺激经济增长和创造财富的理念(佛罗里达州,2004年;哈特利, 2005) 。在世界上许多国家的博物馆和画廊现在由创意产业政策的约束(弗卢和坎宁安, 2010) 。然而,在这样的政策已经成为司空见惯的世界各地(弗卢和坎宁安, 2010) ,在新西兰博物馆的发展发生了集中反映理念的“体验馆” 。本文的目的是探讨新西兰蒂帕帕Tongarewa1博物馆作为策展机构,说明了体验馆的概念,它已经影响了现在被认为是创意产业修辞的过程和影响的一个早期例子。


Traditionally, museums were predominantly custodial institutions, with the purposes of both cultural preservation and also education (Harrison & Shaw, 2004; Gilmore & Rentschler, 2002; Rentschler, 1998). During the 1980s, however, changes to the public sector resulted in the ‘professionalisation’ of museum management and the introduction of a managerial ethos, which brought with it the “marketing orientation of museums” (Rentschler, 1998, p. 94; Gilmore & Rentschler, 2002). These changes created a new environment for museums, in which funders called for “greater accountability” and the museum focus necessarily shifted to marketing to targeted audiences (Gilmore & Rentschler, 2002). From the mid-1990s onward, though, the curatorial sector changed again, when marketisation moved towards entrepreneurialism (Alexander, 1999; Gilmore & Rentschler, 2002). Entrepreneurialism was perhaps a logical development from marketisation, for if marketisation meant the museum operated more like a business and less like a funded institute, then entrepreneurialism involved actively seeking out diversified revenue sources, including “new audiences, products, venues and multi-art experiences” to compete in tourism and leisure industries (Gilmore & Rentschler, 2002, p. 746; Muller & Edmonds, 2006; Scott, 2004).

背景传统上,博物馆是主要保管院所,既有文化的保护,也有教育的目的(哈里森肖,2004;吉尔摩和伦奇勒,2002;伦奇勒, 1998) 。 20世纪80年代,但是,改变公共部门造成了博物馆管理的“专业化”和引入管理的精神,这与它带来的“营销导向的博物馆” (伦奇勒, 1998年,第94 ; 。吉尔莫&伦奇勒, 2002) 。这些变化创造了一个新的环境,博物馆,其中出资者呼吁“加强问责制”和博物馆的重点必然转移到营销目标受众(吉尔莫&伦奇勒, 2002) 。从90年代中期以后,虽然,策展部门再次改变,当市场化走向企业化(亚历山大,1999;吉尔摩和伦奇勒, 2002) 。商业精神也许是从市场化的逻辑发展,因为如果市场化意味着博物馆经营更像一个企业,而不是像一个资助机构,那么创业精神参与积极寻求多元化的收入来源,包括“新的受众,产品,场所和多艺术经验“旅游和休闲行业(吉尔莫&伦奇勒, 2002年,第746 ;穆勒和埃德蒙兹, 2006年斯科特,2004年)进行同质竞争。

1  Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is more commonly known as ‘Te Papa’. It loosely translates as ‘Our Place’.

The interrelationships between the visitor, the market and the newly entrepreneurial museum have brought about a type of ‘new museum’ in which a central goal of management is to achieve the ‘museum experience’ (Alexander, 1999; Twitchell, 2004). Central to the museum experience is the visitor, and how that visitor uses the museum facility. It is a contention of the wider research  in which this paper is situated, that in the discourse associated with the ‘new museum’, the ‘museum visitor’ has been reconstituted as the ‘museum consumer’. A person who is a ‘visitor’ to the museum can be seen as a ‘cultural citizen’, both in the aesthetic and the anthropological sense (Miller & Yudice, 2002), whereas a ‘museum consumer’ is constituted as a ‘customer’ who is persuaded to desire museum ‘services’ (Rowley, 1999).

Where the ‘old’ museum had ‘display’ and the ‘museum visitor’, the new entrepreneurial museum has the ‘museum experience’ and the ‘museum consumer’. In this entrepreneurial paradigm, then, museums seek to create new expectations for museum consumers and then fulfil the created desire for information, entertainment, recreation and social interaction (Rowley, 1999).  Therefore, museum consumers are provided with ‘edutainment’, ‘blockbuster’ exhibits, snacking and shopping opportunities, and the potential to make the trip a ‘whole-day’ experience (Alexander, 1999; Lepouras & Vassilakis, 2005; Rowley, 1999). Such services culminate in a “total customer experience”, which extends “from the moment that the customer seeks to park their car…to the moment the customer leaves the museum with the appropriate information, or leisure experience” (Rowley, 1999, p. 303). ‘Consumer’ satisfaction and the centrality of the ‘museum experience’ can therefore be seen as integral to the ‘new museum’.
那里的’老’的博物馆有“显示”和“博物馆访客的,新的创业博物馆有”体验馆“和”博物馆消费者。在这种创业模式,那么,博物馆力求创造博物馆消费者新的期望,然后满足对信息,娱乐,休闲和社会交往(罗利,1999年)创建的愿望。因此,博物馆消费者提供’寓教于乐’,’重磅炸弹’的展品,吃零食和购物场所,并成行了“全日制”的经验势(亚历山大,1999; Lepouras &瓦西拉基斯,2005;罗利, 1999) 。这种服务在“全面客户体验” ,它扩展了“从客户的目的,是将车停…快点的那一刻顾客留下相应的信息,或休闲体验馆” (罗利1999年达到高潮,第303页) 。 “消费者的满意度和对”体验馆“的核心地位,因此可以看作是不可或缺的”新博物馆“ 。

In as much as entrepreneurialism is a driver of the ‘new’ museum concept, developments in the way creativity is understood have also been influential. The growing power of the entrepreneurial model of museums has, importantly, coincided with the developing discourse of ‘creative industries’, which promotes creativity as a driver of economic growth (Hartley, 2005; Florida, 2004; McRobbie, 2002). The creative industries concept was formally promulgated in 1998 when it was defined and incorporated into policy in Britain (DCMS, 2001). It has since spread worldwide in cultural policy (Flew & Cunningham, 2010; Higgs & Cunningham, 2008). Creative industries promotes cultural production and consumption, encouraging active participation in cultural sectors on a global level (Flew & Cunningham, 2010; Pratt, 2009). The concept also reinforces discussion about the importance of technology and technological convergence in the creative economy (Flew, 2005). Furthermore, there is a focus on “markets, entrepreneurship, and intellectual property” in creative industries literature that emphasises cultural and creative activity based on economic value (Flew & Cunningham, 2010, p. 119; Potts & Cunningham, 2008). These notions in both the scholarship and in policy have enabled concepts such as ‘creative cities’, which propose that by increasing a city’s creative appeal, creative individuals will be drawn to live there and subsequently bring about economic growth (Landry, 2000; Tay, 2005; Florida, 2004). Ultimately, the creative industries discourse focuses strongly on the economic value of creative and cultural activity, and promotes the benefits of investing in the concept.

在尽可能企业家精神是’新’的博物馆概念的驱动,发展创造力的理解方式也一直影响。博物馆的创业模式的不断增长的实力都有,重要的是,恰逢“创意产业”的发展话语,从而促进创造力作为经济增长的驱动程序(哈特利, 2005年佛罗里达州,2004年; McRobbie , 2002) 。创意产业的概念被正式于1998年颁布时,它被定义并纳入政策在英国( DCMS , 2001) 。它已经蔓延全球的文化政策(弗卢和坎宁安,2010 ;希格斯和坎宁安, 2008) 。创意产业促进了文化的生产和消费,鼓励在全球范围内的文化部门积极参与(弗卢和坎宁安,2010 ;普拉特, 2009) 。该概念还加强了对技术和技术融合的创意经济(飞越, 2005)的重要性的讨论。此外,是一家专注于“市场,创业和知识产权”的创意产业文献,强调文化创意活动的基础上的经济价值(弗卢和坎宁安, 2010年,第119页; 。波茨和坎宁安, 2008) 。这些概念在这两个奖学金和政策已经启用的概念,如“创意城市”,它建议通过增加一个城市的创意诉求,有创造力的个人将被吸引到那里生活,并随后带来的经济增长(兰德里, 2000年河西, 2005 ;佛罗里达州, 2004年)。最终,创意产业的话语强烈地专注于创意和文化活动的经济价值,并促进投资概念的好处。

It is within this creative industries discourse and arguably, creative cities, that the ‘new museum’ is now situated. While creative industries policies differ between countries, there is a consensus that the curatorial sector is a significant contributor (UNESCO, 2009; UNCTAD, 2008). Creative industries ideas emphasise the entrepreneurial notions of the ‘museum experience’, with a focus on (visitor) markets, technology and cultural consumption, and especially underlines the importance of the museum consumer. Consequently, the museum sector is both reflective of, and influenced by, creative industries notions that underpin specific policies (Richards & Wilson, 2006; Scott, 2006; Tay, 2005). To illustrate, a strategy for increasing the creative appeal of a city is to enhance its cultural nature by making museums and art galleries appealing to the broadest possible audience (Richards & Wilson, 2006; Scott, 2006). For instance, art galleries once perceived as ‘stuffy’ or ‘elitist’, are newly ‘cool’ urban spaces and facilities (Axelsen, 2006). Many cities around the world, therefore, adopt creative industries policies involving the museum and gallery experience to develop the image of cityscapes as cultural destinations (Prentice, 2001; Scott, 2006).

正是在这种创意产业的话语,可以说,创意城市,认为“新馆”现在是位于。虽然创意产业政策的国家之间的差异,有一个共识,认为策展界是一个显著的贡献(教科文组织,2009 ; UNCTAD,2008 ) 。创意产业理念强调的“体验馆”的创业理念,并专注于(游客)市场,技术和文化消费,特别是强调了博物馆消费者的重要性。因此,该博物馆部门既是反映和影响力,创意产业的概念,巩固具体政策(理查兹和Wilson ,2006;斯科特, 2006年泰, 2005) 。为了说明这一点,一个战略,提高一个城市的创意诉求是通过使博物馆和艺术画廊吸引最广泛的受众(理查兹和Wilson ,2006;斯科特,2006年) ,以提升其文化性质。例如,一旦被视为’闷’或’精英’艺术画廊,是新“酷”的城市空间和设施( Axelsen , 2006) 。世界各地的许多城市,因此,采用累及博物馆和画廊的经验,开发城市景观文化目的地(学徒,2001年,斯科特,2006年)的形象创意产业的政策。

Enhancing the creative appeal of cities through the museum and gallery experience is likewise evident in New Zealand, with the restoration of the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki and the renovation of the Auckland War Memorial Museum (Auckland City Council, 2005; Auckland Museum, 2011; Gibson, 2007). But these notable renovations were preceded in the 1990s by the development of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (‘Te Papa’). During the 1990s, many aspects of New Zealand’s national life moved towards a market-driven model.2 It is therefore unsurprising that the remodelling of the national museum and gallery also adopted a market model preceding, in practical terms, the emergence of creative industries rhetoric by some ten years.

Located in Wellington, Te Papa is New Zealand’s national museum, an integrated cultural institution which includes the National Art Gallery (Cottrell & Preston, 1999; Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, n.d.). Te Papa opened on 14 February 1998 and records more than 1.3 million visitors a year (Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2011). The museum promotes itself as “renowned for being bicultural, scholarly, innovative, and fun” and aims to provide visitors with “a stimulating, inspiring experience” (Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2011, p. 7). Te Papa is the model of a curatorial institution that embodies the ‘new museum’ ideology, characterised by “high overall visitation, a democratized audience and a more diverse public role within the leisure and tourism sector” (Davidson & Sibley, 2011, p. 178). In line with Davidson & Sibley’s (2011) ideals, Te Papa furthermore outlines its role as “a key tourism and visitor attraction” that “makes an important economic contribution while also serving as a catalyst and forum for research and creativity” (Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2011, p. 7). As such, Te Papa demonstrates its link with creative industries, enabling creative activity, city appeal and commercial success.

The Te Papa project is partly documented in Getting to Our Place (GTOP) by Anna Cottrell and Gaylene Preston. In particular, this documentary shows the debates and tensions associated with the Treaty of Waitangi exhibition, which is the display of New Zealand’s founding document, the agreement between the British Crown and the indigenous Māori. The Treaty project team believed they were designing a truly transformative exhibit that first, would honour the significance of the Treaty and second, would provide a point at which New Zealand’s idiosyncratic concept of biculturalism would be made manifest to museum visitors. Museum management, however, saw an opportunity for a ‘museum experience’ and the complexity of the Treaty material was compressed between the two philosophies. Drawing on Cottrell and Preston’s (1999) documentary, the rest of this paper is a case study of the pressures of introducing fundamental change in New Zealand’s museum sector.


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