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Relevance, the 60th Annual Conference of the Estonian National Museum

The registration to Estonian National Museum international conference RELEVANCE (5.-7.5.2020) is open.


60th Annual Conference of the Estonian National Museum
5th-7th May 2020 in Tartu, Estonia
Conference webpage
Keynotes: Jette Sandahl (Denmark), Nancy Proctor (USA)
Registration: Early bird March 1st, regular – March 30th 2020
Event on Facebook
A good museum is one which I come out feeling better than when I went in.
Kenneth Hudson
The number of excellent museums is increasing. Yet across Europe, different studies indicate that the numbers of cultural and arts audiences are dropping despite innovative approaches to cultural services and continuous professionalisation of cultural organisations, including museums. Is the museum sector still relevant?
Apprehending its responsibility as the recipient of the Kenneth Hudson Award (EMYA, 2018), the Estonian National Museum dedicates its 60th annual conference to the relevance of contemporary museums, to looking for the formula to the ‘good museum’, and to delivering exceptional quality to the public. The approach to museum renewal at the Estonian National Museum was set in a particular societal context and had particular expectations. The conference will contribute to this discussion, focusing on the particular contexts in which contemporary museums operate.
The relevance of the museum is related to the quality of collections, preservation, research and education. It is also linked to the capacity of the museums to deal with issues ranging from the heritage of colonialism to social justice and face public expectations in areas ranging from offering universal education to quality of wellness-related services.
And finally, relevance is linked to the challenge of facing the complexities of the 21st century and the contributions that museums are able to make to society. Although museums operate in very different forms and conditions, their readiness to engage with global issues seems to be more and more to the fore.
The programme lists 65 speakers and 20 poster presentations, offering a variety of voices from across the world. Keynote talks by renowned museologists Jette Sandahl and Nancy Proctor set the tone by addressing cutting-edge issues from the museum sector. Jette Sandahl currently chairs the ICOM Standing Committee for the Museum Definition, Prospects and Potentials (MDPP) as well as the European Museum Forum. Nancy Proctor is Director of the Peale Center for Baltimore History and Architecture and of the MuseWeb Foundation, a non-profit initiative combining museums and the web.
Conference programme


The conference will take place at the Estonian National Museum (Tartu) and will provide insights into the multifaceted Estonian museum landscape in Tartu and Tallinn.


The conference language is English. 

Conference organisers

the Estonian National Museum

Conference contact


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