Reflecting critically on the current condition of museums and their possible futures, Stephen E. Weil argues that cultural institutions need to free themselves from a fascination with technique and process to concentrate more intently on purpose. He contends that to succeed, or merely survive, a museum must be able to project clear goals that its supporting community finds of value and must demonstrate its competence to achieve those goals on a sustainable basis.
Stephen E. Weil
Stephen E. Weil is the emeritus senior scholar in the Smithsonian Institution's Center for Museum Studies. He served as deputy director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, from 1974 to 1995 and was previously administrator of the Whitney Museum of African Art. He is the author of Rethinking the Museum and Other Meditations (1990) and Beauty and the Beasts (1983), both published by Smithsonian Institution Press, as well as coauthor of several scholarly treatises on art and the law.