Report – Art Institutions of the 21st Century


In December 2016, following the think tank Media in the Expanded Field, Montabonel & Partners released the Report Art Institutions of the 21st Century. 

The publication explores the function of art institutions in the 21st century, with an eye to highlighting the blurring of roles between the different components of the art ecosystem, e.g. public and private museums, educational organisations and commercial galleries.

Chapter 1. Impact of Technology on Institutions discusses the challenges presented by the Information Age and the Post-medium Condition. These influence the structure of art institutions from the perspective of displayarchitecture and economic sustainability, whilst questioning the traditional understanding of collectionconservationarchiveeducation and, not least, curation.

Chapter 2 Artists, Institutions and Markets analyses the nature of the relationships between the key proponents of the art field, tackling issues such as diversity and hierarchycollaborationprofessionalisationnetworks and communities.

Chapter 3 Art Institutions in Transition investigates the evolution of art organisations generated by globalisation and changing economies. Key notions within this section are: global market and brands, the public and private sector, and power, politics and philanthropy.

Ultimately, the Manifesto for Art Institutions of the 21st Century presents a series of thought-provoking and ambitious statements, which summarise the key aspects of the think tank.

The report has been sent to a selected group of professionals within the art field, in order to disseminate the findings and further extend the debate. The next stage of the research will involve the formation of the Network for the Art Institutions of the 21st Century, which will bring the discourse forward by establishing and maintaining connections among a diversity of art organisations, with the aim of creating a platform for productive discussions and development of joint initiatives.


Montabonel & Partners thank all the participants in the think tank and contributors to the blog for their engagement and crucial input towards the realisation of this publication.



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