July 14, 2017

Symposium: Museum Guides Now!

Stedelijk Studies

Guided tour, Van Gogh Museum. Photo: Van Gogh Museum.

Two-day symposium on the museum guide’s profession and the professionalization of their work in art and history museums

Partners: University of Amsterdam; Rijksmuseum Amsterdam; Van Gogh Museum; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; LKCA; Ministry of Education, Culture and Science; Reinwardt Academy


Museumstraat 1

Stedelijk Museum
Museumplein 10

Van Gogh Museum
Museumplein 6

What qualities does a great museum guide possess? And what makes a museum tour mind-blowing or eye-opening? Guided tours have been around for as long as museums themselves, and even at a time when technological innovations are making museums more accessible than ever, nothing can compare with a museum guide when it comes to interactivity and flexibility. During this two-day symposium for both museum tour guides and museum educators, a wide variety of international speakers will inspire participants with the latest insights and best practices. All sessions will be in English.

More information
The two-day symposium will center on the museum guide’s profession and the professionalization of their work in art and history museums. It marks the completion of the four-year research project “Rondleiden is een vak” (Museum guide: a profession in its own right), a joint initiative by the University of Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and the Van Gogh Museum. The research was conducted by Mark Schep, Carla van Boxtel, and Julia Noordegraaf. The project has defined a number of key competencies and developed working methods which will greatly benefit the evaluation and professionalization of museum guides.

Museum experts and scholars will present and discuss a number of innovative professional approaches, as well as methods to further the professionalization of museum guides. Mark Schep will present the results of the research project. The program will include keynote addresses by Viv Golding (lecturer at the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester), Sandra Jackson-Dumont (Chairman of Education at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), and Zahava Doering (senior social scientist at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, and editor of Curator: The Museum Journal), as well as workshops, short presentations, and tours of the three museums co-hosting the symposium. There will be plenty of opportunity to exchange ideas on key themes such as peer evaluations, accessibility, the role of volunteers, and the role played by new media.

Early Bird: 125 EUR (register before August 1, 2017);
Standard: 150 EUR (register after August 1, 2017);
Student: 100 EUR

More information about the content of the symposium and admission can be found here.

Included in the registration fee are a publication on guiding in museums, two lunches, two receptions, coffee/tea breaks, and access to all three museums on both days of the symposium.

For immediate enquiries please contact museumguidesnow [​at​]

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