Museums Association at 125

My experience of the Museums Association Conference 2914, Cardiff

700 museos in one place

The 2014 Museums Association Conference was also the 125th anniversary of the organisation. This was reflected in the opening address by the current president and included a look at past influences on the museum world. I now have a list of interesting people to read about!

The venue was Cardiff and it was great to see the centre of the city and some of Cardiff Bay. I enjoyed seeing friends and meeting new people at the pre-conference tweet up at the Norwegian Church. A lovely building that moved and with a fascinating history.

Ah, coffee

As usual part of conference was meeting people and catching up. Having a choice of cafés in the main venue definitely helped with this. Regular coffee helped keep conference fatigue at bay too!

Coffee and anniversary delegate pack
Coffee and anniversary delegate pack

What’s the story?

Another part of the experience is meeting new people and thinking of new collaborations. I’m looking forward to catching up with the Collections Trust, Leicester University and the Modes team in the near future.

Discussing shared issues with different perspectives is always refreshing too. I expect to continue several conversations and thoughts started at conference.

Organised events

As usual there were so many things going on it was hard to chose what to go to. Two of us had gone from RAMM which helped cover more ground. Disappointingly a couple of events were crowded out with standing room outside only.

Peering into a crowded digital session
Peering into a crowded digital session

It wasn’t only sitting and listening by any means. Handling ceramics while getting an artist’s view of working with museums was an unexpected pleasure. A moving performance by Mat Fraser on museums and disability made a powerful opener to the second day that will stick with me for some time.

Paul Clifford from the Museum of London ran a session the Maker Movement which was great fun. Not only because of his enthusiasm but also because we got to try things out. Encouraging cognition through making tied in with some of the ideas from the opening address.

Getting hands on at the Makers Session
Getting hands on at the Makers Session

The 125th celebration at National Museum Wales was in a great space and had a festive feel to it. When people were asked to clear under the central dome I wondered if a giant cake would be wheeled in and Mark Taylor leap out to celebrate his years of service. Three acrobats in swimsuits were almost an anti-climax after that thought!

Just hope I can go to conference 2015!

The Assembly Building by Moonlight
The Assembly Building by Moonlight

By Rick Lawrence

Making models and playing tabletop games since the late 1960s, and still enjoying it! Now working in heritage and dabbing around with photography, with quality cafe time when I can.

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