Summer School 2022

Museums and Communication

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The Summer School at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum is a space for debate and sharing knowledge and experience.

Following the success of its first edition this year’s theme is Museums and Communication.

Between 21 and 23 September, national and international specialists will debate several issues regarding this theme: What’s the role of technology? How is research shared with visitors and audiences? What is the importance of marketing and social media in museum communication? What new possibilities can be created by the increasing demands of the online world?

This event brings together different perspectives and approaches, promoting dialogues between all participants.


21 Sep session

22 Sep session

23 Sep session


17:30   Opening 

Guilherme d’ Oliveira Martins, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

Quality, rhythm, communication:  the ‘brand’ of a Museum 

António Filipe Pimentel, Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation  

The Museum in Context 

18:00   How do we communicate the History of a Museum?

How should museums approach and communicate their own history? The museum’s (hi)stories are many. They go from the history of the institution to that of the collectors, the collections and the architecture of the buildings that house them. Some of these (hi)stories are omitted from the museum discourse by accident – others on purpose. 

To what extent should these (hi)stories, diverse in their origins and in their contents, feature in the itinerary of a visit, enhancing the visitor's experience?  

Turning the Burrells’ collection into The Burrell Collection

Martin Bellamy, Glasgow Museums 

Antonis Benakis as a collector of Islamic art, the creation of the Benaki Museum and its significance today

Mina Moraitou, Benaki Museum, Athens

A museum that was not one: CAM and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s Modern Collection

Benjamin Weil,  Centro de Arte Moderna, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation


João Carvalho Dias, Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation 

19:15   Debate 

Communicating Research 

10:00   Communicating the functions and transformations of objects

By their very nature, museums are de-contextualising institutions in the sense that they transform the status of objects and often disconnect them from information relating to the condition of these objects prior to musealisation. Some new museological strategies have sought to reverse this trend, offering approaches based on the creation/production of objects and the recontextualisation of their original functionality and meaning. 

Whether in situ or on digital platforms, some research processes seek to reveal this transformation to non-specialist visitors, disseminating the broader task of conservation and restoration in their communication. 

Interpretation at the V&A: bridging audiences and meaning  

Bryony Shepherd, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The game of mirrors. The royal table and the multiple facets of a musealized object  

Cristina Neiva Correia, Ajuda National Palace, Lisbon

Operation Night Watch: large-scale and integrated research project of Rembrandt’s masterpiece, The Night Watch

Katrien Keune, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam


André Afonso and Rui Xavier, Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation 

11:20   Coffee break 

11:50   Debate 

12:30   Lunch 

14:00   The future of research catalogues 

The pandemic and its aftermath have accelerated the discussion surrounding the dissemination of research findings through the publication of exhibition and collection catalogues. 

How can these traditional publications survive in a world of social media and disposable information? How to compete with faster, more direct forms of easily updatable information accessible online? 

To what extent, in modern-day museums, are the time and cost of producing such publications justified when these publications are by their nature directed at a more restricted public?   

Exhibition catalogue, a scientific work. The case of the Musée Marmottan Monet

Marianne Mathieu, Marmottan Monet Museum, Paris (online participation)

The Riesener Project online – Communicating research 

Jürgen Huber, The Wallace Collection, London

Ensuring perpetuity in a world of disposable information: the scientific catalogues of major exhibitions

Duarte Azinheira, Portuguese Mint and Official Printing Office (INCM), Lisbon


Ana Maria Campino and Clara Serra, Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation 

15:15   Debate 

15:35   Coffee break

16:00   Communicating the Global in the Local: historical art collections of the ‘other’ and contemporary diasporas

As museums increasingly find themselves taking on the role of agents of change, the contents and methods of their communication have required a critical reappraisal. Nowhere is this more obvious than in museums with historical collections of the so-called ‘other’ (from the Global). While speaking on behalf of ‘other’ artists was once the norm, today diaspora communities are demanding a voice in how their heritage is shared in the places they reside and call home. 

This panel brings together the perspectives of which have been innovating the communication with the Local, by opening spaces for reflection, dialogue, and debate to promote tolerance, knowledge, and mutual understanding. Listening is key, but how are these values communicated in gallery displays, digital content, and programming?  

Moving the needle on Islamic cultures through an original national project from the Musée du Louvre 

Yannick Lintz, Louvre Museum, Paris 

Colonial Room. Artistic and educational project

Alexandra Falcão, Lamego Museum

Never ending stories: reimagining collections-based narratives through a contemporary lens

Jay Xu, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (online participation)


Jessica Hallett, Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation  

17:20   Debate 

A Hybrid Future?

10:00   The image of the Museum. The challenges between identity and ‘brand’  

Nowadays, marketing is inseparable from museum life. For many art museums, image plays a central role in the communication of its collection. Starting from the premise that good marketing rests on effective communication, it is important for museums to understand what messages and images should be shared with audiences, in what way, with what frequency, and through what kind of content.

The issue of 'brand', widely debated among museums today, is a relevant aspect in this discussion insofar as it invites constant reflection on the quality that a museum seeks to associate itself with as a 'product' of dissemination and democratization of knowledge.

We mean business: Brand and Museums

Nuno Prego, Marketing, Systems and Digital Strategy, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation 

Communicating is always translating. With empathy 

Paula Moura Pinheiro, RTP – Rádio e Televisão de Portugal 

‘To each his own or is this all connected?’

Rui Silvestre, Joana Vasconcelos Studio, Lisbon

Brand or content? Challenges in the Age of Noise

Elisabete Caramelo, Communication, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation


Luísa Sampaio, Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation 

11:35   Coffee break

11:55   Debate 

12:30   Lunch

14:00   Technology, a supporting actor?

We live in an age where technology is everywhere, in work and leisure, putting at our disposal - through, for instance, a simple portable phone – a powerful communication tool with enormous potentialities. In the field of Museums, technology can support, as an aid, the visit, providing all the complementary information to that which is physically available to the public in the Museum, and can do it either helping the preparation of the visit or providing the relevant contents during the visit. The role and format of the information physically available to the public in the museum also deserves some reflection: what is too little or too much?  

On the other hand, there are aspects of the relationship with the authentic in museum collections that are challenged today: is the need of the new cultural ‘pilgrimages’ to be in front of the unique in the physical visit to the Museum still as relevant today, in the age of NFTs? Ambiguities and contradictions of the public, which often oscillates between seeing the unique and authentic, or being in front of it: discovery or vanity? 

We, as the Future! Yesterday and today’s stories! 

Paulo Celso Monteiro, Glorybox, Portugal

The importance of ‘authenticity’: approaching digital value. Collections, Exhibitions, Museums

Maurizio Quagliuolo, Sapienza University of Rome

The deep power of the authentic faced with the technologies of direct experience: the case of the Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino 

Benjamin Ballester, Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, Santiago de Chile


Jorge Rodrigues, Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation 

15:15   Coffee break

15:35   Debate

16:00   In these trying times. Communicating instability, change and resilience

Within the last decade, museums as institutions have been called to address moments of change, whether at local, national or international. Whether the welcome result of ‘the arc bending towards justice’ or the unexpected conclusion of sudden and overwhelming circumstances, moments of change present unique demands in terms of agency, language and tone.  

Is communication in various, possibly discrepant tones and vocabularies preferable to coherent and unidirectional institutional communication?  

This panel will bring together museums who have been called to address these moments of change and not only to respond with hope, but to model change itself.  

The Sursock Museum: a history of devastation and reconstruction 

Tarek Mitri, Sursock Museum, Beirut

Museum as Temple vs. Museum as Forum  

Adjoa Jones de Almeida, Brooklyn Museum, New York

Museums and Communication: synergies for the future. Who has the word?

Patrícia Remelgado,, Portugal


Inês Fialho Brandão, Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

17:15   Debate 

17:45   Closing

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