International Museum Day

CIMAM – International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art – joins the International Museum Day celebrations to acknowledge the importance of museums and raise awareness about the critical role that they play in society.

Today we encourage new members to join and support CIMAM’s international network of contemporary art museum professionals.

Apply to join CIMAM
Membership Benefits

CIMAM’s vision is a world where the contribution of museums, collections and archives of modern and contemporary art to the cultural, social and economic well-being of society is recognized and respected.

CIMAM’s aim is to foster a global network of professionals in the field of modern and contemporary art, responding to their needs and taking a leadership role on issues of concern. By generating debate and encouraging co-operation between art institutions and individuals at different stages of development around the world, CIMAM plays a key role in growth of the sector.

CIMAM key activities are

– An annual conference which brings together members in different parts of the world to debate theoretical, ethical and practical issues concerning the collection and exhibition of modern and contemporary art, and to share experiences.
– The establishment of professional codes of practice and ethical standards for institutions and individuals.
– Museum Watch: an advocacy program addressing critical situations that impact museums and galleries of modern and contemporary art in maintaining those codes of practice and standards.
– Providing a supportive network for professional development.

Save the date

CIMAM 2017 Annual Conference
National Gallery Singapore
10 – 12 November 2017

The CIMAM 2017 Annual Conference will be held in Singapore from 10 to 12 November hosted by the National Gallery Singapore with a Pre-conference Tour to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (8–9 November) and Post-Conference Tour to Jakarta and Yogyakarta, Indonesia (13–15 November).

The Roles and Responsibilities of Museums in Civil Society

This year’s Conference looks at The Roles and Responsibilities of Museums in Civil Society. Given the rising sentiments of populist nationalism that we are witnessing around the world, and continuing on from the theme of the conference on Barcelona (The Museum and Its Responsibilities), it is imperative that we re-evaluate and re-examine the roles of museums, their public functions and how they respond. We ask:

How can national museums and art museums counter this global phenomenon of xenophobia and populism, to connect a local public with regional and international histories, perspectives and concerns?

How can museums continue to be effective forums in society where different communities and peoples of all backgrounds and beliefs still come together, instead of retreating into parochial isolation?

At the same time we return to the mission of CIMAM and consider: Who are CIMAM’s stakeholders? Who has vested interests, and what are the constituencies to whom we are responsible?

Six members of the board – Eugene Tan (Chair), Saskia Bos, Suzanne Cotter, Corinne Diserens, Mami Kataoka and Sarah Glennie – constitute the CIMAM 2017 Contents Committee.

→ 08–09 November: Pre-conference Tour to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
→ 10–12 November: Annual Conference in Singapore.
→ 13–15 November: Post-conference Tour to Jakarta & Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Program details, list of invited speakers and other practical information will be available soon at

Statement of the CIMAM board on South Korean Government’s blacklist of artists

The board of CIMAM is deeply concerned to hear of the blacklist of artists that has come to light during the current investigations into government corruption in South Korea.

The existence of such a list and the uncertainly around how it has been implemented undermines the reputation of the arts institutions under the control of the Government.

That artists would be secretly banned from exhibiting because of their political views is not acceptable to the international artworld and the board of CIMAM deplores such actions.

Members of the CIMAM Board:

Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE
President of CIMAM
Director, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Sydney, Australia

Mami Kataoka
Secretary-Treasurer of CIMAM
Chief Curator
Mori Art Museum
Tokyo, Japan

Bart De Baere
General and Artistic Director
M HKA, Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp
Antwerpen, Belgium

Saskia Bos
Art Historian and Curator
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Suzanne Cotter
Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art
Porto, Portugal

Calin Dan
General Director
MNAC Bucharest, National Museum of Contemporary Art
Bucharest, Romania

Corinne Diserens
Brussels, Belgium

Sarah Glennie
Irish Museum of Modern Art
Dublin, Ireland

Sunjung Kim
Art Sonje Center
Seoul, South Korea

Frances Morris
Tate Modern
London, United Kingdom

Ann-Sofi Noring
Co-Director and Chief Curator
Moderna Museet
Stockholm, Sweden

Agustín Pérez Rubio
Artistic Director
MALBA, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Suhanya Raffel
Hong Kong, China

Jaroslaw Suchan
Muzeum Sztuki in Lódz
Lódz, Poland

Eugene Tan
National Gallery Singapore

13th Sharjah Biennial

13th Sharjah Biennial
Title: Tamawuj
Curator: Christine Tohme
Dates: 10 March – 12 June
Preview day: 10 – 14 March
Location: Al Mureijah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

CIMAM Members are welcome to join the 13th Sharjah Biennial. For professional registration and to receive the opening week programme please send an email to CIMAM Members will benefit from a 10% discount at the bookshop. Your will be requiered to show your CIMAM membership card and ID when purchasing at the bookshop.


Sharjah Biennial 13: Tamawuj, extends beyond previous Sharjah Biennial formats in both space and time to encompass exhibitions, projects and education programmes in five locations. Curated by Christine Tohme, Sharjah Biennial 13 (SB13) includes a public programme in two acts, one in Sharjah (March 10–June 12, 2017) and one in Beirut (October 19, 2017–January 19, 2018), as well as the SB13 School education programme in Sharjah. Off-site projects have been conceived by four interlocutors, each engaging with one keyword underpinning the conceptual framework of SB13. Kader Attia investigates water in Dakar (January 8–9, 2017), Zeynep Oz considers crops in Istanbul (opening May 13, 2017), Lara Khaldi studies earth in Ramallah (opening August 10, 2017) and Ashkal Alwan reflects on the culinary in Beirut (opening October 15, 2017). 

For extended information please visit:

→ List of participating biennials
→ Free Admission Program


Call for candidates to host CIMAM’s Annual Conference 2018 / 2019 / 2020

The Annual Conference is CIMAM’s most important contribution to the field, a meeting point and an essential resource for the collaboration and cooperation between professionals concerned with modern and contemporary art.

CIMAM has organized 48 annual conferences in more than 30 different cities since its foundation in 1962. Today, the Annual Conference is attended by over 200 directors and curators of modern and contemporary art museums and collections from 50 different countries.

The Annual Conference aims to anticipate and discuss questions relating to the running and development of contemporary art museums and collections worldwide. Participants also have the privilege of attending private tours and visits to the foremost art museums, art centers, alternative art spaces and galleries in the host city and its surroundings.

If you are a member of CIMAM and wish to host a CIMAM Annual Conference, please read the guidelines and submit your bid before 19 March 2017. For more information, send us an email to

→ Guidelines for hosting a CIMAM conference
→ Application Form
→ Deadline to apply is 19 March 2017.

National and International Cultural and Human Rights Organizations Denounce Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration

New York, NY, 2/7/2017 – Today, more than thirty cultural institutions and human rights organizations around the world, including international arts, curators’ and critics’ associations, organizations protecting free speech rights, as well as U.S. based performance, arts and creative freedom organizations and alliances, issued a joint statement opposing United States President Donald J. Trump’s immigration ban. Read the full statement below.

On Friday, January 27th, President Trump signed an Executive Order to temporarily block citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. This order bars citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the United States for 90 days. It also suspends the entry of all refugees for 120 days and bars Syrian refugees indefinitely.

The organizations express grave concern that the Executive Order will have a broad and far-reaching impact on artists’ freedom of movement and, as a result, will seriously inhibit creative freedom, collaboration, and the free flow of ideas. U.S. border regulations, the organizations argue, must only be issued after a process of deliberation which takes into account the impact such regulations would have on the core values of the country, on its cultural leadership, and on the world as a whole.

Representatives of several of the participating organizations issued additional statements on the immigration ban and its impact on writers and artists:

Helge Lunde, Executive Director of ICORN, said, “Freedom of movement is a fundamental right. Curtailing this puts vulnerable people, people at risk and those who speak out against dictators and aggressors, at an even greater risk.”

Svetlana Mintcheva, Director of Programs at the U.S. National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), said, “In a troubled and divided world, we need more understanding, not greater divisions. It is the voices of artists that help us understand, empathize, and see the common humanity underlying the separations of political and religious differences. Silencing these voices is not likely to make us any safer.”

Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director of PEN America, said, “The immigration ban is interfering with the ability of artists and creators to pursue their work and exercise their right to free expression. In keeping with its mission to defend open expression and foster the free flow of ideas between cultures and across borders, PEN America vows to fight on behalf of the artists affected by this Executive Order.”

Diana Ramarohetra, Project Manager of Arterial Network, said, “A limit on mobility and limits on freedom of expression has the reverse effect – to spur hate and ignorance. Artists from Somalia and Sudan play a crucial role in spreading the message to their peers about human rights, often putting themselves at great risk in countries affected by ongoing conflict. Denying them safety is to fail them in our obligation to protect and defend their rights.”

Ole Reitov, Executive Director of Freemuse, said, “This is a de-facto cultural boycott, not only preventing great artists from performing, but even negatively affecting the U.S. cultural economy and its citizens rights to access important diversity of artistic expressions.”

Shawn Van Sluys, Director of Musagetes and ArtsEverywhere, said, “Musagetes/ArtsEverywhere stands in solidarity with all who protect artist rights and the freedom of mobility. It is time for bold collective actions to defend free and open inquiry around the world.”

A growing number of organizations continue to sign the statement.

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) is an alliance of 56 national non-profit organizations dedicated to defending freedom of thought, inquiry and expression.
Contact: Jas Chana, NCAC Communications Director, 212-807-6222 ext.107

Joint Statement Regarding the Impact of the U.S. Immigration Ban on Artistic Freedom

February 7, 2017

Freedom of artistic expression is fundamental to a free and open society. Uninhibited creative expression catalyzes social and political engagement, stimulates the exchange of ideas and opinions, and encourages cross-cultural understanding. It fosters empathy between individuals and communities, and challenges us to confront difficult realities with compassion.

Restricting creative freedom and the free flow of ideas strikes at the heart of the core values of an open society. By inhibiting artists’ ability to move freely in the performance, exhibition, or distribution of their work, United States President Trump’s January 27 Executive Order, blocking immigration from seven countries to the United States and refusing entry to all refugees, jettisons voices which contribute to the vibrancy, quality, and diversity of US cultural wealth and promote global understanding.

The Executive Order threatens the United States safe havens for artists who are at risk in their home countries, in many cases for daring to challenge repressive regimes. It will deprive those artists of crucial platforms for expression and thus deprive all of us of our best hopes for creating mutual understanding in a divided world. It will also damage global cultural economies, including the cultural economy of the United States.

Art has the power to transcend historical divisions and socio-cultural differences. It conveys essential, alternative perspectives on the world. The voices of cultural workers coming from every part of the world – writers, visual artists, musicians, filmmakers, and performers – are more vital than ever today, at a time when we must listen to others in the search for unity and global understanding, when we need, more than anything else, to imagine creative solutions to the crises of our time.

As cultural or human rights organizations, we urge the United States government to take into consideration all these serious concerns and to adopt any regulations of United States borders only after a process of deliberation, which takes into account the impact such regulations would have on the core values of the country, on its cultural leadership, as well as on the world as a whole.

African Arts Institute (South Africa) Aide aux Musiques Innovatrices (AMI) (France)
Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts (USA)
Arterial (Africa)
Artistic Freedom Initiative (USA)
ArtsEverywhere (Canada) Association of Art Museum Curators and Association of Art Museum Curators Foundation
Association Racines (Morocco)
Bamboo Curtain Studio (Taiwan)
Cartoonists Rights Network International
Cedilla & Co. (USA)
Culture Resource – Al Mawred Al Thaqafy (Lebanon)
International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art (CIMAM)
College Art Association (USA)
European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA)
European Council of Artists Freemuse: Freedom of Expression for Musicians
Index on Censorship: Defending Free Expression Worldwide
Independent Curators International International Arts Critics Association
International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts
The International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN)
Levy Delval Gallery (Belgium)
Geneva Ethnography Museum (Switzerland)
National Coalition Against Censorship (USA)
New School for Drama Arts Integrity Initiative (USA)
Observatoire de la Liberté de Création (France)
On the Move | Cultural Mobility Information Network PEN America (USA)
Roberto Cimetta Fund
San Francisco Art Institute (USA)
Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) (USA)
Tamizdat (USA)
Vera List Center for Art and Politics, New School (USA)

Watch the 2016 Annual Conference sessions at CIMAM TV

18–20 November 2016
Barcelona, Spain

→ Watch all videos at CIMAM TV

CIMAM Barcelona 2016, Day 1: Keynote speech 01 and Q&A from CIMAM on Vimeo.

Day 1: “Responsibility for the Community, Citizens and Society”
Keynote Speech 01 – Marina Garcés followed by Q&A, Philosopher and Professor, University of Zaragoza, Spain. “The Force of Hunger. The Radicality of Cultural Commitment”
Presented by Ferran Barenblit, Director, MACBA, Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona.
MACBA, Barcelona, 18 November 2016


CIMAM Barcelona 2016, Day 1: Perspective 01 from CIMAM on Vimeo.

Day 1: “Responsibility for the Community, Citizens and Society”
Perspective 01– Calin Dan, General Director, National Museum Contemporary Art– MNAC Bucharest, Rumania. “Donkey’s Dilema”
MACBA, Barcelona, 18 November 2016


CIMAM Barcelona 2016, Day 1: Perspective 02 from CIMAM on Vimeo.

Day 1: “Responsibility for the Community, Citizens and Society”
Perspective 02– Alistair Hudson and Miguel Amado
Alistair Hudson, Director, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, Teesside University, Middlesbrough, United Kingdom
Miguel Amado, Senior Curator, Middelsbrough Institute of Modern Art, Teesside University, Middlesbrough, United Kingdom


CIMAM Barcelona 2016, Day 2: Keynote speech and Q&A from CIMAM on Vimeo.

Day 2: “Curators and Artists: New Parameters and New Responses”
Keynote speech 01–Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Director, Castello di Rivoli, Museum of Contemporary Art–GAM, Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin. “The circus mistress and mastering the ceremony–A lectura”
Presented by Elizabeth Ann MacGregor, Director, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia
CaixaForum, Barcelona, 20 November 2016

→ Watch all videos at CIMAM TV

CIMAM asks American University to refrain from censorship

The Board of CIMAM has sent a letter to the president of the American University in Washington, urging the University not to censor a commissioned art work by the artist Rigo 23 representing the Native American activist Leonard Peltier. It did so in response to a statement published by the University, and following correspondence with the artist concerning the sculpture´s removal from the grounds of the University and the Katzan Art Center on 1 January 2017.

The CIMAM board asks Neil Kerwin, as president of American University, to reinstate the sculpture and for it to remain in place until 30th of April as originally agreed with the artist.‎

The sculpture, nine feet tall and made of redwood and steel, is based on a self-portrait by Leonard Peltier, the imprisoned Native American activist who was convicted for the 1975 shootings of two FBI agents at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, during the unrests that were part of the American Indian Movement activism in that period.

Peltier´s trial has been labeled unfair by Amnesty International. There has been a long lasting demand to reverse his conviction, supported by politicians and personalities ranging from Mikhail Gorbachev and Nelson Mandela, to Robert Redford and Carlos Santana, and involvement of the European Parliament. At the end of the Clinton presidency, there was a campaign to grant Peltier presidential clemency, a campaign that continues in the present day.

CIMAM has reviewed the arguments of American University, which include concerns that the University might be perceived as assuming an advocacy position of clemency for Mr. Peltier, and possible threats to security. These concerns should have been discussed with the artist and means to address them sought, such as the issuing of a disclaimer regarding the content, which is common practice. Threats to the work and to public safety should be dealt with by the police. The artist has stated publicly he was not consulted on these issues.
The Board of CIMAM hopes that American University will reverse its decision to remove the work and will honor its declared commitment to ‘support thought-provoking art that informs and educates’.

It’s time to renew your membership 2017–2019!

As museums of modern and contemporary art proliferate around the world, so do the issues faced by museum professionals, both ethical and practical. CIMAM, the affiliated committee of ICOM for Museums and Collections of Modern and Contemporary Art provides an important forum for debate both online and at its Annual Conference. Creating a strong professional group is vital as CIMAM looks to develop a global leadership role. Membership also provides free access to museums and biennales around the world.

All CIMAM memberships expired in December 2016. Because your commitment helps us to develop the projects that constitute the fundamental motivations of CIMAM’s existence, we invite all CIMAM members to renew its membership for the triennial 2017–2019.

→ Renew for 2017–2019
→ Benefits
→ Membership rates
→ Free Admission Program

You have until 31 March 2017 to renew your membership for the present triennial. After that date your online member access will be deactivated and you will need to regularize your membership to login to

Not a CIMAM Member? Apply today!

CIMAM Members are museum directors and curators of Modern and Contemporary Art. Institutions such as museums and collections with a museological nature and a demonstrable governance structure can join as Institutional Members and benefit from interesting rates. Independent curators of Modern and Contemporary Art are also welcome to join CIMAM.

→ Apply today
→ CIMAM’s membership criteria
→ About CIMAM

Barcelona 2016 Report and Videos Online!

Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona

We are happy to share the CIMAM 2016 Conference Report with information about the delegates, the budget, the travel grantees’ reports, the press clipping, the result of the evaluation survey and a selection of photos. You can also watch the conference sessions at CIMAM TV.
→ CIMAM 2016 Conference Report

President’s report

I am delighted to present this report after my election as President of CIMAM following the Annual General Assembly at the end of the CIMAM 2016 Annual Conference in Barcelona, where 230 museum professionals from nearly 60 countries gathered to discuss the topic The Museum and its Responsibilities. Each day commenced with a stimulating keynote: On day one, Marina Garcés made a forceful case for the museum’s social responsibility in a time of disruption for the world of culture; arguing that culture adds meaning to the collective life on ethical and political as well as aesthetic grounds – a highly appropriate rationale for the intrinsic need for museums in society – culture having the ‘force of hunger”. This was followed by perspectives from Bucharest, (Călin Dan), Middlesbrough (Alistair Hudson and Miguel Amado) and Gothenburg (Dave Beech).

Day two focused on curators and artists, opening with Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev’s keynote which argued for art institutions as safe havens for intellectual discourse and museums as ‘trampolines for social change’. She referenced the complexities of the public/private debate outlining two areas where the public can challenge the private: with collections (that for the most part are kept for eternity) and in self critique. The perspectives came from France (artist Sylvie Blocher), Paraguay (Ticio Escobar) and Australia (Michael Dagostino).Day 3 on archives began with Mari Carmen Ramirez challenging of the necessity of archives as physical entities with an overview of the role of the digital archive Documents of 20th Century Latin American and Latino Art which is playing such an important role in addressing the lack of knowledge of Latin American art. She used this to make an argument for archives as being a force to resist the drive towards museums providing entertainment for the masses. The perspectives came from Taiwan (Kuan-Hsing Chen), London (artist Marysia Lewandowska) and Kazakhstan (Yuliya Sorokina). Three of the perspective presentations were selected from submissions made as a result of an open call to the membership for papers.The conference agenda allowed plenty of time to visit a range of organisations in Barcelona including MACBA Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, CaixaForum. Cultural Center of ”la Caixa” Foundation, the Fundació Joan Miró, the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Hangar, Fabra i Coats Barcelona Center of Contemporary Art, the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion, the MNAC, La Virreina Image Centre, the Blue Project Foundation and the Foto Colectania Foundation.The after trip began in San Sebastian, where a highlight was the visit to enchanting Museum Chillida-Leku, where we had a tour and a delicious lunch with Luis, son of Chillida – a very special opportunity as the museum is now sadly shut to the public. Bilbao and Santander had a strong architectural focus with the Guggenheim and the new Fundación Botín building by Renzo Piano (under construction). This was complemented by fascinating exhibitions by Francis Bacon and artists who inspired him in Bilbao and Joan Jonas in Santander.
The conference also saw the election of a new board for the triennial 2017 – 2019 and we are all very much looking forward to leading CIMAM into a new era. There are many challenges ahead and I hope that CIMAM will continue to develop its leadership role as a thought leader in museum practice as well as a promoter of museum professionals and principles.

I look forward to working with all of you and developing a productive working relationship with our members from around the world as we expand to become a truly global organisation.

Wishing you a prosperous and successful New Year!

Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE
President of CIMAM
Director, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australil