History and objectives
CIMAM – International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art – is an Affiliated Organization of ICOM.*
Founded in 1962, 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 museums and museum professionals in the field of modern and contemporary art in order to raise awareness and respond to the evolving needs of modern and contemporary museums, and to take 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 the growth of the sector.
CIMAM is a largely volunteer-driven organization and relies heavily on the generous support of individuals and organizations. The members of the Board work on a volunteer basis throughout the triennial, overseeing the everyday operations of the committee. An executive team of two based in Barcelona, Spain runs CIMAM’s programs and activities.
*ICOM – International Council of Museums – is a network of more than 35,000 members and museum professionals created in 1946 who represent the global museum community.
- An Annual Conference that brings together members from 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, followed by visits to the foremost contemporary art institutions, collections, and projects in the region. The first CIMAM Annual Conference took place in 1962 in The Hague. Since then the Committee has celebrated over 50 conferences that have been held in over 30 different cities around the globe.
- The establishment of professional codes of practice and ethical standards for institutions and individuals. In 2009, CIMAM generated and adopted the General Principles on Conditions of Deaccession from Modern and Contemporary Museum Collections.
- Museum Watch, an advocacy program intended to be a tool to assist modern and contemporary art museum professionals in dealing with critical situations that impact on the ability of museums and individuals to maintain their professional codes of practices. . It does so with the aim to stimulate reflection by generating debate and by uncovering topics for future conferences.
- A supportive network for professional development. CIMAM’s Travel Grant Program supports the curatorial and research development of individuals through their attendance at the Annual Conference. Since 2005 CIMAM has supported over 300 young curators and museum directors in attending the Annual Conference.
- CIMAM’s membership program. Current membership includes over 500 contemporary art curators and directors of contemporary art museums and collections, independent curators and researchers from 85 different countries.
- Free admission program to a network of over 100 museums and biennials worldwide.
Objectives 2017 – 2020
- Organize the annual conference around issues of current and future relevance.
- Establish criteria for institution and individual membership to reflect the changing nature of art museums globally.
- Expand CIMAM´s membership and ensure global reach.
- Ensure financial stability.
- Maintain good relationship with ICOM.
- Develop Museum Watch as an effective tool for promoting ethical and professional standards.