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CIMAM Press Kit 2017-19

CIMAM is the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern and Contemporary Art and an Affiliated Organization of ICOM.

Consitituted as a not-for-profit organization, CIMAM is led by a voluntary Board of contemporary art museum professionals that set the strategy and oversee the operations of the committee. CIMAM is funded through its membership and the generous support of a group of patrons.

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. Its mission is to foster a global network of museums and museum professionals to respond to the evolving needs of modern and contemporary art institutions, taking a leadership role on issues of concern by generating new and unpublished work that anticipates questions reflecting on the needs of the profession.

Elizabeth Ann Macgregor, OBE, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, is the President of CIMAM and Mami Kataoka, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, is the Secretary-Treasurer of CIMAM.

The current membership increased by over 8% in the last triennial, reaching a record level with 600 directors and curators working in modern and contemporary art museums, collections, and archives as well as independent curators, from over 60 different countries.

To achieve its mission, CIMAM undertakes a number of projects, such as Best Practices Guidelines for art institutions and professional individuals, the Museum Watch Program and the Travel Grant Program. The key event is the Annual Conference which brings together members to debate relevant subjects, held annually in different cities worldwide.

Best Practices Guidelines

To ensure that ethical and professional standards appropriate to modern and contemporary art museums are established and adhered to, CIMAM has established 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.

The most relevant guideline of the triennial is the endorsement of the Museum Best Practices for Managing Controversy, a comprehensive document co-produced by the National Coalition Against Censorship’s Arts Advocacy Project and six collaborating national arts organizations. This is an excellent guide for all museum and gallery staff committed to supporting artists in presenting work that deals with contentious issues.

The Museum Watch Program

In 2012 CIMAM initiated a series of statements regarding difficult situations affecting Museums and Collections around the world. This led to the Museum Watch Program which serves as an advocacy program addressing specific critical situations that impact on the operations of museums, not-for-profit institutions, and individuals working in the modern and contemporary art field, sometimes in regions affected by world economic and political crises. It does so with the aim of supporting members, to generate debate and to uncover topics for future annual conferences.

12 cases have been the subject of analysis during this triennial (2017–19).

The Travel Grant Program

To support a network for professional development, CIMAM offers a Travel Grant Program to foster cooperation and cultural exchange between contemporary art curators and museum directors in emerging and developing economies and their counterparts in other regions of the world. It does so by promoting the curatorial and research development of individuals and their participation in the Annual Conference. Since 2005, CIMAM has supported over 300 young curators and museum directors, enabling them to attend the Annual Conference.

Thanks to the contribution of different organizations around the world that support theTravel Grant Program, during this triennial (2017–19) CIMAM has increased the number of travel grants by over 8%, a record level, supporting 91 young curators and museum directors residing in emerging and developing economies.

The Annual Conference

The Annual Conference is CIMAM’s most important event and CIMAM’s most important contribution to the field. It is a renowned opportunity for networking for the professional community and an essential resource for the collaboration and cooperation between institutions and individuals concerned with modern and contemporary art.

It brings together directors and curators, collections and independent professionals from different parts of the world. Its aim is to be a forum of communication to discuss key questions relating to the running and development of contemporary art museums and not-for-profit collections worldwide, and to debate theoretical, ethical, and practical issues concerning institutional and museological activities. It does so by promoting best practice and making the conference presentations available as reference material on contemporary museum practice.

The first CIMAM Annual Conference took place in 1962 in The Hague. Since then the Committee has celebrated 50 conferences that have been held in over 30 different cities around the globe about the following subjects:

  • Sydney 2019
    The 21st Century Art Museum: Is Context Everything?
  • Stockholm 2018
    The Museum in Transition
  • Singapore 2017
    The Roles and Responsibilities of Museums in Civil Society

The Current Board

Bart de Baere, General and Artistic Director M HKA—Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen (Belgium).
Saskia Bos Independent Curator and Critic (Amsterdam).
Suzanne Cotter, Director of Mudam Luxembourg—Musée d’Art Moderne Grand—Duc Jean (Luxembourg).
Calin Dan, General Director of MNAC Bucharest National Museum of Contemporary Art (Bucharest). Corinne Diserens, Curator (Berlin).
Sarah Glennie, Director of the National College of Art and Design (Ireland).
Mami Kataoka, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of Mori Art Museum (Tokyo).
Sunjung Kim, President of the Gwangju Biennale (Seoul).
Elizabeth Ann Macgregor, OBE, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (Sydney). Frances Morris, Director of Tate Modern (London).
Ann-Sofi Noring, Co-Director and Chief Curator of Moderna Musset (Sweden).
Agustín Pérez-Rubio, Independent Curator (Spain).
Suhanya Raffel, Executive Director of M+ (Hong Kong).
Jaroslaw Suchan, Director of Muzeum Sztuki in Lódz (Poland).
Eugene Tan, Director of the National Gallery Singapore and the Singapore Art Museum (Singapore).

CIMAM’s upcoming projects for the next triennial

CIMAM is commited to addressing environmental issues. In 2019 the printed conference booklet will be replaced by an App.

CIMAM is also launching a new initiative: Sustainability in Museum Practice. This new working group aims to raise awareness about climate change and sustainability in museums. What would it mean to shift art museum practices to reflect the need to be sustainable? What would be the longer-term impact of those decisions on the ecology of museum practice?

CIMAM Outstanding Museum Practice Award. Promoting excellence in innovation in modern and contemporary art museums

In 2019, CIMAM will launch a new initiative: CIMAM Outstanding Museum Practice Award. This new program aims to give visibility to outstanding cases of good practice in modern and contemporary art museums, and to establish an online directory of examples as references for the international community.

Download CIMAM Press Kit 2017-19


In the Press 2019

ArtsHub, 10 September 2019. Global museum specialist conference to be held in Sydney

ArtDaily.com, 5 September 2019. Deep concern at cancellation of the exhibition "After 'Freedom of Expression?'"

The Australian, by Elizabeth Ann Macgregor, 30 August 2019. Context is key as museums seek new meaning.

ArtForum, 29 August 2019. International Museum Association calls for reopening of Aichi Triennale exhibition following censorship controversy.

Media Release, The Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Federal Minister for the Arts, Bradfield, Australia, 28 August 2019. Sydney to host international contemporary art conference

Bijutsutecho, 28 August 2019. CIMAM (International Museum of Art Conference) released a statement on the “Expression Inconvenient Exhibition, then”. "Freedom of expression is completely impaired."

ArtAsiaPacific, by Cassie Liu, 28 August 2019. CIMAM calls for reopening of Aichi Censorship Exhibition.

e-flux conversations, 27 August 2019. Aichi Triennale: CIMAM Expresses “Deep Concern” Over Closure of “After ‘Freedom of Expression?’”

Hyperallergic, by Dorian Batycka, 15 January 2019. Museum Advocacy Group Pens Open Letter Demanding Release of Imprisoned Turkish Philanthropist

e-flux conversation, 11 January 2019. CIMAM Statement About Osman Kavala and Turkish Cultural Professionals

Artforum, 15 January 2019. Museum group demands release of Turkish activist Osman Kavala

AsiaArtPacific, 16 January 2019. Museum group calls for release of Turkish philanthropist

ArtNews, 11 January 2019. International Association of Modern Art Museums Protests ‘Harassment’ of Cultural Professionals in Turkey

In the Press 2018

Clipping CIMAM 2018 Annual Conference and Travel Grant Program
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In the Press 2017

Clipping CIMAM 2017 Annual Conference and Travel Grant Program
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In the Press 2016

Clipping CIMAM 2016 Annual Conference and Travel Grant Program
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In the Press 2014

Clipping CIMAM 2014 Annual Conference
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Clipping 2014 Travel Grant Program
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¿Qué es hoy un museo público? Interview with Bartomeu Marí by José Luis Pérez Pont. MAKMA, revista de artes visuales y cultura contemporánea, March 2014.

In the Press 2013

Our voice as protagonist — a meeting with Tania Bruguera
Interview with Tania Bruguera during CIMAM 2013 Annual Conference in Rio de Janeiro by Caroline Menezes. Studio International, November 2013.

How to be Contemporary? An interview with curator Charles Esche
Interview with Charles Esche during CIMAM 2013 Annual Conference in Rio de Janeiro by Caroline Menezes. Studio International, September 2013.

Clipping CIMAM New Board 2014–2016
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Clipping CIMAM 2013 Annual Conference
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Clipping 2013 Travel Grant Program
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In the Press 2012

Clipping CIMAM 2012 Annual Conference and Travel Grant Program
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