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Think tank to stimulate and facilitate collaboration, innovation, and global thinking in the art museum world
Laurie Winters conceived The Art Consortium after working extensively with museums in Central Europe in her role as Director of Exhibitions at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

MILWAUKEE, WIS.- The Art Consortium, a new international think tank dedicated to shaping the future of art museums, is being launched this fall to stimulate collaboration, innovation, and global thinking among leaders in the art world, and to facilitate the development and application of new ideas in museums. The lead funder is Christie’s with additional support from other private donors and foundations.

The flagship event of The Art Consortium will be its annual three-day member meeting, the first of which will be held in Vienna on October 22-24, 2012. The meeting will convene imaginative thinkers, leaders, and opinion-makers for conversations with the Consortium’s members that will help generate ideas and solutions to key issues confronting art museums today.

“The overall purpose of the Consortium is to create a mechanism that fosters collaboration and idea sharing among our members,” said Laurie Winters, President of the Board and Executive Director of The Art Consortium, who left her position as Director of Exhibitions and Publications at the Milwaukee Art Museum in late July to start the new organization. “Some of the most innovative thinking that might be applicable to issues facing museums is coming from unexpected quarters. We want to bring the proponents of those ideas into the conversation with our members.”

The members will consist of leaders at U.S. and European art museums, foundations, galleries, and others with an interest in the health of art museums. Membership in The Art Consortium is by the invitation of the Board of Directors.

The Founding Board of Directors of The Art Consortium includes: Klaus Albrecht Schröder, Director, Albertina, Vienna; Julián Zugazagoitia, Director, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kathleen Soriano, Director of Exhibitions, Royal Academy, London, Stephen Einhorn, General Partner, Capital Midwest, a venture capital fund, and Founder, Einhorn Family Foundation, David Knox, Chairman, the Chipstone Foundation. Dr. Schröder will serve as Board Chair.

“Christie’s shares The Art Consortium’s aim of continually innovating within the world of cultural stewardship,” said Allison Whiting, Director of Museum Services, Christie’s. “We are honored to be the lead funder in this exciting, forward-looking effort and we are pleased to continue our work with such top-flight cultural institutions from around the world.”

Vienna and Kansas City will be the first two host cities for the annual meeting in the fall of 2012 and 2013. Among the topics that will be considered are: capturing the public interest when attention spans are growing shorter; achieving financial security in an age of economic uncertainty; and navigating the latest trends in technology. Special guests will be invited such as commentators who are critical of contemporary museum practices; economists who study cultural institutions; psychologists and neurophysiologists who can talk about art and the brain and the issue of shorter attention spans; and technologists on the leading edge of the digital/internet/mobile device revolution.

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