Skip to content

Illustrations of the Future

Category: Center for the Future Of Museums Blog

The AAM annual meeting is often a little bit overwhelming. And exhausting. OK, it is always a bit overwhelming & exhausting. That being so, I was particularly pleased with this year’s CFM guest artists project.

As I wrotebefore the meeting, local artists organized by the Walker Art Center’s camped out in the AAM Showcase in MuseumExpo™, recruiting attendees to participate in the Walker’s Drawing Club—a participatory “citizen art” project. It turned out to be a great way for people to relax and degauss. Some folks sat quietly, working by themselves. Others chatted with friends or new acquaintances as they drew, creating joint masterpieces. It was a truly convivial experience.

People could (and did) doodle about anything, but we encouraged them to put their visions of the future down on paper. I love what they came up with—take a look! Many of the drawings portrayed museum professionals decades hence.

When people can choose their own DNA (or maybe their physical avatars), will natural history museum directors adopt the form of their favorite dinosaur?


Curators may be holographs

Docents may be robots (an idea much discussed in the recent #futrchatbetween museumers & professional futurists)

Here’s a great group portrait of future staff

Of course, some people took a stab envisioning the future museum itself
Which might be about (or perhaps exist on) social media

In outer space (exhibiting objects with in zero gravity!)

Or, by virtual of mobile, internet-connected devices & augmented reality, the museum of the future might be everywhere

The Drawing Club’s Tumblr features more drawings from the meeting—check them out! And take a look at Scott Stulen’s postfeaturing the participatory art posters created with the help of letterpress printers from Lunalux at the Walker’s evening reception on Tuesday May 1.

Hmmmm. These drawings would be great illustrations for a book of museum futures. Why don’t you contribute some captions/commentary below, and help me get started.

AAM Member-Only Content

AAM Members get exclusive access to premium digital content including:

  • Featured articles from Museum magazine
  • Access to more than 1,500 resource listings from the Resource Center
  • Tools, reports, and templates for equipping your work in museums
Log In

We're Sorry

Your current membership level does not allow you to access this content.

Upgrade Your Membership


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Field Notes!

Packed with stories and insights for museum people, Field Notes is delivered to your inbox every Monday. Once you've completed the form below, confirm your subscription in the email sent to you.

If you are a current AAM member, please sign-up using the email address associated with your account.

Are you a museum professional?

Are you a current AAM member?

Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription, and please add to your safe sender list.