Daniel Spock

Daniel Spock has been in the museum field for over 35 years starting as a planetarium guide. Over the course of his career he has worked as an exhibit designer, an exhibit developer, including 13 years at the Boston Children’s Museum, before moving into the realm of administration and public program leadership for 21 years at the Minnesota Historical Society and the Levine Museum of the New South where his teams produced dozens of award-winning exhibitions and programs. Daniel, currently an independent consultant, is an ardent proponent of the visitor-centered museum ethos. He has consulted and lectured at a variety of museum and learning institutions and has published widely on a variety of museum subjects. Daniel has a BA in Art from Antioch College.

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Museums: Essential or Non-essential?

In a crisis of survival in the aftershock of the novel Covid-19 pandemic, everything that we have taken for granted is questioned: is it considered ‘essential’ or ‘non-essential’? Museums are by no means a sacred institution any more than newspapers, educational systems, the music industry, the norms of governance and checks and balances in a democracy, the secular pillars of science, truth seeking and rational discourse, the preservation of the commons, public lands and spaces, good manners, common human decency and decorous behaviour, and so on. All these things hang in the balance right now along with our treasured museums. All of them turn out to be things we have to decide to fight for if we are to keep them, or that must be reinvented to find new relevancy and life.

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