Trusting Museums

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


In this comment I want to approach the concept of trust with a degree of caution by briefly considering what trust looks like in museum relationships that are inevitably built on unequal distributions of power and control. Recent ethnographic studies on trust provide some useful tools to approach notions of trust with a renewed sense of criticality and as something that is not universally, or uniformly understood (Mühlfried (ed.) 2018, Carey 2017, Broch-Due and Ystanes (eds.) 2016). As museum ethnographers we see trust as something to aspire to, but I suggest we should also pay close attention to how trust operates in the museum. We need to acknowledge when trust is a positive mechanism that can create spaces of collaboration and collectivity, but just as importantly we need to understand how trust can become just another tool with which the museum can do harm.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Museum Ethnography
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


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