Abstract of Katz, M., “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: The Redefinition of the Modern Museum”.
As postmodernism has become more prevalent in modern museums, so too has the debate as to how museums best serve their audiences. This debate is often framed as a choice between a temple and a forum.
While museum practitioners and theorists have pondered this question at great length, there is a tendency to lose sight of the audiences who will visit the institutions. These visitors are often confused and unsettled by the new forms of communication employed, and left feeling unsure of what is expected of them.
This paper seeks to explore the debate and to suggest that the solution is not that of either/or, but rather a combination of elements.