ICOM-US Participation in the new ICOM Define Methodology (2020-2022)

Dear Colleagues,

We are asking for your help once again, as a follow up to our museum definition survey which you may have completed in April 2020. Announced in December 2020, ICOM’s standing committee on the museum definition launched its new methodology for a transparent process moving forward to arrive at the next ICOM General Conference in Prague in August 2022.

For your background, the methodology will include 4 rounds of consultation, divided into 11 steps. Your feedback from our April 2020 survey, including examples of key words, helped us to complete the first consultation and continued to use your feedback in the next two phases of consultation to help the committee with analyzation. The results of these previous surveys are linked below for your reference. 

ICOM-US will be gathering the feedback received through this final consultation to submit to ICOM. This round of consultation is the opportunity to express preferences on the final five proposals by ranking the definitions and to suggest brief alterations to their preferred proposal.

What's Next?

ICOM Define will work with the top ranked proposals which will be presented on May 5 at the preliminary Advisory Council meeting. Then, a voting process will take place to arrive to the final selection that will be submitted to the Executive Board. At the Extraordinary General Assembly, in Prague, a final vote for the new ICOM museum definition will take place.

We appreciate your continued participation in this important discussion.

Thank you so much for your help!

ICOM-US Museum Definition Task Force


View 5 proposals here prior to taking the survey


(Deadline 11:59 pm EDT Sunday, March 27, 2022)- now closed

Find more information about the full methodology and ICOM Define herehttps://icom.museum/en/member/take-part-in-the-new-definition-of-the-museum/


ICOM-US Participation Tracked Below

Click here for the full methodology timeline

Consultation Four Submission (due April 10, 2022): Coming soon!

Consultation Three Submission (due September 30, 2021): Key words and concepts by dimension (compiled from ICOM-US member survey feedback) 

Consultation Two Submission (due April 20, 2021): 20 key words and concepts (compiled from ICOM-US member survey feedback)

Consultation One Submission (due January 10, 2021):


ICOM-US Museum Definition Task Force Members:

  • Kathy Dwyer Southern (task force co-chair), Professor, Museum Studies Program at the George Washington University.
  • Diana Pardue (task force co-chair), Director, Museum Services Division Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island. ICOM international committee chair, DRMC and ICOM Define Representative.
  • Eric Dorfman, Director & CEO, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and ICOM Executive Board Representative.
  • Bill Eiland, Director, Georgia Museum of Art
  • Lyndel King, Emeritus Director & Chief Curator, Weisman Art Museum.
  • Alejandra Peña, Executive Director, Museo de Arte de Ponce.
  • Kate Quinn, Executive Director, James A. Michener Art Museum.
  • Elizabeth Varner, Director, National Coast Guard Museum and ICOM Define Representative.
  • Rick West, President and Chief Executive Officer at the Autry Museum of the American West (previous member of MDPP2).

Interested in how else to get more involved with this important discussion? Join us at the next ICOM-US Webinar to participate in our series, What is a Museum? An Exploration in Six Parts.