I was intrigued when our good friend Paul Orselli (of POW! Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) posted a new blog addressing the question of whether or not museums need to have walls, or buildings as such. He very kindly mentioned Girl Museum as an example of a successful museum without walls. He said that “strong museum experiences are defined by three S words: Stuff, Stories, and Social.” I fully agree and endorse this way of thinking about what we do. Read Paul’s blog for yourself for more on the three S’s.

I would like to add that we have been fighting for the legitimacy of museums without walls for over a decade, 15 years actually. For all of the progress made in that time, especially during the pandemic when EVERYONE wanted online access to museums and digital learning, it seems we are still at square one. Arguing that just because we do not have a building doesn’t mean we are less of a meaningful experience. The fact that funders (government and private) STILL have not caught up to this reality baffles me to no end. There are many museums that would have been better off as virtual spaces with only occasional pop-up physical experiences rather than being saddled with the costs and obligations of a building. And we have the added benefit ALWAYS being open.

For better or worse, the internet has changed our ways of doing most things. Why haven’t we accepted that going to a museum is one of those?

Ashley E. Remer
-Founder and Head Girl of Girl Museum

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