Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey
Read: "How Far Have We Come?," our post about the 2022 cycle of measuring representation in American art museums.
For far too long, those professions responsible for presenting, interpreting, and caring for art objects at art museums across the US have fallen short of reflecting the heterogeneity of the demographics of the United States. Thus, they have lacked a full range of knowledge, values, and vision.
In 2014, driven by these demographics perceptions, Mellon partnered with Ithaka S+R, the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) to develop a survey to look more closely at art museum staff diversity through the most comprehensive collection of the field’s ethnic, racial, and gender demographics to date.
Since its inception, the study has revealed meaningful progress toward a fuller representation of women and people of color in several different museum functions. Nevertheless, the data also shows that progress has been uneven, with certain parts of the field appearing not as quick to change, especially the most senior leadership positions at museums.
More than a marker of progress to date, this data serves as a tool for the future—whether quantifying the challenges we still face, establishing a baseline against which to measure impact, or equipping the field with the insight needed to structure and implement programs to address deficits.
The complete summary of reports and related case studies is provided here with additional research in process in 2022.
Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey (2018)
Case Studies in Museum Diversity (2018)