Museum Studies
Marjorie  Schwarzer

Marjorie Schwarzer

Director of Administration, Museum Studies

An award-winning writer, critic and educator, Marjorie Schwarzer served as professor and chair of the Department of Museum Studies at John F. Kennedy University from 1997 to 2011. She has held leadership positions in museums - including the Boston Children's Museum, Chicago Children's Museum and Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry -- since completing her MBA in nonprofit management from UC, Berkeley in 1983. Marjorie is author of the highly-acclaimed Riches, Rivals and Radicals: 100 Years of Museums in America (American Association of Museums, 2006; 2nd edition 2012), as well as over 40 in-depth articles about museum leadership, technology, education, exhibitions and history. She has served on the boards of the Western Museums Association and AAM's Committee on Museum Professional Training, and taught museum studies at Bank Street College in New York City, University of Victoria (Canada) and in the United Arab Emirates. Recent publications include "Rules of the Game," a conversation about curatorial ethics in the United Arab Emirates co-written with Leigh Markopoulos and Aisha Deemas (Reimagining Museums: practice in the Arabian Peninsula, ed. Pamela Erskine-Loftus) and "No Heroes: Re-visiting the Museum Leadership Crisis," (Museums and the Paradox of Change, 3rd edition, ed. Robert Janes).



Riches, Rivals and Radicals:  100 Years of Museums in America (Washington, D. C.: American Association of Museums, 2006; second edition, 2012).   Adapted for nationally televised public television special of same title.  Excerpts have been published in Museum News, ASTC Dimensions and WestMuse.   (pictured right)


What Students Need to Know:  Graduate Training in Museum Studies (Washington, D.C.: American Association of Museums, 2001).


"Tap into your Passions," in Teaching the Museum:  Careers in Museum Education, ed. Leah Melber (The AAM Press, Washington DC, 2014).


"A Reply to Peter Singer's Thought Experiment on Art museums and Effective Altruism," Museums and Social Issues, Spring 2014.


“No Heroes:  Revisiting the Museum Leadership Crisis,” in Museums and the Paradox of Change, ed. Robert Janes (Routledge, London, 2013).


“Social Change and the Rules of the Game:  A Conversation about Museum Values in the United Arab Emirates,” with Leigh Markopoulos and Aisha Deemas, pp. 204 – 237 in Reimaging Museums:  Practice in the Arabian Peninsula, ed. Pamela Erskine-Loftus (MuseumsETC, Edinburgh & Cambridge, 2013).


“Museum Studies at a Crossroads” Museum (Jan/Feb 2012).


“The Culture of Incarceration,” in ReThinking Incarceration, Kris Morrissey and Marjorie Schwarzer, co-editors, Museums and Social Issues (Volume 6:1), (December 2011).


“From Berkeley to Dubai:  Museum Studies as Soft Power,” Museum (July/August 2011).


“Mining the Museum revisited” a conversation with Fred Wilson and Paula Marincola, in Letting Go:  Sharing Historical Authority in a User-Generated World, eds.Bill Adair, Benjamin Filene and Laura Koloski, eds. (Philadelphia:  The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage 2011), 230 – 241.


“How Do Museum Studies programs address the Nature of Museums today?” (Spring 2011, with seven other commentators), Exhibitionist, 82 – 86.


“Butterflies in the Basement:  Requiem for the Snow Museum of Natural History,” in The Marvelous Museum, ed. Andrew Leland, (Chronicle Books, 2010).


“Museum Studies” and “Museum Careers,” (2010) in Encyclopedia of Library Information (Taylor & Francis).


“Lessons from the Great Depression,” Museum, May/June 2009.


“Shotgun Wedding: The new California Academy of Sciences African Hall,” (2009), Exhibitionist, Volume 28, no. 1., 355 – 360.


“Literary Devices:  Period Rooms as Fantasy and Archetype,” Curator (October 2008).


“Civic Discourse:  Can We Really Talk?” Museums and Social Issues 2:2 (Fall 2007), co-editor with Judy Koke and Kris Morrissey.


“Broadcasting Dialogue:  Citizen Journalism, Public Radio and Museums,” Museums and Social Issues 2:2 (Fall 2007). 


“Gender in the Temple:  Women and Leadership in Museums,” Museum News 85: 3 (May–June, 2007).  Revised and reprinted as chapter in Gender, Sexuality and Museums, ed. Amy Levin, Routledge (2010).


“Looking Back:  11 Touchpoint Exhibitions of the 20th Century,” Exhibitionist (April 2006).


“Revisiting Leadership,” WestMuse, Winter 2005.


“The “L” Word (Leadership),” Hand to Hand, Winter 2003


“Turnover at the Top:  Are Directors Burning Out?” Museum News 81:3 (May-June 2002)


“A Challenge for Alaska’s Museums” AlaskaNews (November-December 2002)


“Art and Gadgetry:  The Future of the Museum Visit” Museum News 80:4 (July-August 2001)


“Now Boarding:  Airport Museums and the Global Audience” Museum News 80:3 (May-June 2001)


“Contesting Popularity,” WestMuse (Fall 2000), 7-9.


“Visions for the 21st Century Museum,” Tapestry (journal of Pennsylvania Federation of Museums and Historical Organizations)  (Spring 2000).


“Decoding the Tech Museum of Innovation,” Exhibitionist (journal of National Association of Museum Exhibitors)  (Spring 2000).


“The Mouse in the Museum: Technology Training and Museum Studies Programs,” Spectra 26 (Journal of Museum Computer Network)  (Summer 1999), 18-19.


“Guts and Glory: Designing San Francisco’s New Museums,” San Francisco Design Review (Summer 1999).


“Schizophrenic Agora: Mission, Market and the Multi-tasking Museum,” Museum News 78 (November-December 1999), 40-47.


"Dealing with Prejudice and Discrimination in a Museum Environment," in Gail Lord and Barry Lord, Museum Management Handbook, (London: Stationary Office, 1997).


"Challenges and Opportunities in Community Collaboration and Audience Development," Midwest Museums Annual Review (Spring, 1995), Reprinted in U.S. Army Museum Memo (Spring, Summer and Fall, 1995).  Reprinted in user's guide to Science Museum of Minnesota's nationally-distributed video Journey: Museums and Community Collaboration (1997).


"Multikultural Vielfalt in Kindermuseums," in ed., Nel Worm, Kinder- und Jugendmuseum: Kulturort mit Zukunft (Unna: BJKE Verlag, 1994).


"The New Atlantic Alliance: Children's Museums in Europe," Hand-to-Hand 8.2 (Summer, 1994).


"Helping Visitors in Potent Exhibits," Hand-to-Hand 8.1 (Spring, 1994).


"Collective Management in the Arts," Communities Magazine No. 45 (Oct/Nov, 1980).





Neil Harris, Capital Culture: J. Carter Brown, the National Gallery of Art, and the Reinvention of the Museum Experience (2013), Reviews in American History, forthcoming (June 2015).


Janet Marstine, ed., Museum Ethics (2011), International Journal of Museum Management and Curatorship, (August 2011).


Robert Janes, Museums in a Troubled World: Renewal, Irrelevance or Collapse?(2009), International Journal of Museum Management and Curatorship, (December 2009/January 2010).


Marcia Tucker, a short life of trouble:  forty years in the new york art world (2009), Museum (July/August 2009).


Danny Danziger, Museum:  Behind the Scenes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2007).  Museum News (November/December 2007).


Elaine Heumann Gurian, Civilizing the Museum (2006).  Museum News (September/October 2006).


N. Elizabeth Schlatter, How to Become an Art Curator (2003).  Museum News (July/August 2003).


Scott Sayre, The Millenial Museum (1999).  Curator (August, 2002).


Victoria Newhouse, Towards a New Museum (1998); Gerhard Mack, The Twenty-first Century Art Museum (1998).  Design Book Review 44 (Fall 2000).


Mary Maher, ed., Collective Vision:  Starting and Sustaining a Children’s Museum (1997). Curator (April 1998).


Jane R. Glaser, Artemis A. Zenetou, Museums A Place to Work: Planning Museum Careers (1996). Curator (September 1997).


Harry Morrison Award for Outstanding Teacher of the Year, 2003, John F. Kennedy University.

Excel National Award for Outstanding Professional Book of the Year, 2006.
Platinum Aurora Award (with Great Museums) for Best Educational Television Documentary of the Year, 2007.
CAMMY Award for Outstanding Museum Leadership (with John F. Kennedy University), 2008.

Awards and Distinctions