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Remuseum

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art will be closed Monday, May 13, to prepare for the visit of Antiques Roadshow. We will return to normal hours of operation Wednesday, May 15.

Promoting Innovation Among American Art Museums

About Remuseum

Mission and Support

Remuseum is an independent research project seeking to promote innovation among art museums across the United States. Inspired and supported by entrepreneur and arts patron David Booth, powered by the disruptive spirit of Crystal Bridges, and with additional support from the Ford Foundation, Remuseum is a three-year initiative (launched in 2023) aiming to help U.S. museums fully embrace their missions by developing new approaches to relevance, governance, and financial sustainability.

“The business I founded, Dimensional Fund Advisors, applies academic research to practical investing. I am excited to see how Remuseum will apply research to museums, and I hope it will inspire museum boards and leaders to approach their work in new ways.” – David Booth

“From our inception at Crystal Bridges, we started by breaking conventions – launching a major museum in America’s Heartland built on the foundational idea of radical access to amazing art experiences. And we’re not done. We’re constantly learning and adapting. With David Booth’s support, Alice Walton’s vision, and Stephen Reily’s ingenuity, we look forward to the work that Remuseum will do to inspire a similar spirit of innovation among museums across the country, including our own.” – Rod Bigelow

 

Man in suit stands facing the camera
Rod Bigelow, Executive Director and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer

Leadership and Vision

The Founding Director of Remuseum is Stephen Reily, an attorney and entrepreneur who served as Director of the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky from 2017 to 2021. At the Speed, Reily invigorated a newly renovated museum with a mission of public service and dramatically increased both contributed revenue and accessibility. During his tenure, the Speed worked with Guest Curator Allison Glenn and Community Engagement Strategist Toya Northington to present the exhibition “Promise, Witness, Remembrance,” cited as a model of relevance and innovation as the museum responded in real time to the killing of Breonna Taylor and a year of protests in Louisville. In 2022, Reily, Glenn, and Northington co-wrote a book documenting the exhibition and that work. A longtime supporter of museums and the arts, Reily currently serves on the Boards of the Creative Capital Foundation and the American Federation of Arts.

Man sits with his hands folded on a desk
Stephen Reily, Founding Director of Remuseum

About Remuseum, Reily has said, “Three or four decades ago, most American art museums had mission statements focused on the preservation and presentation of objects to people. Today, the mission statements of even very traditional museums prioritize serving and engaging people with art. Because the resources, incentives, and policies that govern the field remain heavily weighted in outdated models, the resulting tension puts museums at risk, both of failing to fulfill their public-facing new missions, or of failing altogether. Remuseum will use data to provoke new ways of aligning museums’ work with their missions – and most importantly, the communities they serve.”

A graduate of Yale College and Stanford Law School, Stephen Reily clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens before beginning his career as an entrepreneur, co-founding IMC Licensing, a global leader in brand licensing that has generated over $6 billion in consumer product sales for the Fortune 500 brands it represents. He is also the co-founder of Curated Media, built on the premise that people are more powerful than algorithms; its flagship is the fashion and beauty app, Clickher. As a social entrepreneur, Reily was longtime Chair of the Greater Louisville Project, which for 20 years used data to catalyze civic progress in Louisville, and partnered with the Louisville Urban League to create the Reily Reentry Program to support expungement programs for citizens of Kentucky.

Future Plans

Remuseum will announce research partners and an Advisory Panel in early 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have more questions about Remuseum? Consult the FAQ.

How will Remuseum define success?

Given that most American art museums have adopted missions that center their audience above their collections, Remuseum thinks a fair measure of success will come when museums spend at least as much money on the public as they spend on objects.

In addition, Remuseum seeks to support the development of reliable, consistent, and publicly available metrics about American art museums that can help museums, innovators, and the public evaluate and identify new ways for museums to serve their missions and thrive.

Is Remuseum a supporter or a critic of museums?

Yes. Remuseum seeks to be passionate, honest, and provocative about a field we love but one that sometimes uses rules of its own creation to inhibit the creative spirit that gave it birth – a spirit that it can always choose to embrace. Remuseum is optimistic about the capacity of museums to matter to more people and thrive.

Who will advise Remuseum?

Remuseum will form an Advisory Panel that includes museum leaders, trustees, researchers, and creative innovators (including architects and artists). Remuseum hopes to announce its Advisory Panel by early 2024.

Support From

David Booth