It’s commonly understood that a museum is forever, that its collections and stories are held in the public trust in perpetuity. But museums do close. When closing is inevitable, how can the process be done properly, meeting both legal and ethical standards? Using first person stories of museum closings and the experiences of museum professionals who have worked with numerous museums in crisis, this session will give you specific tools needed to bring “a good end,” including collections disposal, maintaining community relations, and recognizing the deep commitments of founders and other stakeholders. Speakers will also discuss how to know when a museum closing is imminent and how to deal with stakeholders’ resistance, grief and denial.


  • Brian Crockett


  • Gary Smith
  • Jill Hasling