Kunstens kroner – kronernes kunst: En netværksanalyse af statsanerkendte kunstmuseers driftsbetingelser

Louise Alexandra Yde

Student thesis: Master thesis


The Danish museum environment is at present the object of much debate, primarily regarding the future structuring of the political and economic framework surrounding the state-owned and state-subsidised museums. This has been brought about by numerous underlying factors such as the Danish Municipal Reform, which has prompted substantial changes in the state subsidy scheme, the Danish government’s pronounced objective of enhancing corporate sponsorship of the arts, as well as the current financial climate, which combined with increasing operating costs is affecting the running of many museums. These points have drawn very mixed responses from the affected parties, which forms the basis for an interesting analysis. To advance our understanding of the determinants of the existing museum structure in Denmark and the development potential of the overall museum environment, this thesis conducts a study of the current operating conditions of state-subsidised art museums in Denmark. The study is divided into three parts, using Actor-Network Theory as the theoretical basis for the entire project. Part one examines the existing museum legislation, in order to establish how it creates a particular framework, within which the state-subsidised art museums must operate. Part two carries out an in-depth analysis of two state-subsidised art museums, in order to clarify how they perceive the current operating conditions. Part three explores the prevailing attitudes on the present condition of the museum environment and its development possibilities, based on an examination of The Danish Ministry of Culture’s and The Association of Danish Museums’ respective viewpoints on the matter. The thesis shows that although state-subsidised art museums are presently facing substantial challenges, connected primarily to financial issues, they also have interesting development opportunities. Furthermore it demonstrates that the museum environment’s current structure contains a number of inconveniencies. These are by and large connected to the existing museum legislation, which offers a subsidy scheme that limits museums’ operating options and inhibits the implementation of more productive working procedures. Consequently a restructuring of the subsidy structure seems relevant. Regarding the future development of the museum environment, the thesis also shows that prevailing opinions on the matter are extremely divided, and that none of the viewpoints encompass both possible solutions to the existing challenges and openness towards the many development opportunities. Moreover there seems to be a general lack of discussion regarding the future societal objective of the Museum network as a whole, which, if not addressed, may result in undesirable consequences for the future museum environment.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2009
Number of pages140