Nov 24th, 2017
Tivolivredenburg Utrecht
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Key note Tiffany Jenkins

Tiffany Jenkins, in collaboration with the Boekmanstichting, will present us with her critical ruminations about the value of culture in today’s society. Jenkin's critical statements tend to give rise to an intense discussion regarding the measurement methodology of success and quality employed in the cultural sector. Next to Jenkins remunitions, we will investigate if and how measurement of success and quality can be put into practice. The conversation will be guided by Patrick van der Hijden. Experts Brechtje van Dijk, Pieter Bots, Quirijn van den Hoogen en Fedor Teunisse will participate in this conversation. Further deepening this theme in Boekman #113, the Boekmanstichting will highlight several relevant and workable methods that can be used to measure the value of culture.

Jenkins believes that success in the arts cannot be measured by economic value or visitor numbers. These, however, are exactly the figures that Dutch politicians use as a measure of success, thereby subsequently granting subsidies. If we could do away with these superficial measurements of artistic and cultural value, which elements/values would indicate success and quality?

Jenkins in The Guardian: “Money mustn’t be allowed to rule the arts world”

“If we continue to cower from the proposition that art should be funded because of its quality we will face real problems. If we retreat from aesthetic judgement and opt instead for tick box accounting, we will never create a healthy critical culture that appreciates the arts. Instead of promoting the importance of melody or harmony, timbre or texture, arts managers will spend their time fiddling with their calculators.”

Interview with Tiffany Jenkins in Trouw 8-4-2017



Tiffany Jenkins is sociologist, author and cultural commentator, whose research examines conflicts over cultural property and concepts of cultural value. She is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Edinburgh; a former visiting fellow in the Department of Law at the London School of Economics and was previously the director of the Arts and Society Programme at the Institute of Ideas. Her book Keeping Their Marbles: How Treasures of the Past Ended Up in Museums and Why They Should Stay There was published in 2016 to critical acclaim. She is also the author of Contesting Human Remains in Museum Collections: The Crisis of Cultural Authority. Her first degree is in Art History, her PhD in sociology. She divides her time between London and Edinburgh.

Photo: Chris Cook

  1. Hertz 13:30 - 14:30
In gesprek met ..
  1. Tiffany Jenkins Cultural Commentator