The Sustainability of Private Art Museums in Shanghai
By: Lu Meng
Published: 2017
Uploaded: 03/27/2017
Uploaded by: Arts Administration Program
Pockets: Arts Administration Program Theses (Permission Required), Arts Administration: General, Visual Arts, Museums, Crafts
Tags: funding, private art museum, strategies, Sustainability

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Description/Abstract: Characterized by its robust economy and international culture, Shanghai has developed a significant number of private art museums over the past ten years. The proliferation of private art museums in Shanghai can be seen as a manifestation of a crucial moment for the contemporary art scene. However, most private art museums in China currently face a variety of operational challenges and financial difficulties, concerning fundraising, management, public art education, and policy. With these difficulties in mind, how do administrators of Chinese private art museums work to achieve financial sustainability? The answer to this question will help the administrators to determine which of their methods have worked well and which need to be improved. This paper examines the strategies that private art museum administrators have developed during the past five years to achieve sustainability. It analyzes both the internal problems they face as well as the external challenges that impede their efforts to strengthen their public value. Based on interviews with arts administrators at organizations located in Shanghai, this study ultimately answers a variety of questions pertaining to the sustainability of museum operations and social impact goals. By strategically expanding the membership programs and museum store revenue, exploring the possibility of individual donation and endowments, and reducing the dependence on founder’s or mother company’s investment, Chinese private art museums will build their funding models sustainably.