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Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey (2022)

November 16, 2022

For far too long, those professions responsible for presenting, interpreting, and caring for art objects at art museums across the US have fallen short of reflecting the heterogeneity of the demographics of the United States. Thus, they have lacked a full range of knowledge, values, and vision.In 2014, driven by these demographics perceptions, Mellon partnered with Ithaka S+R, the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) to develop a survey to look more closely at art museum staff diversity through the most comprehensive collection of the field's ethnic, racial, and gender demographics to date.Since its inception, the study has revealed meaningful progress toward a fuller representation of women and people of color in several different museum functions. Nevertheless, the data also shows that progress has been uneven, with certain parts of the field appearing not as quick to change, especially the most senior leadership positions at museums. More than a marker of progress to date, this data serves as a tool for the future—whether quantifying the challenges we still face, establishing a baseline against which to measure impact, or equipping the field with the insight needed to structure and implement programs to address deficits.

Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey (2018)

January 28, 2019

In 2014, Ithaka S+R partnered with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) to study the representational diversity within art museums through quantitative means. To collect this data, Ithaka S+R developed a survey instrument which was administered to directors of AAMD and AAM member art museums.Four years later, we have administered a similar instrument to these museum directors in order to gauge the extent to which museum staff have changed demographically in recent years. The instrument was slightly expanded, affording new insights into the composition of art museum employees.Key FindingsGender remains majority female; museum leadership positions have grown five percentage points more female in last four years.In curatorial roles, management positions are about 15 percentage points more male than non-management roles.Museum staff have become more racially and ethnically diverse over the last four years.Among intellectual leadership positions, education and curatorial departments have grown more diverse in terms of race/ethnicity, while conservation and museum leadership have not changed.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey

July 28, 2015

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in partnership with the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), has announced the results of the first comprehensive survey to assess the ethnic and gender diversity of the staffs of art museums across the United States. Undertaken to replace anecdotal evidence with hard data, the survey provides the museum field with the first statistical baseline against which progress can be measured. Art Museum Staff Demographic SurveyAmong its chief findings, the survey documented a significant movement toward gender equality in art museums. Women now comprise some 60 percent of museum staffs, with a preponderance of women in the curatorial, conservation and education roles that can be a pipeline toward leadership positions. The survey found no such pipeline toward leadership among staff from historically underrepresented minorities. Although 28 percent of museum staffs are from minority backgrounds, the great majority of these workers are concentrated in security, facilities, finance, and human resources jobs. Among museum curators, conservators, educators and leaders, only 4 percent are African American and 3 percent Hispanic.