Today we announced a new program aimed at connecting more directly with the global museum community. The Met has been an international institution since its founding; it was established in 1870 not as a museum of American art but as an encyclopedic collection—with the goal of including works of art from around the world. Since then we've collaborated with nations and institutions across the globe, through exhibitions, excavations, training, and all types of scholarly exchange.
We already run a number of programs that bring international curators, conservators, and scholars to the Met. In creating this new initiative, I wanted to establish a program that would both strengthen our existing ties with our overseas peers and encourage a more focused dialogue between museum leaders. The first Colloquium will launch in Spring 2014 with a two-week pilot program in New York. It will bring together twelve to fifteen directors, focusing on museums in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and provide a 360-degree view of current museum practices, using the Met's experts and experience as a springboard for discussion.
We are excited by the opportunity that this program represents and look forward to the relationships that will result from this important conversation.