Museum Council

Mission & History

80 Years of Collaboration


About Us

The Museum Council of Greater Philadelphia was founded in 1939 by a consortium of area museums seeking to promote public awareness of local cultural institutions. In addition to developing museum-school partnerships, the Museum Council encouraged conservation of collections, architecture, and cultural landscapes and professional development through peer interaction.

Today, the Museum Council continues its advocacy on behalf of area cultural organizations and their constituencies and promotion of professional development among staff serving in area museums. Behind-the-scenes tours offer on-the-ground opportunities to see new exhibits and programs and hear from those who built them. Guest lecturers and panelists are nationally- or internationally-recognized and bring new perspectives challenging us to evolve our practice. Past speakers include Kathleen McLean, author of The Convivial Museum; Frank Vagnone, author of Anarchist’s Guide to Historic House Museums, Dustin Growick of Museum Hack.

In the spirit that elevating one, elevates us all, the Council annually honors institutional innovation with the John Alviti Award and provides an annual fellowship to a mid-career professional through the Gretchen Worden Award.

Museum Council is governed by a board of thirteen. Its members reflect a cross-section of the field, from consultants to full-time staff to retirees. Members of the board head five committees: Programming, Membership, Marketing & Communications, Emerging Museum Professionals, and 80th Anniversary Planning.

Our Mission

The Museum Council of Greater Philadelphia builds connections between and among the diverse museum and cultural community, provides opportunities for professional growth, shares best practices, and promotes accomplishments in the field.

Our Vision

Members of Philadelphia’s museum and cultural community access diverse learning experiences, engage in impactful networking events, and collaborate in valuable professional and leadership opportunities through the Museum Council of Greater Philadelphia.