About the show

A tiny show guiding you through the rocky landscape of museums. Museum Archipelago believes that no museum is an island and that museums are not neutral.

Taking a broad definition of museums, host Ian Elsner brings you to different museum spaces around the world, dives deep into institutional problems, and introduces you to the people working to fix them. Each episode is never longer than 15 minutes, so let’s get started.


  • 11. Dead Bodies in Museums Part 1

    April 22nd, 2016  |  6 mins 47 secs

    The Inuits Robert Peary brought back from his 1897 expedition were treated as artifacts. What that meant post mortem. Part one of a two part series on dead bodies in museums.

  • 10. Framework For Engaging with Art

    April 4th, 2016  |  9 mins 1 sec
    dallas museum of art

    At an art museum, would you rather listen to a detailed guided tour or just enjoy the art without any interpretative support?

  • 9. The Museum Selfie

    March 11th, 2016  |  4 mins 57 secs
    dustin growick, museum hack

    Dustin Growick of Museum Hack finds that selfies can create a personally engaging experience within the context of a museum.

  • 8. Calatrava and the Museum Icon

    February 10th, 2016  |  6 mins 6 secs
    milwaukee art museum

    What will the museum icon look like in 50 years?

  • 7. What Happens to Dead Amusement Parks?

    January 27th, 2016  |  9 mins 11 secs

    Most of the time, nothing.

  • 6. Muzeiko

    September 30th, 2015  |  6 mins 41 secs
    muzeiko, vessela gercheva

    Until Muzeiko opens in Sofia, Bulgaria later this week, there were no children’s museums in the Balkans.

  • 5. StalinWorld

    July 24th, 2015  |  7 mins 11 secs
    monika bernotas, stalinworld

    Go to the central square of any Soviet influenced country like Lithuania, and you will find empty pedestals.

  • 4. Bison Hunt on Horseback

    May 27th, 2015  |  6 mins 44 secs
    ellen censky, milwaukee public museum
  • 3. Authority

    May 5th, 2015  |  10 mins 3 secs
    seb chan

    Seb Chan, Director of Digital & Emerging Technologies at Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, joins Ian to talk about museum authority against the backdrop of the web.

  • 2. Labels

    April 15th, 2015  |  5 mins 53 secs

    Early 20th century cartoons showed exhausted visitors craning their necks to read labels and stopping over to examine artifacts. What's the story 100 years later?

  • 1. Lobby

    April 3rd, 2015  |  4 mins 10 secs

    The lobby is where you transform from an ordinary person into a museum visitior.