Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)


Liberal Studies

First Advisor

David Howson

Second Advisor

Hillarie Logan-Dechene


This final project examines the changing role of the art museum in the United States in the last half century. The goal is to show how external and internal forces have influenced a sea change in museums resulting in more engaging and accessible institutions. Through an examination of the forces that motivated these changes, the project explores and compares the two major institutions--the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago--in the areas of audience development and outreach ; programming, collections and exhibits and education and outreach. Finally, the study evaluates the future of museums and predicts how museums will continue to evolve based on current trends.