University Museums

The Research Symposium on University Museums was held for the first time in September 2012 and hosted by Kyoto University.  The topic was ‘Forming a University Museum Collection Network as the Core of Frontier Research’.  The second symposium was held from May 20 to 22, 2014 at National Taiwan University, on 'Reshaping Outreach Services of University Museums through Innovation and Partnership'. The third event is due to be held at the University of Hong Kong from 5 to 7 October 2016 and will explore museum teaching beyond the faculty. 

Can looking at art make for better doctors?

(Photo: Jodie Hutchinson)

Can looking at art make for better doctors
By Heather Gaunt
Curator of Academic Programs at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne

In 1984, artist Jon Cattapan’s sister Adriana died in a car accident. His painting, titled Sister, and some accompanying drawings, were a response to this tragedy. Sister depicts a grey-shrouded body lying on a bright red structure. Behind it are five figures in two separate groups. One represents living relatives and friends; the other, the spiritual world.

Sister’s distorted figures reflect Cattapan’s interest in primitivism and animism. Its colours and twisted forms project his anguish, and express the heightened intensity of the state of grieving. Cattapan has written about the disorientation experienced in grieving and also how the “topsy-turvy” space in all the Sister images represents his sister’s schizophrenia.

One day, a few months ago, a group of third year medical students spent a long time looking at these works, which were on display at the Ian Potter Museum of Art at Melbourne University.

They were encouraged by the Museum’s Academic Programs Curator to describe aspects of the painting as objectively as possible - its style, colours, content. Then they began to share their personal interpretations of the narrative.

Read full article at The Conversation

3rd APRU University Museums Research Symposium 2016

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 Host: The University of Hong Kong, October 5 - 7, 2016 

Over 60 faculty members, researchers, administrators and students from APRU universities and invited institutions across the Asia Pacific came together at the 3rd APRU University Museums Research Symposium, hosted by The University of Hong Kong (HKU).

Participants and speakers were warmly welcomed by HKU President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Mathieson, Deputy Director (APRU International Secretariat) Christina Schönleber and Dr Florian Knothe, Director, HKU University Museum & Art Gallery. The theme of this year’s Symposium was centered on museum teaching beyond traditional faculty courses and classroom settings.

The programme featured two keynote speeches by Dr Heather Gaunt, The University of Melbourne and Peng-Fan Chen, National Taiwan University (NTU). Topics presented were on the use of art to foster ethics development in health professional students and on NTU’s History Gallery’s changing role in becoming a facilitator of pedagogical evolution of museology.

(L-R) Peter Mathieson, Florian Knothe, Christina, Peng-Fan Chen, Heather 

Call for Papers - 3rd APRU University Museum Research Symposium 2016

'Museum Teaching beyond the Faculties'

Hong Kong University 

5-7 October 



Confernce Theme: 'Museum Teaching beyond the Faculties' 

The 3rd APRU Research Symposium on University Museum will focus on education beyond traditional faculty courses and classroom settings. 

Please send 250-word abstracts of papers on any topic on museum teaching and a short bio no later than by 1st April 2016 to: Dr Florian Knothe, email:

Save-the-Date: 3rd APRU University Museums Research Symposium 2016


APRU's 3rd research symposium on university museums will be hosted by the University Museum & Art Gallery at University of Hong Kong from 5-7 October 2016.  Details on the symposium, including date, registration and call for papers, will be gradually updated on this page.

Final Call for Registration: APRU Research Symposium on University Museums 2014

Final Call for Registration (Deadline: May 16, 2014)

The 2nd research symposium on University Museums has 'Reshaping Outreach Services of University Museums through Innovation and Partnership' as its main theme.  We invite members interested in and involved in university museums and outreach to register online here before May 16, 2014.

Symposium topics include the following:

-    How do technological and organizational innovations aid university museums in extending the frontier of their outreach?

-    How can university museums widen the scope of their outreach through cross-sector partnership?   

-    How do university museums help expand the footprint of academic outreach?

-    How can outreach services of university museums trigger social innovations?

-    Who can provide university museums with critical resources, skills, techniques, network, etc. to innovate the outreach services?

-    What synergies in outreach services can university museums create through partnerships forged between university museums and public and private museums, cultural institutions, volunteers, and business corporations?

We are pleased to feature three keynote speakers at the symposium.  More information on keynote speakers can be found here.

Museusms keynote jill1

"Re-envisioning the Role of Academic Museums"

Jill Hartz has worked in university museums for nearly thirty years, seventeen as a director. She is currently the executive director of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon, Eugene. She is president of the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries and is an AAM and IMLS accreditation reviewer.

Ms. Hartz has curated numerous exhibitions and is the editor of four books, including a monograph on Agnes Denes. Her special interests include 20th–21st century environmental and installation art, photography and new media, and contemporary Cuban art.

Museums keynote ohno 

"Outreach tells us what the university museum is"

Terufumi Ohno studied paleontology in Kyoto and Bonn. During his undergraduate and master course studies, he described a brachiopod fauna of the Early Devonian age from a Japanese locality. He then studied at Bonn University in Germany on a scholarship, where he made an experimental study on periodicities of growth line formation in bivalve mollusk shells.

Prof. Ohno became a member of the Kyoto University Museum in 1997, developing programs to motivate life-long learning for people of all ages including a learning program for blind people. Since 2009, he is Director of the Kyoto University Museum.

Museums keynote yu 

"A Phoenix Emerged - The NTU Museums' Outreach to Neighborhoods"

Yu, Hon-Tsen (Alex) is Professor at the NTU Museum Group, Department of Life Science, National Taiwan University. An avid museum-goer, he travels extensively and never passes up any opportunities to visit a museum wherever he goes. Prof. Yu received his bachelor and master degrees in Zoology from National Taiwan University, and doctoral degree in Integrative Biology from University of California at Berkeley. He was a visiting scholar at University of Chicago in 1999-2000, a visiting professor at Kyoto University in 2004 and at University of California at Davis in 2008-2009. In 2010-2011, he served as Chief Coordinator of Panel of Biodiversity and Long-Term Ecology for the National Science Council of Taiwan

Accepted papers and symposium speakers are found at  We thank speakers for submitting their topics and abstracts, and look forward to a stimulating meeting.

Symposium website:

To contact our organizers at National Taiwan University, please send an email to: