The creation of a museum system. Professionalizing Danish museums 1958–2018

  • Susanne Krogh Jensen University of Copenhagen
Keywords: Professionalization, legislation, institutional development, history.


Since 1958, legislation has regulated the Danish museum field, describing the role of museums, structuring the field and defining museum work. In this article, I analyse the Danish museum legislation and the related discussions since 1958 in order to track the development of the Danish museum field. Drawing on the tradition of historical institutionalism, I identify three phases of professionalization delimited by critical junctures in 1958, 1976 and 2001. Each phase is characterized by specific aims conveying a specific understanding of professionalism. Finally, I relate the current debate about the museum field to the historical context, asking whether a new critical juncture is imminent.

Author Biography

Susanne Krogh Jensen, University of Copenhagen

Ph.D. Candidate