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Welcome! This is a community research site about museums, wealth and democracy. If you're interested in what you find here, please help us.

How are museums organized?

  • Who visits museums and what do they hope to find?
  • Who runs museums and why?
  • Where does money come from to support a museum?
  • How are museums similar and how are they different from public libraries, sports teams, hospitals and other civic institutions?
  • How might museums function differently?

Can we design a better museum?

The research gathered here will be used to devise a proposal to transform the Seattle Art Museum. Each step along the way we hope to open up conversations about art, wealth and democracy. In this way, we hope to transform how we understand what is possible for ourselves and our city.

Who is working on this?

This site was started by Seattle artist Matthew Offenbacher and is growing with the assistance of David Strand, a student at Seattle University. We hope you will help us too.

Current Research Topics

Seattle Art Museum

Museum Challenges

SAM and Washington Mutual

Other Civic Institutions

Co-ops in Seattle

Utopian Socialism

Wealth Inequality in Seattle

Institution critique

Case Studies

About Seattle Art Mutual