The Museum Union Wave Dossier

At the literal and figurative center of the Summer 2020, Living & Working issue was The Museum Union Wave, an extensive research project by Maxwell Paparella that tracks the wave of museum unionizations in the US, which began in 2018 and collided with COVID-19.

This dossier brings together the elements of Paparella’s research. The essay, The Museum Union Wave, offers a narrative overview of recent museum unionization efforts and demands for accountability. The accompanying timeline, with expanded content in this online iteration, meticulously documents unionization efforts—and in some cases, institutional backlash—of 18 museums in the US. The companion glossary offers definitions for common union terms, labor organizing jargon, and unpacks the acronyms that typically stand in for union names.