Content Categorized ‘museums’

Lighting in an interdimensional portal in the House of Eternal Return

Museum Lessons from the House of Eternal Return

Posted on September 19, 2016 under museums | 1 Comment

A few weeks ago I visited the museum-like installation the House of Eternal Return, part of the Meow Wolf art complex in an old bowling alley in Santa Fe. It was absolutely sui generis, an alternate reality game in exhibit form, an experiment in experiential storytelling where you were not only allowed but encouraged and indeed required […]

Bingham quote from Pacific Worlds

Labeling Colonialism

Posted on October 16, 2015 under museums | 2 Comments

When history museums interpret stories of colonialism and oppression, words matter. But which words are the right ones? Museums that interpret charged historical stories are often criticized as preachy or politically correct if they use certain words, or cowardly if they avoid them. But words like “colonialism” can also be overdetermined, too filled with ambient […]

Museum revival

Posted on April 1, 2015 under museums | 1 Comment

  There’s been an interesting recent surge of interest in exhibiting religion in museums, particularly history museums.  I’m part of an NCPH Working Group this year on Religion, Historic Sites and Museums.  The National Museum of American History just had a symposium on religion in early America, with an exhibit on the topic to open […]

Four things

Posted on August 15, 2014 under me, museums

that I’ve written recently: an op-ed about World’s Fairs a Kern Your Enthusiasm piece about braille fonts a blog post about an exhibit project and a co-authored book chapter about collecting contemporary technology.  

Triumphant returns

Posted on July 21, 2014 under museums

One of the sharpest museum blogs is back! (Perhaps one day I will also be back.)

Sustainable Practices for Co-Created Exhibits

Posted on March 18, 2014 under museums, public history, Uncategorized

Come to our NCPH session, this Thursday morning at 8:30 as part of the NCPH annual meeting in sunny, convenient Monterey. How can co-created projects become a sustainable part of our work?  This roundtable includes participants who have facilitated recurring co-created exhibits and other projects involving museums, community organizations, students, artists, and other diverse partners. […]

Book Review: Who Owns America’s Past?

Posted on December 2, 2013 under history of technology, museums

Robert C. Post, Who Own’s America’s Past? The Smithsonian and the Problem of History.  Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013. Bob Post’s new book is a hybrid account—it covers both the history of cultural history at the Smithsonian and Post’s own career as a curator.  He traces the usual story of how Joseph Henry didn’t want to […]

What World’s Fairs Were Like

Posted on September 6, 2013 under museums

I’m working on an exhibit about the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, the World’s Fair in San Francisco in 1915, and I’ve been struggling to communicate what, experientially, it was like to be in the crowd at an early 20th century Fair.  Some of my best attempts: They were like the State Fair, but with better architecture. […]

Support the DIA

Posted on July 30, 2012 under museums

This is a post for my friends in the three-county metro Detroit region, before our primary elections next Tuesday, August 7. On the primary ballot this year in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties is a millage proposal to help fund the Detroit Institute of Arts, our amazing local art museum. The DIA has been suffering from […]

Belated Conference Report

Posted on May 1, 2012 under me, museums, public history

It is a testament to the quality and high level of engagement of this year’s NCPH conference that the web is already full of conference reports; here’s mine. The NCPH/OAH meeting in Milwaukee was full of interesting sessions on vital work in the field, passionate people doing good history, free wifi, and excellent beer. I’m […]