Content Categorized ‘museums’

Curating the kraken

Posted on February 1, 2012 under museums

While much ink has been spilled on the role of curation and curators writ large in contemporary culture, it’s useful to have a reminder of the power of the curatorial enterprise–to radically revalue objects, to change their contexts and transform them into something else, into artifacts. China Mieville’s Kraken (2010) explores the way curation can literally rewrite […]

How Twitter helped me write exhibit labels

Posted on September 6, 2011 under community, me, museums, twitterstorians | 3 Comments

This post is part of a blog celebration of two-year anniversary of the #twitterstorians community, organized by the indefatigable Katrina Gulliver. I’ve spent most of the past two years working on a very large automotive history exhibit. 80,000 sq ft, to be exact–bigger than most museums and probably the biggest exhibit I will ever have […]

Roundup for 8/12

Posted on August 12, 2011 under history of science, museums, public history | 2 Comments

Since I seem to be blogging again, here’s a links post on recent topics in publichistoryland. Various reports, updates and roundups on the document thieves who targeted historical societies, archives and presidential libraries.   A costumed first-person interpreter at Plimoth Plantation has a piece in The Hairpin entitled The Ladies of the 17th Century Were […]

Public History of Science and Technology

Posted on August 11, 2011 under history of science, history of technology, me, museums, public history | 2 Comments

Remember this conference? This great event about the Public History of Science and Technology will be happening September 11-14 at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC.  The program is up and registration will soon follow. I’ll be talking about cabinets of curiosity and contemporary museum practice on the 13th, and the program is […]

On disasters

Posted on May 27, 2011 under libraries, museums

I was about to write a post on libraries and museums in Joplin and across the recent tornado and flooding zones–but it seems useful to take a step back.  I want to understand why I’m so drawn to reflection on cultural heritage responses and recoveries in the face of disasters, both natural and human-made.  There are two ideas here […]

Roundup for 2/11

Posted on February 11, 2011 under history of science, museums

I’m sure you’ve all seen the Google Art Project, a neat visualization of works of art in 17 big Western art museums.  Official blog announcement.  Behind-the-scenes blog from the Tate. This post at Curator by Nancy Proctor has comments from lots of smart people thinking about museum/web issues and  is a great overview of the […]

Book Review: A Skeptic’s Guide to Writer’s Houses

Posted on February 4, 2011 under museums, public history

Historic house museums are in trouble. Everybody says so. There are so many of them in North America, and they’re one of the most financially precarious types of museums, but they continue to proliferate. We have conference sessions called “Why are historic house tours so boring?”  Museum folks write practical books about doing something more […]

Heartwarming heritage news roundup

Posted on February 1, 2011 under museums, preservation

I don’t know enough about Egyptian politics to comment intelligently, but I have been keeping my eye on the welfare of  museums and cultural heritage during this uprising.  And the news has been generally good. In Alexandria, the library was protected by groups of organized youth, as the director of the Biblioteca Alexandrina, Ismail Serageldin, said in two recent […]

A good deaccession story

Posted on January 11, 2011 under museums

Museum deaccessions as portrayed in the media run the gamut from clearly unethical  to pretty fishy. But deaccessioning is part of regular practice in collecting institutions.  Our responsibility is to steward and shape a living collection. Both accessions and deaccessions are governed by an institution’s mission and collecting policy—does the artifact fit our mission?  Is it in […]

Museums in the news

Posted on December 16, 2010 under museums, public history

I expect you all have heard about the controversy regarding a work pulled under political pressure by the Smithsonian from the queer portraiture show “Hide/Seek” at the National Portrait Gallery. For background, Tyler Green has been covering this story exhaustively.  Apparently the word to cut “A Fire in My Belly” came directly from Secretary Wayne Clough, who has otherwise by all accounts been doing good […]