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Museums and the Crisis of Education

Museums and the Crisis of Education

Just a link here to a post I did for the Center for the Future of Museums blog, on the way that changes in education open possibilities for museums. Some good discussion there about the connections o museum education and other kinds of museum work.  

Contemporary collecting risky – but important

Contemporary collecting risky – but important

In which I come to the defense of Carlene Stephen’s blog post on collecting Stanley, and mostly disagree with Thomas Soderqvist on contemporary collecting – though agree with him that we need to theorize contemporary collecting better… Museums (at least American museums) commit to keeping things forever, so there’s always a risk to accessioning something into the collection. The decision to accept an artifact has a cost: acquisition costs, processing costs, and then significant storage costs, ad infinitum. The life-cycle…

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Questions to ask when visiting a museum

Questions to ask when visiting a museum

Some of my students recently made a field trip to a local museum. These are some questions I suggested they might want to ask the staff to understand their work and the way they work with each other and the public. Additions and suggestions welcome. Behind the scenes: How to ask questions of a museum Visiting Collections There’s always more to see than there’s time for. Ask to see the curator’s favorite. Or the most challenging to store. Or the…

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The quotable museum

The quotable museum

By popular demand: the quotes from my United States Naval Lyceum research that I’ve been tweeting the last week or two: Museum review, 1819: Scudders Museum, New York:  “the most revolting figures in wax…prodigies of absurdity and bad taste” 1835: Free access to an excellent library, and…to the collections of specimens of nature and art will…polish and adorn the mind.” 1855: the joy of working in a #museum comes from “the pleasure of observing the impressions which visitors severally receive.”…

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My new blog!

My new blog!

With the ending of my two-year term as director of the Haffenreffer Museum and the start of my sabbatical, I’ve started a new blog. Older entries are imported from the Haffenreffer Museum director’s blog, and (way back) from my museumblog.blogger.com museum reviews blog. Welcome.

Two final blog entries

Two final blog entries

June 30 marks the final day of my two-year term as director of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology. TIme for a sabbatical, and time for writing a book. I’ve posted two blog entries, to finish things off. One on the thrill of being director: what makes museum work so much fun? One on my thoughts, two years later, on Michael Kaiser’s 10 rules of the turnaround. And that is the end of this blog. I’ll turn it over to the…

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On the thrill of museum work

On the thrill of museum work

June 30 marks the final day of my two-year term as director of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology. I’ve mixed feelings about giving it up. On the positive side: I’ve learned a lot. I think I’ve done some good work there. Most importantly, I think the museum has made a good case for its value to the university, which is what I set out to prove. On the other hand: running a museum is all-consuming, even if it’s only supposed…

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Essay (almost) published

Essay (almost) published

MuseumsEtc. has announced the publication of A Handbook for Academic Museums: Beyond Exhibitions and Education. It includes an essay on the transformation of the Haffenreffer Museum, co-authored by Emily Stokes-Rees and me: “From Collections to Curriculum: New Approaches to Teaching and Learning at the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, Brown University. Some of the material first appeared on this blog. Coming soon to an internet near you.

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