Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on December 16, 2014 in jobs listings |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!


Weekly Jobs Round-Up

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on December 10, 2014 in jobs listings |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!


Darkness Illuminates — Guest Post by Tufts Undergraduate Jenny Allison

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on December 8, 2014 in The Wider World |

A little over a month ago, I posted some of my own reactions to participating in the Slave Dwelling Project’s overnight at the Royall House and Slave Quarters in Medford.

Accuracy vs. Authenticity in Slave Quarters — Reflections and A Call To Action

Now, as the year draws to a close, The Slave Dwelling Project has posted a great 2014 wrap-up including descriptions of the many sites that Joe McGill, the project’s founder and leader, visited.

Below is a response to the Royall House and Slave Quarters overnight by Jenny Allison, a Tufts undergraduate who also participated.


“Okay, everybody ready? Turn your lights off.”


The darkness is absolute. Everyone in the room falls silent; our breaths are raggedy from the cold scratching at our throats. The only illumination is a hazy purple-ish color, seeping in from the neighbor’s porch lights.


“The family who lived here wouldn’t have even had this amount of light,” Gracelaw, one of my companions, mentions. “They had no neighbors. It was just their family for 500 square acres.”


If anyone would know, Gracelaw would. She serves on the volunteer board of the Royall House, a preserved colonial estate and corresponding slave quarters in Medford, Massachusetts. The estate is a working museum; local area residents can visit and learn about the Royall family, who inhabited the mansion over multiple generations.


But at night, the rooms are cold and dark. No electric lights cast illumination over the sparse wooden furniture. In the small kitchen, our flashlights gleam eerily over rows of identical engraved silver plates. In the pale reflected light, I stare at the boxy wooden table and wonder who might have sat there on other cold nights, staring at a candle or speaking in hushed tones.


“The slaves were here every night long after their masters had retired to bed,” Gracelaw continues. “They were always the last to go to bed and the first to rise.” She gestures to a meager pile of what looks like scratchy cotton pillows, lumped haphazardly in one corner. “One or two might have even slept in here.”


My breath steams in the light of my headlamp, and I wonder how people were able to sleep when it was so chilly every night. After all, I am here, at least in part, to commemorate their experience: I am here to honor the hundreds of slaves who slept every night in these very spaces. And I do mean hundreds—the Royall family documented roughly 500 slaves in their possession over the course of a few decades.


In the slave quarters themselves, there is electric light and heat; our actual sleeping experience is quite comfortable. Lying in the darkness, surrounded by the quiet breathing of a handful of other Tufts students and our adult companions, I do not feel distressed. Though the history below my sleeping bag is sobering, it is difficult to feel agitated when so many people surround me. Being able to share a heavy experience with even one companion lightens its burden. Part of this makes me hopeful—hopeful that slaves were able to find true comfort in their enslaved companions, their families, their children. There is power in sharing, especially when it comes to pain, and that power should not be overlooked.


As I stare up into the blackness, trying to make out the ceiling, I marvel at how significant my experience would be to someone descended from slaves. For as captivating, and as meaningful, as this space is to me, it is more personally meaningful to somebody else.


My thoughts on this matter naturally shift to musings about the importance—perhaps even the cultural necessity—of historical space. Knowing a history, a personal story, is one step, but being in a place where such a thing really happened feels different entirely. The cold and the darkness make the experience more real than objects in glass cases ever could.


My fingertips are cold. I wonder how slaves slept to keep warm—curled up in a little ball?


And what about people who do not have such spaces? What of Native Americans who cannot return to well-preserved dwellings and connect to their ancestors that way? How can they preserve their history in an equally compelling and meaningful way? I do not know.


The questions swirl in my brain—and I know deep down that we may never find their answers. But we do know how to ensure that we keep asking these questions—we do it by doing what we are doing, by doing what Joe McGill is doing. We bring attention to these spaces, and we interact with them, and we revive them and fill them with our energy, creating a sort of bond arcing back through the centuries to touch the people who were enslaved here so many years ago.


And as I lie there, curled in a little ball, my eyes sinking shut, I do truly feel as if I have gained insight tonight. Because even though I will never be able to know what it really felt like to go to bed each night a slave, I can begin somewhere.


We have begun here.

Jenny Allison

Tufts University 2017


Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on November 30, 2014 in jobs listings |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!


Museums in the News: November Must-Reads

Posted by Abigail Zhang on November 25, 2014 in museums in the news |

Too far?


Unexpected election effects.

“unpaved the parking lot and put up a play paradise”

Make way for duck

Daylight savings time in a museum full of clocks

Museum on the move

Documentary review: Frederick Wiseman’s National Gallery

NYT notices Mass MoCA

New African American history collection online

Museum boom in Music City? Boston think so



Afternoon Tea with the Boston EMPs!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on November 23, 2014 in events |

Afternoon Tea with the Boston EMPs!

Join the Boston EMPs (Emerging Museum Professionals) for a spot of tea on Saturday, December 6th at 2:00 PM. Hosted at Abigail’s Tea Room in the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, this friendly get to together is the perfect time to catch up with new and old museum friends. In addition to enjoying a cup of tea with some friends, we will also be discussing the 96th annual NEMA conference. From first impressions to your favorite session, what did you think of this year’s conference? E-mail us at BostonEMPs [at] gmail [dot] com with your name by December 5th to reserve a spot at this event.


Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on November 22, 2014 in jobs listings |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!


Announcement — Visitor Studies Association conference in Boston in 2016

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on November 19, 2014 in conferences, professional development |

The Visitor Studies Association (VSA) is looking ahead to its July 2016 conference in Boston and sending a special invitation to area Museum Studies students to get involved in the association.  Marta Byer of the VSA (and the Museum of Science, Boston) says “We’d love to meet your students and show them how VSA can help them as a professional resource in the informal learning field even before the conference comes to town.”


Join the Visitor Studies Association!

What is VSA?

The Visitor Studies Association (VSA) is a membership organization dedicated to understanding

and enhancing learning experiences in informal settings through research, evaluation, and


VSA offers an array of services designed to foster evidence-based practice, including an annual

conference, professional development workshops, and the peer-reviewed journal Visitor

Studies. Through these and other activities, VSA helps researchers, practitioners, policy-
makers, organizational leaders, and funders advance the field of informal learning.

How can VSA help Museum Studies students?

By participating in VSA, you can

– Learn and share information about improving informal learning experiences

– Connect with others in the field

– Gain access to visitor studies resources

– Become aware of professional development opportunities

How can you get involved?

There are many opportunities for members and non-members alike to get involved!

Check our website for all the details: http://www.visitorstudies.org

Some examples of involvement:

– Join the association as a student for only $30 a year

– Attend the annual conference

o July 14-18, 2015 in Indianapolis

o July 2016 in Boston

– Propose a conference session, panel, poster, or workshop

o Deadline for 2015 conference sessions: December 8, 2014

o Find more info at http://visitorstudies.org/conference-overview

– Share your e-mail to sign up for a quarterly e-newsletter

– Subscribe to the VSA listserv and join in the conversation

– Read Visitor Studies or submit an article

– Follow us on Twitter @Visitor_Studies and on Facebook

How can you learn more?

Feel free to contact Marta Beyer, VSA Ambassador, for more information: mbeyer@mos.org



The JFK Presidential Library and Museum’s Exhibit, “To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis” Lends A Voice To The Past

Posted by Brooke Traylor on November 19, 2014 in exhibit reviews, Uncategorized |

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, located along the waterfront just south of Boston, serves as the nation’s official memorial to John F. Kennedy. The institution boasts an incredible research collection consisting of over 8.4 million pages of paper, approximately 400,000 photographs, thousands of audio recordings, and 8 million feet of film. The museum also features a permanent exhibit that offers a highly immersible experience about JFK’s running for presidency in 1960 and the Kennedy White House years that followed.

I went to the JFK Library and Museum over this past weekend to see their current special exhibition, “To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis.” The exhibit chronicles the daily events and conversations between the President and White House personnel as the Cuban Missile Crisis unfolded. As you travel through the crisis day by day, you get a sense of the gripping intensity faced under the threat of nuclear war, as well as the furious work that went in to preventing it.

Audio recordings throughout the exhibit not only magnify the event but they create a more powerful experience for the exhibit goer in that they add a human element to what otherwise would be an exhibit consisting of text and objects. As you wind through “To the Brink,” you have the opportunity of listening to various conversations between JFK and his advisors, from the initial debriefing on photographic evidence of Soviet missiles present in Cuba, to the President eerily grappling with, and saying, “You’re talking about the destruction of a country.” The recordings give a literal voice to the event and to history from those most close to it.

From jfklibrary.org

Along these lines, the exhibit examines the Cuban Missile Crisis from the perspectives of Nikita Krushchev and Fidel Castro through their own written words as well. This is helpful in that it lends a better look at what is considered to be perhaps the closest call to thermonuclear war in history.

For a total of thirteen days in October of 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis gripped the world. Fifty-two years later, this dramatic exhibition brings you back to those harrowing days as if you were in the midst of the White House deliberations yourself.


The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is open every day from 9am to 5pm except major holidays.


Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on November 17, 2014 in jobs listings |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!


Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on November 12, 2014 in jobs listings |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!

[My apologies for the lateness this week; my home wireless router is broken! -- ed.]




Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on November 2, 2014 in jobs listings |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!


Visitor Studies Association 2015 Conference, Call for Proposals

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on November 2, 2014 in Call for papers / proposals |

he Visitor Studies Association (VSA) seeks to foster a sense of community among its members, who gather once a year to pose intriguing questions, explore diverse opinions, debate controversial issues, challenge assumptions and share their successes and their struggles—in essence, to learn from one another.

Taking Action for Improvement, Growth, and Social Change

The 2015 Conference will be in Indianapolis, IN July 16-18, 2015!

The 2015 conference offers a venue for presenting new research, findings, and methods and exploring higher level topics and questions of interest to the field of informal learning. This year, the thematic focus of the keynote and plenaries will emphasize the ways in which we can take action through our work. To take action, we need to develop ourselves as creative and dynamic leaders, as individuals and within institutions and organizations dedicated to supporting informal learning opportunities; this is the key to fulfilling our potential for public service. Come join the discussion.

The Call for Session Proposals is now OPEN.

The Call for Workshop Proposals is now OPEN.


Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on October 28, 2014 in jobs listings |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!


The Massachusetts Historical Society’s Current Exhibition, “Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country,” Explores the Experience of Massachusetts Women in World War I

Posted by Brooke Traylor on October 27, 2014 in Uncategorized |

The Massachusetts Historical Society’s latest exhibit, “Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: Massachusetts Women in the First World War,” tells of the Great War from a lesser-known perspective: that of American women. Featuring photographs, letters, diaries, and memorabilia, this exhibit captures the experiences of Margaret Hall and Eleanor “Nora” Saltonstall, two women from Massachusetts who served in France and Belgium as volunteers for the Red Cross.

The exhibit is simple and sparse, but the poignant voices of these women shine through. Both women witnessed some of the most climactic months of the Great War and both documented their experiences in great detail. Margaret Hall’s photographs serve as powerful images of battered and war-torn Europe. Hall’s large-format photographs, which are on loan from the Cohasset Historical Society, strikingly hang on the gallery walls. She captured various subjects with her camera lens, from the crumbling ruins of Reims, France, to candid moments between Italian soldiers outside of battle.

Eleanor Saltonstall wrote many letters home to her family while she was a nurse in France. It is through her words that we get a more vivid and complete understanding of what the experience as a volunteer nurse was like during World War I. In one letter dating from 1918 that is on display, Saltonstall explains why she is serving abroad. She writes, “Don’t look upon me as headstrong and seeking excitement; I’m not, but I have been hunting for a job which is real work and which is a direct help, even if it is the tiniest drop in the bucket, to the ultimate close of war.”

Accompanying this exhibition are powerful World War I propaganda posters heralding American patriotism and service. In “Persuasive Images,” the visitor gets a more broad sense of the war effort at home.

“Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: Massachusetts Women in the First World War” is open at the Massachusetts Historical Society until January 24th, 2015. The exhibit is free and open to the public Monday through Saturday, 10am to 4pm.


Accuracy vs. Authenticity in Slave Quarters — Reflections and A Call To Action

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on October 22, 2014 in The Wider World |

On Friday, October 10, I had the unusual privilege of spending the night in the slave quarters of the Royall House and Slave Quarters in Medford, MA as a part of The Slave Dwelling Project, organized by Joseph McGill. This project is intended in part to raise awareness about slave quarters that still exist, and it got me thinking about what it means to have a former slave quarters as part of a historic house museum, what works, and what doesn’t. It’s a difficult subject to write about, because the past is full of powerful emotions and the future is full of hard work, but I do have some thoughts I want to share.


There is very little information about the slave quarters on the Royall estate. There is no surviving inventory and few or no description, so much of what is known has been determined through an extensive archaeology project and the evidence in the physical structure of the building. However, the building had been modernized by previous owners, which is probably the reason it is still standing, but also meant a loss of information and historical accuracy. The first floor was probably once three rooms and a kitchen, used by enslaved workers for their daily duties but not for sleeping. Now, it’s all one room except for the kitchen, and it’s used by the Royall House Association for talks, events, and other large gatherings of people. Often these events help visitors go deeper with the history of the site.The second floor of the slave quarters is a private residence. The first time I visited the museum, my friend who I had gone with told me afterwards that she was very disappointed, because she expected the slave quarters to be the big finish of the tour. On this visit, I learned that the space is used as the residence for a caretaker of the site.


The Royall House Museum and Slave Quarters has come a very long way in telling the story of all of the inhabitants from the period they are interpreting, but there’s still a lot that visitors are missing. The overnight I spent there helped me understanding just how huge the gaps in the story are. On a typical tour, visitors are guided through the colonial mansion on the property and told the story of the intertwined lives of the Royall family and the people they held as their slaves, and that’s an important story to tell, but it’s one that a historic site can tell whether or not the site includes still-standing slave quarters.


The colonial mansion is a different story; every room is filled with period furnishings, some owned by the Royalls. The contrast between the slave quarters and the mansion illustrates a familiar problem in museum work, which is that the belongings of wealthy and privileged people have been preserved over time, and the belongings of the poor and enslaved were used until they fell apart or were discarded. There simply isn’t the same stuff available. Yet, a few years ago, the Royall House Association transformed two rooms in the mansion from a colonial revival treatment they had used for decades into historically accurate spaces. Using an inventory of the house written as part of the executing of the first owner’s will, the Association started bRH_winter_kitchen_loan_exhibitiony taking erroneous items out of the chamber above the kitchen, and talking to visitors in an empty room. Once they secured the funding, they added the objects that would have actually been there (mostly replicas). Through an incredible amount of work and dedication, the house is now quite accurate to the inventory.



Accuracy takes on a different meaning when you are sleeping in the place that was once the site of someone’s captivity. The whole Slave Dwelling Project takes a lot of imagination. Each participant works to imagine ourselves in the past, even though we cannot recreate the enslaved Africans’ experience. So in the spirit of the project, imagine with me: what if recreating the slave quarters to look and feel as it did in the mid-eighteenth century were a priority? A lot would be conjecture, of course. The project leaders might find it difficult to spend time and money installing an exhibit when they knew how much research there was still to be done, but there will always be more research to do. Historic house museums have always relied at least a little bit on conjecture. A few generations ago, many historic house museums were downright fanciful, with highly romanticized visions of the past influencing every element. It would be a shame to let trends toward accuracy hold the museum field back from achieving more authenticity. After all, the purpose of making historic houses accurate is to make them represent the past authentically, isn’t it? Every museum finds a balance between presenting only what they can confirm and presenting their best guesses about the past in order to fill in the gaps in the documented story.
Museums need to take the initiative to tell the stories of enslaved workers more concretely. I don’t fault the Royall House for the fact that the “slave quarters” I slept in for one night was a well-insulated room with a hardwood floor. They have already done amazing work transforming their interpretation into something more honest than it had been. Now, other museums should emulate them but take it a step further. Of course, this work is time-consuming and expensive, so maybe I should be calling on funders and foundations to get on board.  Who is up to the challenge?


All images from www.royallhouse.org


Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on October 19, 2014 in jobs listings |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!


Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on October 13, 2014 in jobs listings |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!


Museums in the News

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on October 6, 2014 in museums in the news |

Welcome to Museums in the News. Through this column, I hope to help all of us be a little more informed and aware of the general “buzz” of the museum industry, as it is covered in mainstream news outlets. I’ll pull together a handful of stories each month, and then turn it over to you to provide comments, draw connections, and levy thoughtful critiques.
All the best,
Abigail Zhang
M.A. student, Museum Education


In Washington, the Corcoran laid to rest in peace

In Chicago, the Field Museum hosts “show and tell”

NPR tells the story of art forger Mark Landis

California National Guard closes military museum due to missing artifacts

Kudos to the staff of the Quebec Museum of Civilization


Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on October 6, 2014 in jobs listings |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!


Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on September 29, 2014 in jobs listings |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!


What I did… right after my summer vacation

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on September 24, 2014 in The Wider World |

At the start of the semester, I did something I had never done before. I wrote my first computer game, and submitted it to my first virtual game jam. A game jam is a gathering of game developers working on games collaboratively or competitively — they are often held as all-night sessions in person, but they can also run for a longer period of time online, often a few weeks. I was because I have several friends who are game designers or otherwise active in the gaming industry, and for weeks, I had been hearing about a social media explosion called “gamergate.” Essentially, there has been a growing trend in video game culture for audiences to demand better representation of their own diversity and humanity in the games they play. A vocal and violent portion of the demographic that has stereotypically been thought of as the video game audience (white teenage boys and adult men who act like teenagers) object to these efforts. According to them, women, queer people, trans people, people of color, people who are interested in experimental game ideas, and more are “ruining” video games. A friend of mine decided to respond by running a jam called “Ruin Jam” dedicated to “celebrating the nonexistent demise of video games” — responding to the hatred with irreverence and creativity.

A whopping eighty-two games were created and submitted for Ruin Jam! I am very happy for my friend Caelyn, who ran it — it was the first jam she has run and promoted herself — and for those of us who participated, who included neophytes like me and experienced game designers. My game is just a preview of a full-length game I hope to write some day, but I’m pleased with it. I drew from a topic I explored in a paper for Material Culture class last semester, using personal objects to mitigate or sit with the fear of being forgotten. The excerpt of my game deals with a young family commissioning a set of lockets. You can play it here.

So, what’s this doing in my Wider World column, where I write about ways we as museum students can look at museums from diverse viewpoints?

There are several reasons I’m writing about this experience here:

- Games in museums are hot right now! I probably don’t have to tell you that, between the online Gaming in Education conference last week and today’s Lunch with NEMA about mobile games.

- I want to tell you about the game writing tool I used, because you may want to use it yourself! Twine is an open-source tool for writing text-based games, and you don’t need any coding knowledge to get started. You’re not going to create a blockbuster museum app on Twine, but you might create a simple choose-your-own-adventure story for your museum’s website or blog.

- The experience of the game jam was excellent. Some museums are already tapping into creative subcultures, whether it’s by hosting art nights or maker fairs. As inclusive as these events are intended to be, they are often only going to get to small niches of people… after participating in a loosely organized creative event like this one, I’m inclined to believe that’s an argument to have more creative subculture events (online, in museums, wherever!), not fewer. We need diversity and flexibility in order to reach people. I will probably develop my thoughts on creative subculture events at museums in another post, but hopefully, this post has gotten you thinking a little about the topic as well.


Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on September 21, 2014 in jobs listings |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!


Panel Discussion this Tuesday at the Mary Baker Eddy Library

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on September 19, 2014 in professional development |

Student Marie Palladino sent this announcement in. Thanks, Marie!

— A Panel Discussion and Presentation —





A panel of experts will address such questions as:

• How is the digital revolution affecting historical research and the dissemination of information?

• What does this mean for all of us, amid increasing expectations for transparency and the immediacy

of accessing historical records and documents?

• Fast, cheap, and thorough—Can you have it all?

Panelists will present case studies:

DR. NEIL MANN (The New York Public Library), on digitizing significant literary manuscript collections

and making them available online.

NANCY HEYWOOD (The Massachusetts Historical Society), on opening up extensive digital resources

around prized collections, such as the Adams Papers.

DR. SHERRY DARLING (The Mary Baker Eddy Library), on launching the Mary Baker Eddy Papers online this

past January.


BETH LUEY, a leader in the field of documentary editing, has served as President of the Association

for Documentary Editing and related professional organizations. She is the author of Handbook for Academic

Authors, now in its fifth edition.

For more information, contact Jonathon Eder, Programs Producer: 617-450-7131 | ederj@mbelibrary.org


Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on September 15, 2014 in jobs listings |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!


Behind the velvet rope: Revealing process with museum tours and programs — guest post by instructor Ken Turino

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on September 14, 2014 in Uncategorized |

Tufts Instructor Ken Turino passed along this article he published last month on Public History Commons.

Public History Commons Editor’s Note: In “What I’ve Learned Along the Way: A Public Historian’s Intellectual Odyssey,” outgoing NCPH President Bob Weyeneth issued a call to action to public historians to include the public more fully in our work by “pulling back the curtain” on our interpretive process-how we choose the stories we tell. In this series of posts, we’ve invited several public historians to reflect on projects that do exactly that, assessing their successes and examining the challenges we face when we let the public in through the door usually reserved for staff.

Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House, in Gloucester, Massachusetts is now interpreted as the home of a gay man.

As a public historian working in a museum, Robert R. Weyeneth’s call to “lift the veil” and bring the public into the interpretive process is welcome–and necessary if we want to broaden the kinds of stories we tell. As Jennifer Pustz writes in Voices from the Back Stairs, “the influx of academically trained historians on museum staffs and the subsequent influence of social history on exhibitions and interpretation have resulted in a broader definition of authenticity that can encompass the whole truth, warts and all, and the history of all Americans.” [1]

Why, then, are many museums and historic sites so reticent to explore diverse stories? Do they fear the public’s reaction? If so, why aren’t we involving the visitor more in the process of historical interpretation?

- Read the full article at http://publichistorycommons.org/behind-the-velvet-rope/#sthash.OmXhPsHs.dpuf


The deadline for NEMA scholarships is September 19!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on September 14, 2014 in Uncategorized |

Don’t delay – the deadline for scholarships is fast approaching!

NEMA is pleased to offer several scholarship and fellowship opportunities to make the annual conference more financially accessible. Scholarship awards support travel, lodging, and three-day registration for individual members of NEMA and employees of NEMA institutional members.

The deadline for all scholarship programs is September 19, 2014.

Only one application is necessary to apply for all scholarships and fellowships. Note: Individual opportunities have slightly differing requirements in the essay portion of the application.

You will be notified of the final award decisions in early October. In the event that your application is unsuccessful, you may still register at the early-bird rate at any time before conference.

Click here for complete details including a scholarship application form.


DATE CHANGE: Young professionals event at Old North Church October 1

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on September 10, 2014 in Uncategorized |

Erin Wederbrook Yuskaitis passed this along. Thanks, Erin! The NEW DATE of this event is October 1.

Do you live in Boston but have never visited the Old North Church on the Freedom Trail? Do you want to learn more about this nationally significant historic building in Boston’s favorite neighborhood? Perhaps you actually live in the North End but have never stepped inside! You are not alone. Lots of busy young professionals have not had time to explore every interesting historic site or museum in the city. So we invite you to come see what our exciting campus has to offer the local community. Over 500,000 tourists visit us every year, but we’d like to meet YOU!
Join the Old North Foundation staff and other local young professionals for a mix-and-mingle reception in our fabulous Washington Courtyard (weather permitting), explore the church and hear a brief overview about the architecture and Paul Revere’s famous midnight ride, and learn more about plans for our upcoming 300th anniversary. What better way to spend a lovely early fall evening?
Bring a friend or colleague – all are welcome!
Wine, beer, and appetizers provided. Afterward, dine at one of the many fantastic restaurants in the North End!

Are there ID requirements or an age limit to enter the event?
Young Professionals are those 21-39 years of age. Sorry, you must be 21 to attend.

What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?
As always the best way to get here is on foot/public transportation. The closest T stops are the green and orange lines at Haymarket or the blue line at Aquarium.

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?
Call Renie Pavilon at 617-523-6676 x105

Is my registration/ticket transferrable?
Sorry, tickets are not transferrable.
Have questions about Young Professionals Meet & Greet at the Old North Church? Contact Old North Foundation.



Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on September 8, 2014 in jobs listings |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!


Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on September 1, 2014 in jobs listings |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!


Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on August 25, 2014 in jobs listings |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!



Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on August 18, 2014 in jobs listings |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!


The Tufts Museum Studies blog is seeking new contributors!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on August 11, 2014 in blog news, professional development |
The Tufts Museum Studies blog is always open to new contributors, but as the new school year rolls around, we are actively recruiting. The blog is authored and managed by current students — alumni and experienced museum professionals are welcome to contribute guest posts.

Students, whether you are brand-new to Tufts this Fall or you’ve  been around for a while, consider writing a stand-alone blog post or a column. Columns can be weekly, monthly, you name it. You can work with others or on your own. If you prefer to create photo collages or some other media rather than writing, we’re open to that, too!

Feel free to browse the archives for inspiration. Here are some topics that have been covered on the blog in the past, but aren’t being covered on a regular basis now. You are welcome to pick up one of these and make it the theme of your own column or blog post, or start from scratch!

  • Museums in the News
  • Book reviews and recommendations
  • The future of museums
  • Interviews with museum professionals
  • Museum reviews
  • Science Museums — we haven’t had a column on history museums, art museums, or children’s museums before, but it would be welcome, too
If you are interested or have questions, contact Tegan at tufts.museum.blog@gmail.com or comment on this post.


Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on August 10, 2014 in jobs listings, Uncategorized |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!


The Wider World: How Do You Keep Up?

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on August 5, 2014 in The Wider World |
On my first day at Tufts, when all of the new students were sitting in the sweltering heat in the Gantcher Center, one of the speakers of our matriculation ceremony said to us, “From this point forward, you are behind.” He explained that in academia, there will always be more journal articles we need to read, lectures we need to attend, and so on, and that’s okay, and it will be that way our whole careers. He cautioned us not to get too far behind, but reminded us it is not a sign of failure if we are behind.
Optimistic words.
I find that in the parts of my Tufts life and professional life that aren’t part of “academia,” this may be even more true. Museums are constantly changing, and museum professionals are constantly trying new things and studying what works and what doesn’t.  How do you keep up? Well, I’m not an expert, but I am someone with a bit of practice at trying to keep up, so here are my tips.
  • Decide what you definitely don’t need to spend time reading. In my opinion, a blog post published on LinkedIn is  more likely than not a reach for internet clout on the part of the author, rather than a real contribution to a discussion. That just goes for the blog posts, however; LinkedIn discussion forums can be valuable.



  • Use social media to your advantage. I am going to scroll down my Facebook feed a couple times a day anyway, so it’s a good way to keep up with what’s happening at museums I care about and museum organizations that are doing cool work. Personally, I frequently find twitter overwhelming because there’s just so much there, but I follow all my favorite museums, NEMA, Museums Re:Blog, and others on Facebook, and then I get the short version of the news as it’s happening.


  • Keep track of blogs and other feeds with a feed aggregator (rest in peace, Google Reader). My current favorite is “The Old Reader.” It has the features I like, such as toggling between “show all” and “show unread,” and the option to mark something as read just by scrolling past it. It also has the option of using Spritz, a third-party speed-reading tool that I enjoy using occasionally. “Spritzing” mixes up my reading routine and helps me stay focused rather than letting my mind wander while I skim articles. The makers of Spritz also offer a bookmarklet so you can use their tool on any website; I have found it easier to use on some sites than others.


  • Whether it’s news in the field or something you’re reading for a class, it’s always a good idea to pay attention to how you are reading. Simple learning tricks such as reading the table of contents first, and reviewing chapters or sections  that are less important to you by reading the first and last few paragraphs, can go a long way to sorting through the massive amounts of information out there. I strongly recommend the modern classic How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren for an in-depth treatment of these and other strategies.

This post is geared towards keeping up with information by reading, partly because a large portion of media related to our fields is print-based, but also partly because I’m a fairly visual learner, and I’m much less likely to listen to a podcast or watch a video than I am to read a blog post. If you have tips for the audio-inclined, or any other thoughts on how you keep up, I encourage you to share them in the comments.


Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on August 3, 2014 in jobs listings |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!


Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on July 26, 2014 in jobs listings |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!


Help out a NEMA session by taking this survey

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on July 22, 2014 in Uncategorized |

Do you have a few minutes to spare to help with the data behind a NEMA 2014 conference panel?

Tufts Alum Amanda Gustin is chairing a panel titled “The Graduate School Conundrum.” The panel will open with analysis of trends in museum graduate education, and in order to do that analysis we need your help!

Whether or not you have a degree, whether or not you currently have a museum job, we are hoping you’ll fill out the survey and tell us a little bit about your background and your thoughts.

Survey link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1JPVHLvpoh_oJX5vh6xEHgtia7W4qVk0_ViyY70grjKU/viewform

The data will be followed by a conversational debate between Tufts program director Cynthia Robinson and museum consultant Linda Norris (of The Uncataloged Museum blog).

Here’s the official session description:

As the museum field has continued to professionalize, museum studies, public history, and other similar graduate programs seem to multiply at an exponential rate. What’s going on? We’ll present information from a 2014 survey of museum graduates & museum programs, and then continue with a conversational debate between panelists about the state, practicality, diversity, value, and future of museum studies. We will also invite questions and feedback from the audience.

Look for the results and panel discussion at the 2014 NEMA Annual Conference in Cambridge this fall! (More info on the conference at http://www.nemanet.org/conference-events/conference/2014-conference/main/.


Session proposals for the AAM Conference are now open!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on July 22, 2014 in conferences |


See http://www.aam-us.org/events/annual-meeting/sessions for details.

 Session Proposal Submission Opens        July 16
 Session Proposal Submission Deadline        August 25
 Session Acceptance/Non-Acceptance Sent        mid-November


Weekly Jobs Round-up!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on July 20, 2014 in jobs listings |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!

Director [Columbus Museum] 

Assistant Curator – Arms and Armor [The Met] 

Curatorial Assistant [Cincinnati Art Museum] 

Senior Membership Manager [National 9/11 Memorial and Museum]

Exhibitions Coordinator [Asia Society Texas Center] 

Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs & Programs [Anchorage Museum] 

Photography and Image Rights Manager [Saint Louis Art Museum]

Director of Exhibitions and Design [Saint Louis Art Museum]

Education Specialist [Key West Art & Historical Society] 

Collections Manager [Iolani Palace] 

Exhibition Designer [The Met] 

Manager of Teaching and Learning [Brooklyn Historical Society]

Associate Collections Information Specialist [The Met]

Science Educator, Americorps Service Member [Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium] 

Head of Education [Connecticut Public Affairs Network - CT Old State House] 

Assistant Curator [Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum] 

Operations Manager and Assistant to the Director [Fuller Craft Museum]

Guest Curators (Volunteer) Unbound Visual Arts, Inc.

Curator of Furniture [Historic Deerfield]

Part-Time Museum Administrator [Gibson House Museum]


Upcoming Symposium in Boston

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on July 20, 2014 in boston emps, professional development |

Recent Tufts alumna Lauren Reddy passed this announcement along. Thanks, Lauren!

Full-time student registration is $35, and there are a limited number of scholarships available.



The Boston Athenaeum, 10 1/2 Beacon Street, Boston, Massachusetts
October 3, 2014 at 8:00 am – 3:30 pm

On Friday, October 3, five speakers from Europe and the United States will come together to share experiences from their museums and heritage sites which have successfully integrated technology into interpretations of their historic interiors and landscapes. From mobile applications to virtual recreations, learn from these 21st-century innovators and come away with cutting-edge ideas from museum professionals around the world. Please join us for this full-day event.


Lee Glazer, PhD- Associate Curator, American Art, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC
Victoria Kastner – Historian, Hearst Castle, San Simeon, California
Annie Kemkaran-Smith – Curator (Art Collections) Down House, National Collections Group, London, UK
John A. Sibbald – Chairman, Virtual Hamilton Palace Trust, Hamilton, Scotland
Loic Tallon – Senior Mobile Manager, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


Telephone: 617.227.6993
Email: info@nicholshousemuseum.org



The Wider World: Design with the Public in Mind

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on July 16, 2014 in The Wider World |

by Tegan Kehoe

Have you seen the news? An activist group in London has begun pouring concrete over metal spikes that deter people from loitering and homeless people from sleeping in certain areas.. As it turns out, the field of designing to influence behavior is a pretty developed one. Designers install all kinds of features to make a space inhospitable to loitering. Some features look formidable, such as spikes and rough metal, but others, such as stone fill and undulating surfaces, are passed off as decorative elements. Some people say all design aims to influence behavior, whether it’s architecture or a mobile app.  

folding cane stool


The design choices we make when trying to predict and guide the flow of people in exhibits and other museum spaces are also a form of design to influence behavior, although we may not think of them that way. You don’t put seating in an area where you want people to move along quickly. You make the font bigger when you want to make sure the audience reads something. I think that museum students and professionals could learn a lot by studying how urban planners think about design, to get an better understanding of the choices we make and how to make them.



First, there are the most direct applications. I work in downtown Boston, an area which has a homelessness problem. Until the city addresses the problem or provides adequate shelter, it’s pretty much a given that people will sleep in the covered stairwells leading into our building and many others in the neighborhood. If I had the luxury of designing a museum building, I would add an overhang with seating and a water fountain on one side, so that people who need protection from the elements overnight don’t sleep in front of doorways. It could even be heated in winter; solar-powered heated bus shelters have been around for years now. It would be a win-win, since we wouldn’t have to clear out the doorways each morning and people in need would be just a little safer and more comfortable. I don’t know if there is a solution that can be appropriately retrofit to our eighteenth-century building, but I’m going to keep thinking.



Learning from urban planning’s design for behavior can also be done in more creative ways. Museum researchers who do visitor studies look at which visitor spend time where, and with what features. Shouldn’t we all be doing that? This would incorporate a lot of existing knowledge, for example, if you want people to stay, make them comfortable, give them restrooms and seats. It would simply be a new way of looking at what we know and what we want to learn. It’s often valuable to start an exhibit planning process by asking ourselves “What do we want visitors to get out of this?” but shouldn’t we also ask, “How do we want them to behave?” As long as the outcome of this discussion is about supporting and encouraging visitors in good behavior, rather than rearranging the galleries into a panopticon with the guards at the center, I think it’s worth trying.



Weekly Jobs Round-up!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on July 13, 2014 in jobs listings |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!

Research/Evaluation Associate [Museum of Science, Boston]

Education Coordinator [McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center] 

Director of Marketing [Newport Art Museum]

Oral History Intern [Nantucket Historical Association] 

Museum Registrar (temporary) [Bellarmine Museum of Art] 

Collections and Archives Manager [Saco Museum] 

Deputy Director, Collections, Research & Exhibitions [Corning Museum of Glass] 

Executive Director [Boothbay Railway Village] 

Executive Director [Montshire Museum of Science] 

Entry Level Research Historian [History Associates Incorporated]

Director of Exhibits [The Heath Museum] 

Executive Director [Palo Alto History Museum] 

Senior Museum Collections Manager [History Associates Incorporated] 

Project Coordinator/Collections Manager Soldier’s Memorial Project [Missouri History Museum] 

Curatorial Assistant [Thomas Jefferson Foundation - Monticello]

History Museum Manager [City of Tempe]

Head of Interpretation and Participatory Experiences [Minneapolis Institute of Arts] 

Curator and Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs [Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University] 

Associate Curator [Akron Art Museum] 

Assistant Art Curator [The Museums of Los Gatos] 

Manager of Visitor Services [Lower East Side Tenement Museum]

Preparator/Curatorial Assistant [Monterey Museum of Art]

Curator of Contemporary Art [Phoenix Art Museum] 

Curator of Collections & Exhibitions [Lauren Rogers Museum of Art]

Executive Director [Dubuque Museum of Art]

Research Assistant / Greek and Roman Art [The Met] 

Collections Manager [Franklin and Marshall College] 

Collections Manager/Registrar [Denison Museum]

Public Programs Manager [Bay Area Discovery Museum] 

Education Manager [Putnam Museum and Science Center] 

Chief Curator [Anchorage Museum] 

Executive Director [The Society of Arts and Crafts] 

Gallery Learning Museum Educator [Museum of Fine Arts, Boston]

Curator of Academic Projects [Rose Art Museum] 

Collections Manager [Mingei International Museum] 


Weekly Jobs Round-up!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on July 6, 2014 in jobs listings |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!

Curatorial Assistant [The Buffalo Bill Center of the West]

William and Sarah Ross Soter (Associate) Curator of Photography [Columbus Museum of Art]

Collections Manager [The Metropolitan Museum of Art]

Director of Education and Public Programs [The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza]

Chief Preparator [Yerba Buena Center for the Art]

Visitor Services Manager [National 9/11 Memorial and Museum]

The Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow [RISD Museum]

Education Manager [Putnam Museum and Science Center]

Deputy Director Collections, Research and Exhibitions [Corning Museum of Glass]

Marketing & Events Director [Old South Meeting House]

Manager of Exhibitions and Gallery Education [New Art Center in Newton]

Manager of Science Education [Brooklyn Children's Museum]

Director of Education [Elkhorn Valley Museum]

Development Coordinator [deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum]

UMFA Coordinator of Educator Programs [Utah Museum of Fine Arts]

UMFA Coordinator of Educator Programs [Utah Museum of Fine Arts]


Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on July 1, 2014 in jobs listings |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!

- Manager, Maritime Artisans Program [Plimoth Plantation]

- Educator Specialist [Mystic Seaport Museum]

- Curator [Natick Historical Society]

- Director of Education and Public Programs [Concord Museum]

- Manager of Family & Youth Programs [deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum]

- Associate Preparator [deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum]

- Education Director [American Indian Studies Museum and Research Center]

- Manager of Content and Curriculum, Secondary Level Programs [American Museum of Natural History]

- Adult Programs Coordinator [Peabody Essex Museum]

- Executive Assistant to the President/CEO [Boston Children's Museum]


Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on June 22, 2014 in jobs listings |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!

- Maine Memory Network Content Assistant [Maine Historical Society]

- Manager of Youth and School Programs [Heritage Museum and Gardens]

- Deputy Director for Education & Audience Engagement [Montclair Art Museum]

- Director of Education and Interpretation [The Hermitage]

- Collections Specialist [Newseum]

- Collections Manager [National Law Enforcement Museum]

- Collections Technician [National Museum of Health and Medicine]

- Assistant/Associate Curator (Art of the Ancient Americas) [Los Angeles County Museum of Art]

-Assistant Registrar [Veritude at Fidelity Investments]

-Adult Programs Manager [Columbia Museum of Art]

- Assistant Registrar [Farnsworth Art Museum]

- Curator of American Art [Newark Museum]

- Collections Manager and Registrar [American Museum of Ceramic Art]

- Curator of Collections [Rockwell Museum]

- Volunteer Coordinator [Woodmere Art Museum]

- Education Program Coordinator [Iowa Children's Museum]

- Exhibitions Coordinator [Asia Society Texas Center]

- Director of Education and Public Programs [Georgia O'Keefe Museum]

- Executive Director [American Clock and Watch Museum]


The Wider World: Getting to Know a New Area

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on June 21, 2014 in The Wider World |

Summer is often a time of change. Many recent graduates of the Tufts Museum Studies program are either already in, or in the process of finding, jobs that will take them to places they have never lived. Many of us are interning somewhere new to us. It’s great!

If museums are community institutions, and I believe they are (or should be), then when museum professionals are new to the community their museum serves, getting to know the neighborhood isn’t just a fun part of a new adventure in life. It’s an essential part of being  engaged and responsible in your new role. Here are some resources for getting to know a new area.

If your new area has a substantial population of a different ethnic background from you, or a significant low-income population, the series of “How Not to Be a Gentrifier” articles that were going around the internet a few months ago can be quite useful, especially if your own background includes racial or economic privilege. The most well-known and perhaps “original” version of this article refers specifically to Oakland, California. For a more generally applicable version, I recommend the one on Alternet. Both were written by Dannette Lambert.

Image by RedJar on Flickr, some rights reserved.

Image by RedJar on Flickr, some rights reserved.

Believe it or not, Mashable has some pretty good tips for putting your finger on the pulse of a new area, especially if it’s a city – Some of these are common sense, but when you’re dealing the the day-to-day details of living in a new place, like, “when’s trash day again?” it can be nice to have a list like this to help you remember the resources available to you for the more fun stuff.

While digging up resources for this post, I also noticed a number of common recommendations:
- Explore on foot or by bicycle to really get to know the place.

- Explore by public transit, even if you have a car.
- Take a guided walking tour offered by a community organization, another museum, or even a local hostel or hotel.
- Join local mailing lists or online communities.
I also loved one gem I only saw in one article. The rest of the article wasn’t very good, so I’m paraphrasing the best of it: read fiction set in your new area and written by locals. If possible, read local poetry, look at local art, listen to local music, and watch local films as well.
Have you moved to a new area recently, or do you have memories of getting to know a new place that you want to share? What are your recommendations? Feel free to chime in in the comments!


Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on June 15, 2014 in jobs listings |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!


The Changing of the Guard

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on June 15, 2014 in blog news |
Congratulations to our outgoing blog manager, Phillippa Pitts, who graduated from Tufts with a Master’s in Art History and Museum Studies this spring.

Regular readers of the blog will know me, Tegan, as the author of the monthly column “The Wider World.” I’m going to be managing the blog this year. As in the past, you can send questions, inquiries about doing a column or guest post, and other communication that you don’t want to just leave in the comments to me at tuftsmuseumblog@gmail.com. Of course, if you have a response to a post here, you are always welcome to leave a comment.

As many of the students who have contributed to the blog this past year have now graduated, now’s an excellent time to get involved with the blog if you are interested! Shoot me an email if you want to write a guest post or a column. You can write columns weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or on a schedule you propose. You can share column-writing duties with another student interested in the same topic, or do your own thing. Drop me a line!



Weekly Jobs Round-up!

Posted by Tegan Kehoe on June 8, 2014 in jobs listings, Uncategorized |

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!


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