Museum Studies at Tufts University

Exploring ideas and engaging in conversation

Month: April 2012 (page 2 of 3)

Pre-Conference Updates

For anyone lucky enough to be heading to the AAM Annual Meeting in two weeks, the Emerging Museum Professionals blog has just put up a great post about updating before you get to the conference.

It applies to other conferences as well, so keep it in mind for AASLH and NEMA this fall!

Food for Thought: Recognizing Holidays

The third Monday of April is recognized in Boston as Patriots Day. On paper, it’s a commemoration of the Battle of Lexington and Concord, one of the major events – perhaps THE major event – during the beginning of the American Revolution. Every year, there’s a large reenactment in Lexington and Concord. Local Minutemen reenactors wake at the time at which their towns were alerted that the regulars were out and march to Battle Green.

Yet, the event that everyone really celebrated today was the Boston Marathon. The news coverage this morning guessed that 500,000 people lined the marathon route. How many of those people knew that the real (on paper anyway) reason that they had the day off was because of the shot heard ’round the world? Why could I spend four hours watching live coverage of the race and during that time didn’t hear a single mention of the reenactment?

Similarly, Evacuation Day has always seemed to most people a thinly veiled excuse to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. How many people even know Evacuation Day exists?

I’m sure there are similar crossovers outside of Boston. Holidays celebrating public history are the result of years of lobbying by public history interest groups. They must have had some expectation or hope that it would raise the profile of the particular event they were commemorating.

How can museums help keep that profile higher? Is there any use to these days if we ignore them or treat them as yet another three day weekend? Are there better ways to commemorate important historic events? Why do we bother creating those holidays at all? How can we keep interpretation of them fresh?

Museums in the News

Welcome to our weekly roundup of news articles about museums.

Community asked to curate at Sitka museum

Vibrator Museum Organizers Hope To Create A Buzz (PHOTOS)

History museum gives innovative internships to high schoolers

Chinese artefacts worth £2 million stolen from university museum

Titanic deck chairs’ sad symbolism lives on

Walt Disney Family Museum preserves icon’s legacy

Georgia’s Josef Stalin museum will acknowledge atrocities

RV Museum To Live On…

Google Art goes East; India hopes it will clean up their museums’ acts

Understanding Historic Paint Colors 2012

Until someone explained to me the idea behind the Historic New England paint archive, it had never occurred to me that shades of color could shift so dramatically, at least not in the recent past. Check out this interesting workshop and learn more about paint color and historic conservation.

Ask the Experts—

The Colors of Historic Houses:
Understanding Historic Paint Colors

Friday, April 27, 11:30 am -5 PM

Historic New England Collections and Conservation Center
151 Essex Street, Haverhill, Massachusetts

Learn about the art, history, and science of using historic paint colors in settings from
everyday older homes to museums at this in-depth workshop. Architectural conservator
Brian Powell, architectural historian Susan Maycock, and experts from Historic New
England and California Paints share the latest on historic paint color palettes and current
trends in paint technology. Explore archival materials related to historic paint colors on a
tour of the Edward K. Perry paint archive. Box lunch and snacks provided.

$75 (includes Individual Historic New England membership), $35 students,
$30 Historic New England members. Price includes lunch. Registration required

For more information please call 617-994-6644, or visit

Opening Reception of Elements of Expression: The Art and Design of Elwyn George Gowen

Save the date! This years Exhibition Design class has been hard at work on a brand new exhibit at the Tufts Art Gallery, and they’re holding the reception on Thursday, May 3 from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Here’s their announcement:

Save the Date:

Opening Reception of Elements of Expression: The Art and Design of Elwyn George Gowen


Tufts University Art Gallery, Aidekman Arts Center


Thursday, May 3, 5:30-8:00 pm 

A new exhibition at the Tufts University Art Gallery introduces the life and work of the artist Elwyn George Gowen. Elements of Expression presents the breadth of Gowen’s career, featuring color theory practices, design work, handicrafts, and landscape paintings. The exhibit is curated by Tufts University students from the Museum Studies graduate program and it will be open to the public from Thursday, May 3rd – Sunday, May 20th. A public opening reception will be held on May 3rd from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m.


Gowen began his career in early 20th century Boston during a revolutionary reconsideration of western art, craft, and educational practices. His strong command of color and design soon earned him significant appointments in the local arts and crafts community. Despite Gowen’s success, a summer excursion in 1931 to the Woodbury School in Ogunquit, Maine, dramatically changed the course of his artistic career. Romanced perhaps by the beauty of the natural landscape, by the community, or the methods and style of Charles Woodbury, Gowen permanently left his design career to study, teach, and paint from nature along the rocky coast of Maine. His steadfast exploration of color theory, design, and the methods and ways of seeing became uniquely his own throughout his progression from student to educator and from designer and craftsman to artist. For directions and other general information call the Tufts University Art Gallery at 617-627-3518 or visit The Tufts University Art Gallery is located in the Aidekman Arts Center, 40R Talbot Road, Medford, MA 02155.


The Gallery’s mission is to animate the intellectual life of the greater university community through exhibitions and programs that explore new, global perspectives on art and art discourse. The Gallery admission is free and open to the public ($3 suggested donation). It is also fully accessible. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm and Thursdays 11 am to 8 pm. Free event parking is available in the lot behind the Aidekman Arts Center, off Lower Campus Road. During regular visitor hours, there are free visitor parking spots in the Gallery parking lot.

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