Museum Studies at Tufts University

Exploring ideas and engaging in conversation

Author: aking14 (page 1 of 2)

Weekly Job Roundup

Northeast:

Exhibition Assistant (for a Korean Art show) (Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA)

Exhibit Technician (Harvard Museums of Science and Culture, Cambridge, MA)

Collections Curator and Registrar (Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College, Clinton, NY)

Midwest:

Curator of Education (Wyoming State Museum, Cheyenne, Wyoming)

West:

Community Outreach Archivist/Librarian (Anchorage Museum, Anchorage, AK)

Major Gifts & Planned Giving Officer (Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA)

Mid-Atlantic:

Cultural Resources Professionals (PB&A, Washington, D.C.)

Program Specialist (National Museum of African History and Culture, Washington, D.C.)

Advancement Assistant (Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Art, Washington, D.C.)

South:

Volunteer Manager (Country Hall of Fame and Museum, Nashville, TN)

Associate Registrar (The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL)

Assistant to the Director and Special Projects Manager (Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, FL)

Autumnal Museum Day Trip

As we say goodbye to the summer and step into fall, I want to plan a Spooky Season day trip for people. The month of Halloween, aka October, is an opportunity to enjoy local and tourist fun by heading to Salem, and more specifically, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM). The museum just opened their new wing that has three floors to explore, plus a garden to relax in. I happened to walk by with friends to see the huge throngs of people that were lucky to get free museum admission on this opening weekend.

New wing on right

So, from Tufts, you want to get to North Station. You could drive on to the Mystic Valley Parkway about a mile away from the university, and then head to Salem via I-93 N and I-95 N, or just I-95 N if you want the extra scenery, or you could even take the Lynn Fells Parkway. The parking at the Salem T station is M-F $5 and $2 on the weekends. The PEM/Mall garage is $1.25/hour, but the rates kick up in their primetime, so maybe public transit is the best option.

Or, if you are pressed for coin, you could take the train. Grab the 101 bus to Sullivan, take the Orange Line to North Station, and then the Newburyport/Rockport Line 1113 towards Rockport, and get off at the Salem station, which is a couple minute walk from PEM. So, now you arrive on a Tuesday through Sunday betwixt 10 and 5. Last time I visited, Tufts’ IDs got you in for free, otherwise the student ticket price is $18. 

PEM main entrance

Their Expansion page on their website wants to entice with their mission of “creating transformative experiences of art, culture and other forms of creative expression that encourage exploration, discovery and wonder.” Not just exhibit space, but a collection center will be completed—perhaps a future Tufts Museum Studies field trip could get us a BTS sneak peek.

The new installations are with the times, so to speak, and highlight key points from our courses. The Asian export art exhibit doesn’t shy from the fact that some of the pieces are originally purchased with illegal opium trade profit. It’s important for museums to maintain transparency and trust with their community, and there’s an added history lesson. Another installation is Figurehead 2.0 which integrates digital media into the exhibit and demonstrates new ways to connect with its audience.

Also, their PEM Connect Campaign aims to make differences in our children’s lives, and their children, and so on. They hope to achieve this through new programming but weren’t clear on what that includes. Take note, museum websites should be clear also because people want to be informed about what there is to do at a museum. We will cut them slack since they are still renovating through 2021.

Let us know your review of the new building and share exhibit critiques. And happy fall! 

Weekly Jobs Roundup

Northeast

Arts Center Educator (Burchfield Penney Art Center, Buffalo, New York)

Contract Registrar (Willem de Kooning Offices, New York, NY)

Mid-Atlantic

Education Programs Manager (The American Civil War Museum, Richmond, VA)

Major Gifts Officer (National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC)

South

Museum Assistant Registrar (Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU, Miami, FL)

Registrar (Lightner Museum, St. Augustine, FL)

Midwest

Associate Conservator/Conservator of Paintings (Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis, MO)

Collections Database Administrator (Penn Museum: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia, PA)

West

Museum without Walls Collection Strategist (Los Altos History Museum, Los Altos, CA)

Development Assistant (Millicent Rogers Museum, Taos, NM)

Welcome First-Years of 2019-2020

I want to give a hearty welcome to the incoming Tufts’ students joining the museum studies program. This is a prestigious school with a well-connected group of lecturers, and just as Jennifer and Darcy recently reflected on what museums are and what they should do to be better, so will you in your new course of study. Please feel free to send in an article about what you’ve learned, and don’t hesitate to ask the 2nd-years all the questions you may have. 

I am going to weigh in briefly with what I’ve learned this summer after my internship collecting women’s oral histories and how that affects museums.

Oral histories are vital components of modern historical research and museum education. They create a link to the past about any conceivable subject, and all museums should utilize this tool to engage a more diverse audience. The stories told can capture a whole group of peoples’ attentions because they are hearing “their” story through another person— “their” story in the sense that they can relate the most to a story from someone of a similar background and life pathway. Though oral histories are important pieces to include in museum collections, they are not enough when it comes to including more diverse voices in museum exhibits. Museums need to be willing and able to work at every level of their community, and the staff, and sift through all layers of history to achieve a historical narrative that can bring the most diverse audience together in a common goal of attaining knowledge about the many layers of history. 

Museums are reinventing themselves now because they recognize that older institutions were built on the perspective of the white, middle to upper class point of view, and that is not representative of America today. It is a museum’s social responsibility to create equal cultural opportunities in their space.

This is something you’ll be learning in the Museum’s Today class, First-Years. In September, ICOM is voting on a new definition of a museum, that emphasizes inclusivity and dialogue that encourages “human dignity, … social justice, global equality and planetary wellbeing.” Be thinking about what the editors at this blog and the Tufts’ Museum Studies Community have been reflecting on when it comes to what a museum is and where it is going, and where it should go. I’d love to discuss it with you in the lounge!

15 1/2 Museum Studies-Related Podcasts

I don’t know about you all, but now that I am busy with graduate school and work, I don’t have a lot of time to read for fun like I once did. I spend a lot of time watching TV that inspires me, but maybe isn’t teaching me anything new. Feeling cerebral while also being relaxed is one of those small joys in life, and I find those moments through podcasts.

With this post, I hope to introduce people to podcasts about museums and by museums and museum professionals, but also about history, art history, and education, which are the three disciplines associated with the Tufts’ Museum Studies program. The disclaimer is I haven’t listened to all of these podcasts, but if anyone has a special review of one, please leave a comment so we all know which ones are worth checking out. Also, this just a taste of what’s out there, so feel free to share ones that interest you, too. 

Hopefully, this list has some podcasts that will entertain you for many weeks to come. Also, I hope this demonstrates what museums can do to further educate and entertain the public and what museum professionals can do to help each other.

  • The British Museum Podcast: The British Museum has over 2 million years of human history and culture, and this podcast looks at the stories that shaped that Museum.
    • The British Museum Membercast:This is a monthly series that has part of the exclusive Members’ lectures held at the museum. The comedian and podcaster Iszi Lawrence hosts this show.
  • Service on Celluloid: The official podcast of the National WWII Museum. They look at films portraying WWII from the past 70 years with experts and lively guests debating the historical merits of the films.
  • Spycast:The International Spy Museum in D.C. offers us a look into the world of espionage. The podcasts include interviews with ex-spies and intelligence experts.
  • Historically Yours: The University of Iowa’s Special Collections investigate the letters in their archives, peering into the lives of those past.
  • History of Art at the University of Oxford: This series covers medieval architecture to modern Chinese art. Over fifty associated staff discuss their research from backgrounds in anthropology, classics, history, etc.
  • Department of Education of the University of Oxford: These episodes feature public seminars held at the school. Oxford has been contributing to the field of education for over 100 years with a fantastic reputation.
  • National Gallery of Art: Their notable lectures held at the museum can be found by searching their main website or Apple Podcasts. There are over 300 episodes to choose from discussing art and major events surrounding art from historians, curators, and well-known artists.
  • Museum of Lost Objects: This podcast found on BBC Radio’s website discusses antiquities and landmarks destroyed or looted in Syria, Iraq, India, and Pakistan.
  • Stuff You Missed in History Class: HowStuffWorks presents a podcast about global history through the ages finding the fun nuggets that make history nerds swoon.
  • History, Bitches: This podcast discusses women through history, giving a fresh perspective on their classic stories.
  • The Modern Art Notes podcast: Tyler Green hosts this weekly series that discusses a work of art with guest artists, authors, and art historians. 
  • 99% Invisible: This podcast discusses all the things we don’t think about or take for granted in this world. It’s a deep dive into cultural tidbits that is fascinating. It includes episodes about art, history, technology, design, and more.
  • National Public Radio: You knew this would probably show up. It’s not just your grandpa’s radio show anymore. There is a whole section about education in this ever-changing world filled with technology.
  • Museopunks:Suse Anderson hosts this show that investigates the museum world’s personalities. This podcast looks at hot topics surrounding institutions, best practices, and the new ideas in the field. The AAM’s Alliance Labs hosts this site.
  • Museum People: This is a NEMA podcast that hasn’t updated recently, but it’s intriguing to look back through their archives. Their podcast examines New England museums behind-the-scenes, individuals connected with the museum field, and trends. 
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