Museum Studies at Tufts University

Exploring ideas and engaging in conversation

Category: Professional Development (page 2 of 37)

Free Course on Preventive Conservation through The Foundation for the American Institute for Conservation

Preventive Conservation

June 18 – July 1, 2016
Staatsburgh State Historic Site, Staatsburgh, NY
Instructors: Genevieve Bieniosek, John Childs, Catherine Coueignoux, Cathy Mackenzie, Kirsten Schoonmaker

Description: The 2016 Preventive Conservation Workshop is a 14 day course for pre-program conservation students, focusing on historic housekeeping.  The workshop will take place at Staatsburgh State Historic Site, overlooking the Hudson River in New York State.  Eight participants will be selected for the program, which will take place June 18 – July 1, 2016.  The program is presented by the Foundation for the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.

Registration: There is no registration fee and the participants will receive a travel stipend. Housing and meals are provided to successful applicants.  Please submit a detailed letter of interest and a resume to  Application materials must be received by April 8, 2016.

About the Workshop: The workshop will use the perspective of a housekeeper working in a historic house to introduce preventative conservation principles. The housekeeper is the primary person interacting with the entire collection on a daily basis, and so he/she will have to assess the environment and recognize the effects on the historic artifacts.  The participants will learn in-depth methods of caring for all collections in a historic house, and also gain insight into artifact conservation and the conditions that cause deterioration.

There will be five instructors representing collection specialties.  The group will tackle the “deep” cleaning of a room in the historic interior, including moving furniture, rolling and vacuuming a carpet and cleaning the decorative arts objects.  Hands-on activities will be complimented by lectures and site visits to other historic properties.  Students will be expected to contribute to a blog post and document the tasks performed.

About the Site: Staatsburgh State Historic Site, located about half-way between New York City and Albany, is the elegant country home of Ogden Mills and his wife Ruth Livingston Mills. Sitting atop a grassy hill overlooking the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains, their house is a fine example of a great estate built by America’s financial and industrial leaders during the Gilded Age (1876 – 1917).  Major remodeling in 1895-96 transformed the house from a 25-room Greek Revival style home into a Beaux-Arts mansion of 65 rooms and 14 bathrooms. More information about the site can be found at

Contact: Sarah Saetren
FAIC Education Assistant

The Art of Schmoozing Workshop Review

Last week, a number of current and former Museum Studies students took part in a workshop put on by the Museum Studies Department and led by Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, President and CEO of the Abbe Museum. “The Art of Schmoozing” discussed networking beyond trying to get a job or making a conference more bearable. Networking helps you talk to potential (and current) donors, volunteers, and community members. Knowing how to speak intelligently and politely is important both professionally and personally (picture sitting at a dinner party and not knowing how to talk to the people around you).

Museum Studies Alum Jennifer Clifford practicing her networking with Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko. (Photo Courtesy of Cynthia Robinson)

Museum Studies Alum Jennifer Clifford (middle) practicing her networking with Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko (right). (Photo Courtesy of Cynthia Robinson)

While many of us panic at the sight of a crowded conference happy hour, and the prospect of talking to billionaires (should we be so lucky) can evoke anxiety, there are several small tricks that can help ease the nerves. Cinnamon imparted some of her own first-hand experiences with some of the following tips:

  • Always introduce someone new to the whole group. It seems straightforward, but often someone joins a group conversation in the middle of a conversation. Rarely do people stop in the middle to say, “Oh by the way, this is my friend Colleen…” before continuing on. It’s awkward to halt the conversation, but it’s also awkward to be chatting with an unknown, unnamed stranger.
  • To get out of a conversation, either make something up (“Oh you’ll have to excuse me, I need to check on the caterer”) or be straightforward but put the onus on you (“I’m sure there are lots of people you’d like to talk to tonight. I’m sorry for monopolizing your time. It was great to meet you. Thank you!”)
  • To break into a group conversation, you can watch body language and wait for an opening (as long as you’re not lurking!), or you can interrupt very briefly and say, “I’m so sorry for interrupting, I just wanted to introduce myself and tell you that I loved your talk at NEMA. Would it be alright if I follow up with you later? I have some questions I’d like to ask you.” With any luck, you’ll get that person’s card and you can email them later.

Cinnamon’s presentation was frank and funny, and included tips on knowing how to work with people with different personality types (check out DiSC if you’re interested). Afterwards, participants were able to practice their new skills over wine and snacks.

Keep your eye out here and in the Museum Studies newsletter for further fun workshops!

FREE Event: Museum Conversations: Curating Data/Challenging History

Museum Conversations: Curating Data/Challenging History


Monday, April 11, 2016, 6:30pm


Northwest Building, B-103, 52 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA
Free event parking is available at the 52 Oxford Street Garage.

Left: Fred Wilson Photo by Andrew Walker; Right: Laura Kurgan

Fred Wilson, artist and Laura Kurgan, Associate Professor of Architecture, Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation, and Director of the Center for Spatial Research and of the Visual Studies curriculum, Columbia University

In this year’s seminar on innovative curatorial practice, Laura Kurgan of Columbia University and artist Fred Wilson will, from different perspectives, reflect on their work to reimagine how museum exhibits present information, often by juxtaposing the unexpected to create new insights. Their short presentations will be followed by a moderated discussion.

Public Lecture. Free and open to the public.

Co-sponsored by the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture and the Harvard Art Museums as part of the Harvard Museums’ Seminar on Innovative Curatorial Practice

Event: Visitor Studies Association Conference


July 19-23, Hyatt Regency Boston

With 14 in-depth workshops ranging from introductory statistics to data visualization and reporting, over 45 presentations of papers, roundtables, and think tanks, and keynote speakers from across the fields of data visualization and data science, the 2016 VSA conference will not disappoint! Check out the conference schedule of events and the workshops offered.

In addition to a robust schedule of sessions, workshops, and keynote speakers, The Data Revolution will offer space for both the discussion of innovative uses of data, presentation of new findings and methods, as well as opportunities to reflect on the purpose and utility of current data collection, analysis, and visualization techniques and the ethical and practical issues around collecting and sharing data on audiences.

Register NOW at the cheapest rate. The early bird registration pricing is available for two months, but don’t delay, as workshops have limited space available.

Worried about Boston housing being too expensive? VSA is offering a forum for all attendees to find a roommate.

Keep Up Those Connections

Today’s post was written by Ken Turino, Manager of Community Engagement and Exhibitions at Historic New England, and a Tufts professor. Ken is currently co-instructor of the Tufts courses Exhibition Planning and Revitalizing Historic House Museums. Here he offers insights to career development and shares stories from his own fascinating path.

Over the years, I have found networking to be a great way to stay in touch with classmates, colleagues, and Tufts students. You often don’t know where these connections may take you so it is important to keep them up. Thirty-four years after completing graduate school, I am still in touch with my professor, the head of the Museum Education Program at George Washington University and over the years she has served as a reference for me and we have co-written an article together for History News, gotten together at conferences, and socialized. These many years later I am still in close contact with several of my classmates (we rented a castle together in Scotland for a big birthday two summers ago).  Over the years, we have offered each other support and advice. Some have left the field but our experience together has bonded us, and we have used each other as consultants for projects, sounding boards, and served as references for each other.

It is also important to keep up your further education which leads you to new contacts.  In my case, the contacts I made while attending The Seminar for Historic Administration, led many years later to my current job at Historic New England. One of my GW classmates and I participated in the seminar and I became friendly with one of the faculty, Bill Tramposch. Subsequently, I had him speak for the Museum Education Roundtable in Washington, DC, and we kept up over many job changes in both our careers. I even visited him when he ran the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. Subsequently, he came to Historic New England and asked me to come work with him to create an Exhibitions Program. Although I was director of my own museum, this was an opportunity I could not pass up on.

The point is these connections can lead you in many different paths but you have to keep them up and yes this takes effort but the benefits can be both personal and professional. I am happy to pass on job announcements, internship opportunities, etc. to my friends, colleagues and students. You should too. I have found our museum community particular warm and inviting. So go to the national and regional conferences and talk with people, keep up with your professors and classmates, take seminars and make new acquaintances. All are a great way to make new connections and keep up older acquaintances. It paid off for me.

Older posts Newer posts

Spam prevention powered by Akismet

Switch to our mobile site