1

Science in Museums: Art and Science Collide at the National Building Museum

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on August 21, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Kacie Rice

My summer internship in Washington, D.C., has given me a great opportunity to explore a lot of new (to me) museums. This weekend, I checked out the National Building Museum, established by Act of Congress in 1980 and located in the historic 1887 Pension Bureau building in downtown Washington. The building itself is definitely befitting of a museum of architecture and city planning: the outside is an impressive red brick façade with a wraparound frieze depicting various military units, while the inside is a cavernous space supported by eight huge Corinthian columns. Multiple Presidents have held their inauguration balls inside the building, and it is regularly used for political events. Read more…

0

Museums in the News

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on August 18, 2013 in museums in the news |

Here’s our weekly round-up of our favorite things that were said about museums this week: the good, the bad, and the really quite strange!

But first, if you’re still in the Boston area, don’t forget to check out our newest and tiniest Museum located right in Union Square.

 

0

Weekly Jobs Round-up!

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on August 18, 2013 in jobs listings |

Apologies for my tardiness with the listing. Nevertheless, here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. As always, they go up immediately on their own page. Happy hunting!

0

Science in Museums: 8 Reasons You Need to Visit the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on August 14, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by Catherine Sigmond

When people go to Paris, they always want to visit the Louvre. But did you know that Paris also has the world’s most popular science museum? Here are 8 reasons you should visit the Cité des Science et de l’Industrie next time you’re in the City of Love.

Read more…

0

Museums in the News

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on August 11, 2013 in museums in the news |

Here’s our weekly round-up of our favorite things that were said about museums this week: the good, the bad, and the really quite strange!

Also: Not sure if Museum is an actual museum or not, but worth reading about and browsing their Flickr page! Could this sort of speakeasy gallery be a possibility for other museums? (Also featured in the NYTimes)

 

0

Weekly Jobs Round-up!

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on August 9, 2013 in jobs listings |

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

0

Science in Museums: What makes a successful hands-on demonstration in the gallery?

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on August 7, 2013 in Science in Museums |
by columnist Cira Brown
I’ve been doing the “Perceptual Form of the City” hands-on demo at the MIT Museum for almost a year now, and it’s my first experience in engaging with visitors in the museum directly.  The premise for the demo is as follows: I ask the visitors to draw a map of Boston and then ask them to consider why they chose certain features and compare it to other maps that I have on hand. I then relate patterns in their drawings to the research of MIT Professor Kevin A. Lynch and his book Images of the City (1960), which is a landmark text in urban planning. In the 1950′s, Professor Lynch asked both visitors and residents of Boston to draw the city, and found insights into what details make a city “work” and what doesn’t. I’m not going to go into details in hopes that you’ll swing by the MIT Museum one weekend and participate!
Recently, I’ve been reflecting on what makes this demonstration successful, especially since I’m in the midst of creating my own. I’ve adapted the way I engage with visitors since starting out at the museum last autumn, and here’s a list of things that I’ve found helps ensure success:

0

Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: Exhibit Review – SPY: The Secret World of Espionage

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on August 5, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp

I have never had the desire to design exhibits, write labels or work in conservation. When it comes to museums, I am Team Education, Outreach and Interpretation through and through.

But I still want exhibits to be well executed. It makes my job easier as an educator if I have good material to work with; it makes my time as a visitor more enjoyable if I can follow an exhibit’s narrative thread.

spy-franklin-institute- Read more…

0

Museums in the News

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on August 4, 2013 in museums in the news |

Here’s our weekly round-up of our favorite things that were said about museums this week: the good, the bad, and the really quite strange!

But perhaps the most hot-button issue of the week was the Smithsonian’s request to acquire Trayvon Martin’s hoodie for their museum collections. (Here’s the NY Post article.) What do you think?

0

Weekly Jobs Round-up!

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on August 2, 2013 in jobs listings |

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

0

Food for Thought

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on July 29, 2013 in Uncategorized |

Have you checked out AAM’s excellence in label-writing award winners?

View all the winning entries here!

0

Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on July 26, 2013 in jobs listings |

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

0

Learning from 100-year-old Museum Education

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on July 25, 2013 in education, food for thought |

Check out this amazing story from the Sunderland Museum. In 1913, their curator came up with a program for blind visitors–adults and children–to let them explore objects. Architectural columns, historical gas masks, and scores of natural history specimens were included.

courtesy of Atlas Obscura

courtesy of Atlas Obscura

Make sure you scroll to the end of the article to see the clay models that the visitors made after their visit. Really incredible!

How is this different from what we do today?

0

Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: I’ve Got a Bone to Pick

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on July 22, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp

I think I might be desensitized to extra disgusting things. I regularly see kids eating things they definitely shouldn’t eat. I’ve seen lots and lots of blood spurting from noses and foreheads and knees after tumbles down stairs. I get sneezed on, and coughed on, and just this week a toddler wiped her wet thumb – fresh from a good thirty minutes of sucking – right down my neck.

Maybe it’s part of working at a children’s museum. Read more…

0

Museums in the News

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on July 21, 2013 in museums in the news |

Here’s our weekly round-up of our favorite things that were said about museums this week: the good, the bad, and the really quite strange!

0

Weekly Jobs Round-Up

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on July 19, 2013 in jobs listings |

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

0

Science in Museums: Science Museums and History of Science Museums

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on July 17, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Cira Brown

I’ve recently been doing a bit of work for the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, part of the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture. I love the CHSI and have used it and its exhibitions as a basis for some of my papers here at Tufts. Over the past year I’ve also had internship and volunteer experiences at the Museum of Science and the MIT Museum, and have watched an assortment of visitors engage with each museum’s content. Each of these Boston-area museums attract different types of people, and I want to explore their expectations of their museum visits. I’m also curious as to whether their visit was motivated by an interest in history, science, or even the history of science – and even whether that expectation makes any difference at all.

Read more…

2

Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: Whose Program is This Anyway?

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on July 15, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp,

You may have heard that the great improv comedy show of the late ‘90’s Whose Line is it Anyway? is making a comeback this summer.

As museum professionals, I think it behooves us all to watch it. Why? Because a) everyone needs a good laugh now and again, and b) I’m a firm believer that running a museum education program is actually just an exercise in improv comedy. Read more…

0

Weekly Jobs Round-up!

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on July 12, 2013 in jobs listings |

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

0

Summer Reading, Anyone?

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on July 11, 2013 in book recommendations |

With summer classes at Tufts kicking off this week, we thought we’d offer a few suggestions for those of us who aren’t in class to keep up the good work. (Of course, our reading is all beach-worthy!)

This week’s recommendation is from Program Director, Cynthia Robinson:

Mary Kay Zuravleff’s fictitious but totally believable National Museum of Asian Art takes center stage in her funny and offbeat book, The Bowl Is Already Broken (2006). Zuravleff, who worked as an editor at the Smithsonian, used her insider’s knowledge to construct wickedly accurate depictions of the quirky but devoted people who work in museums and confront-or cause-many of the big and small issues that we discuss in “Museums Today.”

Looking for more books? Check out the “Read More” tab. We’re storing all the suggestions (summery and otherwise) right there.

Have a book you’d like to recommend? Email Phillippa at tuftsmuseumblog[at]gmail.com.

0

Science in Museums: Rethinking Accessibility: Don’t Leave English Language Learners Behind

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on July 10, 2013 in Science in Museums |

By columnist Catherine Sigmond

Let’s face it. English has become the global language, the lingua franca that links us all together. It’s also increasingly being recognized as the international language of science.

For non-native English speakers, the necessity of being able to read, speak, and publish research in English is an ever-growing hurdle.

Of course, the expanding use of the English language touches many more disciplines than just the hard sciences. But the fact remains that many of those who may be interested in pursuing careers in science may be hampered by their lack of high-level English language skills.
Read more…

0

Free Workshop? On Grant Writing? Yes, please!

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on July 10, 2013 in boston emps, professional development |

One week from today, the Boston EMPs will be hosting a free grant writing workshop with Christine Cunningham, Ph.D., the founder and director of the Museum of Science’s Engineering is Elementary program.

The EMPs are a fantastic group to get to know, so RSVP to BostonEMPs[at]gmail.com to save a spot.

The workshop will be held at 7pm on Wednesday, July 17 at the USS Constitution Museum (Charlestown Navy Yard Building 22 Boston, MA 02129 for your GPS needs.)

0

Museums in the News

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on July 7, 2013 in museums in the news |

Here’s our weekly round-up of our favorite things that were said about museums this week: the good, the bad, and the really quite strange!

0

Weekly Jobs Round-up!

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on July 5, 2013 in jobs listings |

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

  • Manager of Family Programs [Museum of Fine Arts, Boston] Under the direction of the Head of Gallery Learning, the Manager of Family Programs will coordinate and facilitate gallery learning experiences for young audiences. Essential functions include: Design and implement family learning activities for specific museum-wide events, such as School Vacation Week and Community Open Houses, as well as family events coordinated by  Membership and …
  • Learning Programs Developer [Providence Children¹s Museum]Providence Children¹s Museum has served the public since 1977 and now welcomes 160,000 visitors a year; its mission is to inspire and celebrate learning through active play and exploration.  The Learning Programs Developer is primarily responsible for the development and functioning of play and learning experiences at the Museum and in the community for children ages 2 to 11. Responsibilities include: Supervise …
  • Coordinator of Adult Public Programs and Volunteer Corps [American Folk Art Museum] Position Description: The American Folk Art Museum is the premier institution devoted to the aesthetic appreciation of traditional folk art and creative expressions of contemporary self-taught artists from the United States and abroad. The museum preserves, conserves, and interprets a comprehensive collection of the highest quality, with objects dating from the eighteenth century to the present. Position SummaryThe Coordinator of Adult …
  • Professional Development and Web Technology (Education Specialist) [Cooper Hewitt] Position Title: Professional Development and Web Technology (Education Specialist) Position Description: Federal Career Opportunity:This position is located at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum (CHNDM). The employee serves as the program manager for professional development and web technology, including large-scale events, hands-on workshops and conferences. Travel across the United States is required. A driver’s license is highly desirable since travel will be required …

1

Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: Loosen Up My Buttons, Babe

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on July 1, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp

Metbuttons2

I like to think I came of age in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. During my sophomore and junior years of high school, I spent countless hours wandering the halls of the Met on school field trips. I was typically the first off the bus, sprinting into the museum at full speed, and always the last one back, moseying to the bus slowly, wishing I could spend just five minutes more. Consequently, I have many fond memories of the Met.

Read more…

1

Museums in the News

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on June 30, 2013 in museums in the news |

Here’s our weekly round-up of our favorite things that were said about museums this week: the good, the bad, and the really quite strange!

My favorite story of the week? “Ancient Egyptian statue at Manchester Museum moves on its own, stumped curator says.” (Got an answer? Please please please tell me in the comments!)

And my least favorite article this week: How Shocking: Met Unbuttons. It’s the end of an era!

0

Weekly Jobs Round-up!

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on June 27, 2013 in jobs listings |

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

0

Science in Museums: Sensory Science, Visualizing Climate Change

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on June 26, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Kacie Rice

Those who have worked in scientific research know that it’s often a world ruled by numbers and formulas. Even studies based on a mineral’s color or an animal’s morphology (that is, its basic shape and look) have to be backed up by numerical data and rigorous statistical calculations. It’s not enough for me to say, “yep, that rock looks mostly purple to me;” in a scientific publication, I would have to present data on optical density and other factors, and additionally show that these calculations are repeatable under laboratory conditions.

Read more…

0

Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: Meet the Museum! Hollis Bowe, Major Gifts Coordinator at Ford’s Theater, Washington DC

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on June 24, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp

Welcome back to Dispatch’s on-going series Meet The Museum! This week we are talking to Hollis Bowe, Major Gifts Coordinator at Ford’s Theater in Washington DC. Hollis is a passionate advocate for big cats’ rights and a graduate of Tufts University!

HollisBowe

Read more…

0

Museums in the News

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on June 23, 2013 in jobs listings |

Here’s our weekly round-up of our favorite things that were said about museums this week: the good, the bad, and the really quite strange!

0

Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on June 20, 2013 in jobs listings |

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

0

Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: Castles (And Dragons and Mermaids) Made of Sand

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on June 17, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp

I’ve been known to complain that Atlantic City is a culture vacuum. People don’t come to Atlantic City to take in Shakespeare, look at fine art or go to wine tastings. They come to go to get tanned, ogle half-naked girls at the beach, and get trashed on over-priced drinks at the beach bars. If you want refinement, the locals say here, go to Philadelphia. This is the Shore, baby.

So you can imagine my (pleasant) surprise when I stumbled across the 2013 World Championship Sand Sculpting Competition hosted right on the beach in Atlantic City. Twenty champions from around the world qualified to compete as solo artists and in pairs.

Read more…

0

Museums in the News

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on June 16, 2013 in museums in the news |

Here’s our weekly round-up of our favorite things that were said about museums this week: the good, the bad, and the really quite strange!

0

Weekly Jobs Round-up!

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on June 14, 2013 in jobs listings |

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

0

Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: “Rights”-ful Ownership

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on June 10, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp

There are two things in this life that I particularly love: early American history, and a good dramatic mystery.

So of course, when news broke that Pennsylvania’s original copy of the Bill of Rights may have been found in the New York Public, my ears pricked up and I started tuning in to the unfolding drama. Don’t know the story? That’s okay! Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic now presents:

The Wandering Bill of Rights: A Tale of Provenance

Read more…

0

Museums in the News

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on June 9, 2013 in museums in the news |

Here’s our weekly round-up of our favorite things that were said about museums this week: the good, the bad, and the really quite strange!

0

From MIT to the Freemasons, explore rarely seen archives around Cambridge!

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on June 8, 2013 in events |

Mark your calendars for an amazing series by the Cambridge Historical Society this summer. They say:

For the fifth year in a row, Cambridge archives will open their doors and invite the public in to see the rare items that are rarely seen. “Working in local history you get to know all sorts of cool places that have amazing resources,” said Gavin W. Kleespies, director of the Cambridge Historical Society, “but most people never get inside these institutions or only know of a few of them. Our city is full of archival collections of photos, letters, and diaries that are breath taking, shocking, and comic-and they are all in the city of Cambridge. This is an opportunity for anyone who is interested to glimpse items from world class archives and talk with the experts who know these collections. ”

Residents and visitors will be given the opportunity to visit thirteen institutions in this year’s Open Archives program, including eight archives that have never participated before.

This year’s theme is Spaces: Sacred and Profane, and each archive will interpret this in their own way and delve into their collections to display materials, including photographs, correspondence, ephemera, and more that relate to that theme.

“This is the largest archives tour in America and one of the only archives tours open to people who do not work in libraries or museums.” continued Gavin. “Last year we saw Julia Child’s Emmy, a lock of Amelia Earhart’s hair, an x-ray of a Picasso sculpture, manuscripts from W.E.B. Du Bois, a real John Hancock signature, and posters advertising the Byrds’s concert at MIT. It is an amazing set of tours.”

Tours are offered between June 17 and 21. See this press release for specific dates, reservation info, and more.

0

Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on June 7, 2013 in jobs listings |

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

  • Teen Programs Research Fellow [The Whitney Museum of American Art]The Whitney Museum of American Art seeks a part-time research project fellow (approximately 20 hours per week through September 2014, with a flexible schedule) to coordinate and assist with research activities for a national project investigating the long-term impact of intensive teen programs in contemporary art museums.   The part-time fellow will report to the Manager of …
  • Interpretation Manager [Amon Carter Museum of American Art] AMON CARTER MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART SEEKS AN INTERPRETATION MANAGER to join its nationally-recognized Education team. Specializing in the knowledge of visual art, the Interpretation Manager’s combined skills as an educator, editor, writer, and project manager place him/her at the center of the Amon Carter’s interpretation of works of art—both at the museum and virtually. …
  • Assistant Curator [Amon Carter Museum of American Art] The Amon Carter Museum of American Art seeks an assistant curator with the expertise to assist the curatorial department with projects relating to the paintings, sculpture, works on paper, and photography collections including interpretation, research, publication, display, acquisitions, conservation, development initiatives, and outreach. Support and organize exhibitions, present, and contribute to varied publications. Represent the …
  • Associate Museum Curator [STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA] JOB CLASS TITLE: Associate Museum Curator POSITION NUMBER: 60083549 DEPARTMENT: Dept of Cultural Resources SALARY RANGE: $35,761.00 – $57,006.00 Annually RECRUITMENT RANGE: $35,761 – $35,761 SALARY GRADE / SALARY GRADE EQUIVALENT: 68 COMPETENCY LEVEL: Not Applicable APPOINTMENT TYPE: Permanent Full-Time WORK LOCATION: Craven County OPENING DATE: 05/28/13 CLOSING DATE: 06/11/13 5:00 PM Eastern Time DESCRIPTION OF WORK: This position is being re-posted.  Previous applicants do not need to reapply.  Position is responsible for overall administration and management of the Education Branch …
  • Museum Operations Manager [Springfield Museum of Art] Job ID: 13668187 Position Title: Museum Operations Manager Company Name: Springfield Museum of Art Job Function: Assistant/Deputy/Associate Director Entry Level: No Location(s): Springfield, Ohio, 45504, United States Posted: June 4, 2013 Job Type: Full-time Job Duration: Indefinite Min Education: BA/BS/Undergraduate Min Experience: 2-3 Years Required Travel: 0-10%   We are looking for a dynamic, accomplished individual to serve as Museum Operations Manager.The Springfield Museum of Art became a Smithsonian Affiliate in 2012 and is now at the beginning of an …
  • Museum Director [Spartanburg Art Museum] Contact Person: Chris Kennedy Fax: 864-948-5353 Email Address: chris@tbklawfirm.com   Job ID: 13651454 Position Title: Museum Director Company Name: Spartanburg Art Museum Job Function: Directors/Administrators Entry Level: No Job Type: Full-time Location(s): Spartanburg, South Carolina, 29306, United States Posted: June 3, 2013 Job Duration: Indefinite Min Education: BA/BS/Undergraduate Min Experience: 3-5 Years Required Travel: 0-10% Salary: $40,000.00 – $48,000.00 (Yearly Salary)   Primary Position Description The Museum Director of the Spartanburg Art Museum (SAM) at the Chapman Cultural Center shall be responsible for and accountable for all aspects of the …
  • Director of Education and Community Programs [Children’s Museum of Manhattan] The Education Department is seeking to fill the position of The Director of Education and Community Program’s primary responsibility will be to manage and lead the day‐to‐day operations of CMOM’s education and community outreach programs, both  onsite and off. Learn more
  • Interpretation Associate [Liberty Science Center] 945940 Position: Interpretation Associate Company: Liberty Science Center Job function: Science Type of job: Part-Time Job duration: Indefinite Min. education: Associates Degree Min. experience: None Wage: $12.50 per hour Date posted: 5/17/2013 Job Locations: Jersey City, NJ, US Position Description: Position Overview: The Interpretation Associate enhances the learning experience of Liberty Science Center guests by facilitating the exploration of exhibits and by delivering educational activities. The Interpretation Associate is responsible for providing exemplary frontline guest services to foster …
  • Assistant Registrar [Missouri History Museum] The primary duties of the assistant registrar are: Oversee entry of new acquisitions: Receive and track receipts for study and other documents relating to incoming acquisitions. Maintain acquisition records in MIMSY Collection Management system as needed. Send and receive Contracts of gift. Communicate with donors as needed regarding the donation process. Record accessions. Manage Item History …
  • Museum Gift Shop Supervisor [Washington State Historical Society] Job ID: 13666929 Position Title: Museum Gift Shop Supervisor Company Name: Washington State Historical Society Job Function: Visitor Services/Customer Service Entry Level: No Job Type: Full-time Location(s): Tacoma, Washington, 98402, United States Posted: June 4, 2013 Job Duration: Indefinite Min Education: H.S. Diploma/Equivalent Min Experience: 2-3 Years Required Travel: 0-10% Salary: $30,240.00 – $39,312.00 (Yearly Salary) In order to be considered for this position you must apply www.careers.wa.gov.  If you have any questions regarding the application process please contact Misty Reese at 253-798-5901 or misty.reese@wshs.wa.gov. This …
  • Site Administrator & Project Manager [Connecticut Landmarks]Connecticut Landmarks (CTL) seeks a Site Administrator to oversee the day-to-day operations of the late 17th and 18th-century Joshua Hempsted and Nathaniel Hempsted Houses, opened to the public seasonally from May through October. In coordination with CTL Hartford staff, the Site Administrator will utilize the historic site and direct museum interpreters to deliver content-rich programs …
  • PT Teaching Guide/Interpreter [Delaware History Museum] Position Description Part-time: Teaching Guide/Interpreter — Delaware History Museum Our Vision: A society inspired and empowered by Delaware history to shape the future. As a member of the staff of the Delaware Historical Society, you are collectively responsible for ensuring that all of your professional activities are advancing the vision. Staff Structure: The staff is arranged in four work groups each …
  • Association Manager [Visitor Studies Association] The Visitor Studies Association (VSA) is a membership organization dedicated to understanding and enhancing learning experiences in informal settings through research, evaluation, and dialogue. We offer 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, we help researchers, …
  • Manager of School and Docent Programs [Taft Museum of Art]*Manager of School and Docent Programs, Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, Ohio    * * * The Taft Museum of Art is seeking an enthusiastic professional for the position of Manager of School and Docent Programs. Reporting to the Taft¹s Curator of Education, the Manager of School and Docent Programs will initiate, develop, implement, and evaluate programs that serve students and teachers …
  • Education Fellow (1 Year Appt) [Museum of the City of New York]Fellowship for Excellence in Museum Education at the Museum of the City of New York The Frederick A.O. Schwarz Children¹s Center at the Museum of the City of New York seeks a full-time Fellow to oversee the development, logistics, implementation and marketing of Family Programs in addition to working with school groups on a daily basis to deliver our school …
  • Education Coordinator [Maine Historical Society] May 2013 The Maine Historical Society (MHS) seeks an innovative and energetic Education Coordinator to lead the development and implementation of our statewide education program. The Education Coordinator is responsible for on-site school and family programs; developing tours of the Wadsworth-Longfellow House and Portland’s historic Old Port, including managing and training museum guides and volunteer docents; and …

0

Science in Museums: Why Tweet?: Effective Web Marketing for Museums

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on June 5, 2013 in Science in Museums, Uncategorized |

by columnist Kacie Rice

Having finally started a professional Twitter account in the last few weeks (shameless plug: follow me @kacie_rice!), I’ve become more conscious of the informal advertising that museums do through new media.  While museums still use traditional media such as newspapers and billboards to advertise, they, like most other companies and institutions, have also embraced more casual, up-to-the-minute platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to distribute their messages. This has the additional benefit of allowing museum marketers to deliver many small messages a day, rather than relying on a focused article in a monthly magazine or a subway ad with limited space. It also means museums can respond quickly to major events or schedule changes, as when the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, was able to immediately announce its free community days in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings in April.

Obviously, this potential has huge benefit to museums (honestly, way more than enough has been written about new media’s advertising potential by people with far more Silicon Valley cred than me – don’t worry, this won’t be one of those articles), but only if museums can use it wisely. New media, as currently used, should complement traditional media, filling its own niche by providing snippets of current information, links to relevant stories, and casual interactions. It should also allow museums to reach out to the public about experimental topics and stories that wouldn’t necessarily be newspaper-worthy, but could have a happy home on the web (for example, the @smithsonian has recently tweeted numerous survey links soliciting the public’s opinion on potential exhibit topics for the National Postal Museum – before the advent of Twitter, this kind of survey would have to be done either by mail or by museum staff on the floor, and most likely just wouldn’t happen).

So why, with all this potential, do I mostly see museums’ Twitter and Facebook accounts tweeting the same links and information about current exhibits repeatedly? Some museums, such as the Houston Museum of Natural Science (@hmns), do use their accounts to post current science news and memes, but by and large, I’m getting the same thing from the Twitter accounts I’m following that I could get in a small magazine ad. As a potential visitor, I’m following these accounts to gain insider knowledge, current news, and interesting stories – not the same old exhibit ads the museum has been putting out for months.

A notable and admirable exception here is the London Museum of Science (@sciencemuseum), which uses Twitter to regularly invite people to visit its website to play interactive web games and explore collections-based interactives. This, to me, is a perfect use of a museum’s Twitter – it calls attention to an area where educators and developers have obviously spent a lot of time and effort, as well as an area that may be overlooked in traditional media. If museums are developing web-based games and educational materials, presumably they want to public to know about them and use them – so why aren’t they talking about them more often?

Web-based content is often, rightly, viewed as secondary to the “real” museum experience. Museums are inherently object-based (though this gets admittedly murky when talking about science museums), but websites can provide an avenue for more in-depth content, and also a way to reach those who cannot physically reach the museum due to cost, distance, or other limitations. This kind of interactive content can be especially useful for science museums, which often teach complex material that would benefit from the kind of increased experimentation and study that the web can provide visitors.

If I weren’t a professional museum educator, I’m honestly not even sure I would know to seek these kinds of things out on museum websites. Museums have a whole host of these “bonus” programs, such as teacher resources, homeschooler resources, and classroom interactives. These bonuses are rarely advertised to the public, potentially missing audiences of parents or teachers who may want to use them. Museums should be talking about these web-based programs more often, both to reach out to communities in an educational way and to make the most of the resources that they are already pouring into these games and interactives. Twitter, Facebook, and other new media platforms provide the perfect venue for this kind of outreach (best of all, they’re free!) – one that the London Science Museum is readily embracing, and one that I hope to see other prominent museums take up.

1

Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: A Pinch of Sage

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on June 4, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp,

As many of you already know, I started a new job at the museum this week. On the one hand, it’s the easiest start to a job ever – I already know my supervisors and coworkers, I know the programs we’re going to run, where they will be and when, and I know how the museum functions and works to fulfill it’s mission.

On the other hand…starting a new job is never easy. There’s definitely a learning curve. As a lot of my friends, classmates, former coworkers, (and even my sibling!) are starting new ventures, let’s take some time to remind ourselves of some sage new job advice.

1. Don’t underestimate how long it takes to adjust.

I came home sobbing my very first day of work last summer. And my second day. And my third. Not only was I exhausted, I had no idea what I was doing and it felt like I never, ever would. (Eventually I learned, and soon started training new people.)

Being patient with yourself can be hard, and it’s something I often have to remind myself to do. You’re not going to be good at everything right away. Don’t be surprised if you feel like you’re doing really well, and then have a set back. It can take up to 6 months or even longer to really adjust to a new job.

2. Plan ahead!

I am a total sloth in the morning. The earlier I have to wake up, the slower I move. But the slower I move, the earlier I have to wake up. It’s a vicious cycle. Planning ahead saves me time and helps my morning run smoothly.

Find a routine that works for you. I pack my lunch, pick out my outfits, and fill up my gas tank the night before. Sometimes I even set my coffee pot to auto start and hard-boil a few eggs for breakfast. It totally stinks the night before to take my free time to prepare, but it makes my mornings a snap.

3. Dress for success.

My mother is a power-suited woman of the 80’s. Growing up I learned that you are never completely dressed without makeup and that a little nail polish can go a long way.

Now, I know that makeup or nail polish may not be your thing, and that’s cool. But I do believe that feeling good about the way you look is a confidence booster. So wear your favorite bracelet, swipe on a little extra mascara, buy a new hair clip, or give yourself a quick coat of nail polish – anything that makes you feel confident and professional!

4. Communicate with people the way they like to communicate.

This is one from my sister the Comm Major and it deceptively simple: Pay attention to how your coworkers, clients and partners communicate with each other. Is it through email? Phone calls? Text message? In person meetings? Post-It notes?

Paying attention to how people communicate can set you for successful dialogue and exchange of ideas. If you notice that your supervisor prefers to communicate through email, don’t waste your time leaving voicemails and then banging your head on the desk (a.k.a.: The Headdesk) wondering why she never gets back to you. I find more often than not, those situations open the door for passive aggressive behavior, which we all know is never okay.

By the same token, if you’re terrible about checking texts, perhaps suggest people call or email you instead.

5. Don’t be afraid.

I’ll admit it: sometimes I’m afraid to ask for help for fear of looking silly. No, seriously. I needed help using Gmail today and was kind of afraid to ask. I was afraid to buy lunch in the cafeteria because I had to ask for the special gluten-free noodles. I’m kind of a huge ‘Fraidy-Cat.

Don’t be afraid. Ask for help. It’s how you get better at things. Tell people what you need. It’s how things get done correctly the first time.

6.  Smile.

Not feeling so well? Smile. Not feeling so friendly? Smile. Not feeling so confident? Smile.

It takes fewer muscles than frowning, prolongs your life and helps make your workplace a positive environment. So just smile.

 

What kind of advice do you have to share? Did anyone give you sage advice when you started your job? Share it in the comments!

0

Museums in the News

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on June 3, 2013 in museums in the news |

Here’s our weekly round-up of our favorite things that were said about museums this week: the good, the bad, and the really quite strange!

0

Weekly Jobs Round-up!

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on May 31, 2013 in jobs listings |

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

  • Full-Time Community Outreach Coordinator [Please Touch Museum] Position Summary: The Community Outreach Coordinator will report to the Manager of Community Outreach. The Coordinator assists with the curriculum design, program planning and assessment of educational programming in the two key thematic areas: External Play and School Readiness. The Coordinator is also responsible for the implementation of these programs in local schools, childcare centers, social …
  • Kress Interpretive Fellowship [Cornell Fine Arts Museum] The Cornell Fine Arts Museum is seeking eligible candidates for a Kress Interpretive Fellowship for 2013-14. The Kress Interpretive Fellowships aim to cultivate graduate students and young professionals interested in museum careers, focusing on curatorial and educational collaboration. The Fellow’s activities will focus on research of the Cornell’s permanent collection and development of interpretive materials. Under …
  • Programs Fellow [The Museum of Science] Programs Fellow (Sept. 2013 – Sept. 2014) Description Provide an important contribution to the Education Division by performing live presentations for visitors, programs for students and teachers, and other similar programs on a wide variety of topics in science and technology. Contribute new ideas, creativity and perspectives to our efforts in informal science and technology education.This Fellowship, …
  • Fellow, Getty Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative [Walker Art Center]The Walker seeks a full-time, temporary fellow for the Getty Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative (OSCI). The fellow works with Visual Arts curators to plan and implement a dynamic, sustainable online collections catalogue that focuses on new acquisitions, performing arts commissions, and works produced for artist residency projects. The fellow assists in developing theme-based volumes of the catalogue …
  • Interactive Technology Developer [Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art] The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art is currently accepting resumes and applications for the new and exciting position of Interactive Technology Developer. This position will work in a team-oriented environment to create innovative technology-based exhibit experiences that will engage visitors throughout the museum. Please send resumes, 3 references and salary requirements topersonnel@eiteljorg.com or …
  • Program Assistant [Maryland Humanities Council} Program Assistant: Apply by June 7 Posting Date:  May 13, 2013 Job Description The Program Assistant provides assistance to the Program Officers responsible for a set of programs in order to provide program support and general administrative support.  Program areas for this position will include the One Maryland One Book, Letters About Literature, Book Festivals, Civil War Discussion, ...
  • Mellon Curatorial Coordinator [Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art] The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, is conducting a search for the Mellon Curatorial Coordinator for Academic Programs.  Position Summary This position is responsible for helping to strengthen the teaching mission of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art.  The successful candidate will have a deep commitment to object-based learning, interdisciplinary teaching, and collaboration, …
  • Director of Curatorial Affairs [Worcester Art Museum] The Worcester Art Museum seeks an experienced and dynamic Director of Curatorial Affairs with a strong background in European art. The Museum is in the process of leveraging its high level encyclopedic collections to have a stronger regional impact, with a clear focus on the visitor experience. The Director of Curatorial Affairs is part of …
  • Program Associate [National Jazz Museum] Position Summary The Program Associate for the National Jazz Museum in Harlem aids the Artistic Director in realizing the Museum’s programmatic vision. Other responsibilities include supporting other Museum personnel with day-to-day operations regarding collections, exhibits, and research at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. The position’s responsibilities include organizing and caring for the Museum’s collections both at its Harlem office …
  • Development Associate [National Jazz Museum] Position Summary The Development Associate for the National Jazz Museum in Harlem provides direct support to the Director of Development in the implementation of the Museum’s comprehensive fund-raising program that is focused on institutional support, individual donors, membership, and special events. The Development Associate reports to the Director of Development. Position Responsibilities Research, Cultivation, and Solicitation 1. Conduct prospect research at the …
  • Exhibits Manager [Connecticut Science Center] Job Title: Exhibits Manager FLSA: Salaried, Exempt Full Time (40 hours per week) Reports to: Director of Exhibits Summary of Key Responsibilities:  Provides daily and overall leadership to a team of highly skilled Exhibit Technicians. Leading by example, the Exhibit Manager sets the tone for exemplary service from the Exhibits Department consistent with the established Culture of the Connecticut Science …
  • Education Assistant [The Arts Council of Princeton] The Arts Council of Princeton has an immediate opening for an Education Assistant. Interested applicants should submit materials before June 10. Interested candidates should send resume, letter of interest, three references and salary requirements by June 10, 2013 to Julie Sullivan-Crowley at jsullivancrowley@artscouncilofprinceton.org<mailto:jsullivancrowley@artscouncilofprinceton.org> with “Education Assistant Search” in the subject line or mail to: Education Assistant Search Arts Council of Princeton Paul Robeson Center for the Arts 102 …
  • Coordinator of Live Animal Care; Museum Educator [Brooklyn Children’s Museum] Position Description: Coordinator of Live Animal Care; Museum Educator Brooklyn Children’s Museum, the world’s first museum for children is searching for a full-time Coordinator of Live Animal Care; Museum Educator. This person will coordinate live animal care for the Museum’s reptiles, amphibians, aquaria, invertebrates and birds, as well as develop and facilitate educational programming. Coordinator will lead the team of animal …
  • Manager, Education & Public Programs [Brooklyn Children's Museum]DEPARTMENT: Education SUPERVISOR: Director of Education Overview: Brooklyn Children’s Museum, the world’s first museum for children, is searching for a full-time Manager of Education and Public Programs. Reporting to the Director of Education, this key position collaborates with senior education and museum staff to conceptualize, develop, implement, and evaluate a broad selection of school and public programs, as …

0

Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: The Price is Right?

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on May 28, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp,

I fib sometimes to get discounts.

At the gym: Are you a student? Totally! (-$25 on membership)

At the movies: Is your parent a senior citizen? Yes! (-$3 per ticket)

At the store: Do you have a club card? Absolutely! (+$5 in coupons for giving my sister’s phone number.)

So it comes as no surprise that when I go to museums, I do everything I can to bring admission prices down. I’ll bring my museum association cards, old student ID’s, refer-a-friend coupons and Groupons…pretty much anything.

It’s not because I don’t want to pay to get in. I know that most museum revenue comes from admission sales. I know it’s how they keep the place open. I want to pay, but I can’t. Honestly, I can’t afford it. I have a really tight budget.

So I was conflicted when I learned that museum prices are rising all along the Mid-Atlantic, particularly in Philadelphia.

According to a recent Philadelphia Business Journal article area museums have been raising their prices by as much as 25% in 2013. On the one hand, this is hugely positive. Attendance for mid-Atlantic museum is up, so the price hike is an indicator that the services we provide are definitely in demand. We can hopefully take this as a sign that the economy is recovering and arts/education funding may grow in the near future. On the other hand…are we potentially playing with fire?

When my museum raised its prices by $1 to help cover overhead costs, I heard complaints day in, day out, for weeks on end about this small increase. It now costs $64 for a family of four to visit – but that’s before you pay for parking, lunch and souvenirs. For many, one day at the museum is a budget buster. Unsurprisingly we see huge crowd increases around the time our LivingSocial coupons are released and discounted Target First Wednesdays can be crazy.

So attendance and prices are up. But what can you do to make sure customers feel like they’re getting more bang for their extra bucks?

Well, for one thing, innovative ticketing definitely helps. Several museums have started to create partnerships – like the Penn Museum and the Mutter Museum did in 2012. Rather than pay $27 per person to see each museum separately, you can now buy a combo ticket and see both institutions for $20. The Barnes Foundation has now folded the cost of an audio guide into their admission prices. Some museums have expanded their definitions of “children” discount tickets, and others have increased the number of “pay-what-you-want-to” days.

But the biggest helper is the marketing scheme. When packaged as a “day-cation” a museum visit is cheap. Let’s break it down.

To get in to Disney World for one day, a single adult would pay $95.

To get on to the beach here in Ventnor NJ you pay a $10 fee, plus $12 in tolls.

Average cost of a museum: $15.

Oh, and by the way, that museum entrance comes with air conditioning and cultural enlightenment. Less chance of sunburn, more chance of learning stuff. Pretty good deal, yeah?

Are prices rising a good thing? How do you convince your visitors to pay more? What kinds of tricks do you use to balance your own budget? Share your thoughts with me in the comments!

 

0

Museums in the News

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on May 26, 2013 in museums in the news |

Here’s our weekly round-up of our favorite things that were said about museums this week: the good, the bad, and the really quite strange!

0

Short term opportunity at the American Textile History Museum!

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on May 25, 2013 in Uncategorized |

A fantastic opportunity to work with antique textiles has just come in. They’re looking for 2-3 individuals to photograph the American Textile History Museum’s archives in pursuit of a multi-museum, open-access, searchable database of antique and vintage textiles!

Here’s the description:

 

Position:  Image capture assistant for the Virtual Textile Project

Location:  American Textile History Museum, Lowell, Massachusetts

Type:  temporary position. Hiring 2 to 3 people.

Duration: June 13 to July 5 (with possible extension and/or additional opportunities).

Contact person:  Catherine Bradley via e-mail catherine.bradley@mcgill.ca

 

Job description:  The candidate will be trained to photograph antique textiles using different image capture techniques.  This is part of a larger project involving the creation of an open access database of antique and vintage textiles from important textile museums worldwide.  The ATHM is the first museum to have their textiles captured by our team, so the photographic protocols will be tested and adjusted during this phase of the project.  The candidates will be working directly with McGill University researcher, Catherine Bradley, and will be trained by a team from Dragon and Phoenix Software, led by Kat Lind.

 

The skills of interest for this project are arranged in several groups. The first group includes those abilities required by all members of the team, while the second identifies skills and competencies that need to be covered by the team, but not necessarily by each member of the team. The final group identifies those skills that would be an asset, but are not necessarily required.

 

Competencies and characteristics – all team members must possess the following characteristics:

  • detail oriented

  • meticulous in following protocols and procedures

  • general technical familiarity with computers, internet and storage

  • works well in a small team

  • comfortable in museum archives

  • fast learner

  • adaptable

  • easy going

  • good visional discernment

 

Competencies – team coverage.  The following characteristics must be present in the team as whole, not necessarily in each individual member.  The more characteristics the person possesses, the greater the chance of success.

  • experience handling museum artifacts

  • experience handling delicate items

  • interest in and knowledge about textiles

  • photographic skills with digital cameras

  • good written and oral communication skills

 

Hiring process:

  1. Please send a letter describing your suitability for the position, along with a current CV to    catherine.bradley@mcgill.ca

  2. Suitable candidates will be contacted for phone interviews

  3. The most suitable candidates will be interviewed on June 10.

  4. The candidates who are chosen will start work on June 12, 2013.

0

Weekly Jobs Round-up!

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on May 24, 2013 in jobs listings |

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

  • Summer Research Fellowship for Museum Interpretation [Dayton Art Institute] The Dayton Art Institute announces a new fellowship offered through the generosity of an anonymous donor.**** Two fellows will be selected to focus on researching and developing content on select objects in the museum¹s collection to add to the existing*What is a Masterpiece? An Interactive Tour of World Art *program. Fellows will identify content sources in a variety of media, …
  • Museum Educator [Springfield Art Museum] The Springfield Art Museum invites applications for the position of Museum Educator.  Located in Missouri’s third largest city, the Springfield Art Museum serves as a cultural hub to the region.  The Springfield MSA has a population of over 300,000 and features numerous amenities found in a larger city but with a small-town feel.  Springfield boasts a vibrant downtown, award winning …
  • Education Coordinator [The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine]Location: New York City Department: Public Education and Visitor Services Reports to:  Co-Director, Public Education and Visitor Services Posting Date: May 20, 2013 The Organization: The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine is one of the world’s most celebrated institutions, set amidst 11.5 acres of stunning and architecturally significant buildings and gardens. With its doors open to everyone, the Cathedral …
  • Kress Interpretive Fellowship [Portland Art Museum] If you are a recent graduate in art history and/or museum education, we would like to bring to your attention to an exciting fellowship opportunity at the Portland Art Museum. The Portland Art Museum has been awarded a grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation for a year-long paid, full-time fellowship position in museum interpretation beginning in September 2013. We …
  • Assistant Registrar [The University of Utah] sent in by Tufts alumna, Jennifer Ortiz Open Date 05/14/2013 Requisition Number PRN03750B Job Title Assistant Registrar Working Title UMFA Registrar Job Grade C Standard Hours per Week 40 Work Schedule Summary Mon thru Fri 8:00 – 5:00 Department 00073 – Utah Museum of Fine Arts Type of Recruitment External Posting Pay Rate Range 14.00 – 16.00 Close Date NOTE: May close at anytime. 06/04/2013 Open Until Filled NOTE: May close at anytime. No Job Summary The Utah Museum of Fine Arts is located on …

0

Science in Museums: It’s Not So Bad To Not Get The Big Idea

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on May 22, 2013 in Science in Museums |

by columnist Cira Brown,

This past Sunday, I visited the Museum of Science to see the new exhibit entitled “Dead Sea Scrolls: Life in Ancient Times”. Admittedly, it’s a topic I don’t know much about, which makes it difficult to evaluate how the exhibition presented the material. However, the experience made for a good opportunity to assess learning in a museum from my own standpoint – and I realized something interesting. While the artifacts were stunning and the exhibition beautifully crafted, I emerged from my time in the exhibit without a clear idea of what the objective of the exhibition was. What I mean by this is that despite all of the information in each panel, I was unable to construct a larger understanding of the topic at hand – in short, the big idea, save for a vague larger appreciation for the historical significance of the discovery and preservation efforts.

When I visit an exhibit, it’s usually apparent to me what the “take-away” learning objectives are – the label text, artifacts and interactives all acting as scaffolds to support a predetermined goal. I was unable to discern objectives from this exhibit, as the labels were informative, but did not focus too heavily on any particular aspect. I was expecting to find conflicting theories about the origin and meaning the scrolls, each with their respective academic arguments for and against each theory. Similarly, I expected to be presented with detailed explanations of preservation and restoration efforts. Instead, the exhibition mainly focused on providing context about the era in which the scrolls were written, which in and of itself was a tremendous task. Due to the scrolls unknown provenance and inconclusive assertions about the authors’ motivations, I understand the need to be ambiguous, especially given the “official” status that is bestowed upon the museum exhibit.

Nonetheless, I certainly wouldn’t say this say this exhibit failed, and I should note that I did not participate in the audio tour, which may have remedied some of this confusion. Jumping into an exhibit about a topic I knew little about was challenging and left me with a lot of questions – when I went home I downloaded a book and watched a documentary on the topic as well. The exhibit, then, was successful in that it sparked further research and interest. But in the museum, in the whirlwind of information, I felt fairly lost. I’m curious to know if this alienated visitors instead of empowering them.As I reflect on my time on Sunday, I’ve decided that this “lost” feeling isn’t as negative at it appears. I certainly wasn’t frustrated in the exhibit. If something is challenging, the consequential challenge for the curator and exhibit developer is to translate the topic without making it intimidating or isolating, and I wouldn’t characterize the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit as either. I think it’s okay to not understand everything, perhaps even major things, or have an expectation that visitors will meet those educational objectives in bullet form. It brings to mind the work of art museum educators and the valuable discussions that can be created from visual observation – even if the participants do not know the “hidden” or “true” meanings of the artwork, context or symbols contained within. After this initial engagement with an object or concept, will visitors be more receptive to internalizing other meanings? I believe so – and this starting point is inquiry.

Science museums espouse “exploration”, and fostering exploration within a conceptual topic is a difficult experience to design. The science exhibit developer can emulate an experiment to allow visitors to explore particular phenomena, which are a tried-and-true for science exhibitions. The aforementioned impetus for inquiry is usually explicitly stated in label text. However, are there other, non-interactive, non-explicit ways to mentally explore a topic? What about the progression and formation of an idea, particularly a scientific theory? Like the context of the Dead Sea Scrolls or any historical topic, scientific narratives cannot always be summed up in a succinct manner.

My first foray into exhibit development took the form of an exploratory digital exhibition on one of those tricky narratives: the scientific development of early 20th-century physics and the subsequent development of atomic weaponry. The context needed to present the topic is immense, both on a scientific and historic scale: quantum mechanics plus the global affairs that resulted in two world wars. This project addressed many of the difficulties in fostering exploration that I’ve described here, and, in my next blog post, I will discuss various educational methods to confront these “tricky” topics.

Also, I’d be curious to know what others who saw the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit thought of it!

3

Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: City of Museums

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on May 20, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp,

Since college, I have tried really hard to dislike Philadelphia. It probably had something to do with dating a guy from Pittsburgh, but it mostly boiled down to this: its not big like New York, it’s not the capital like Washington, it’s not as strong-willed as Boston, and I hate all its sports teams. I’ve been known to call it Filth-adelphia from time to time, and curse its middling existence when driving between Washington to New York. It feels like an “unspecial” city. And did I mention that I really hate all the sports teams?

But, here I am living in Philadelphia, and I’m going to tell you a secret. Ready?

I kind of really like it here.

It was a puzzling thing for me – liking a city I’d decided to hate – until I heard a short bit on NPR, featuring Penn professor David Brownlee that made it all click into place.

Philadelphia is the birthplace of the American museum.

In 1789, Charles Wilson Peale (of The Artist in His Museum self-portrait fame) founded The Philadelphia Museum, a collection of odds and ends, paintings and taxidermy specimens he had acquired over the years.

Peale

Peale was the first to establish collection loans when he borrowed taxidermy specimens for his museum from a London institution, and was also the first to adopt the Linnaean taxonomy, presenting his specimens as scientific pieces for study and education, rather than for entertainment or shock value as many other curio collections did at the time.

Other Philadelphia museums quickly popped up, and spread the idea that collections could be used to broaden the mind and cultural horizons. The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (founded in 1806) is the oldest art school and museum in the United States. The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel (founded in 1812) is the oldest science research institution, and the Franklin Institute (1824) was one of the first museums in the western hemisphere to dedicate itself specifically to science education.

For a history major and a museum studies graduate, that’s a lot of BIG museum firsts.

(FYI – The oldest established museum I could find in Boston was the Boston Athanaeum, founded in 1807. Let me know if there’s an older one.)

Maybe Philadelphia feels “unspecial” to me because at so many times it has been special for different reasons. For a little while it was the nation’s capital, then the industrial capital, then arts capital and then a center for scientific and philosophical thought.

And, as Brownlee posits, this fluctuating role in history is also represented in its museums. How, where and why certain institutions were built can represent a city at a certain moment – much the way your high school yearbook photo represents you when you graduated.

I often ask my peers: do museums have a specific personality based on their location? Is a modern art museum in Chicago, for example, fundamentally different from one in San Francisco? Or is a museum a museum a museum, no matter where you go?

Personally, I subscribe to the idea of a personality. I do think museums have a certain feel depending on the city.

Washington gets to have the Nationals – the museums that represent the United States as a whole. Boston gets the Revolutionaries– the places that talk about colonial life and the start of American history and culture. New York has the Hipster-Highbrows – institutions that are as big, as fancy and as eclectic as its population.

But I think Philadelphia has something extra special. It has the Firsts. The places that went through the growing pains and all the changes that make American museums what they are today. And, oddly, for being the City of Museums (as Brownlee put it), Philadelphia institutions don’t feel pretentious.

Sadly, Peale’s Philadelphia Museum failed and the collection was sold, so you can’t go see the first American museum. But Peale’s idea for an educational institution remained, and can be seen in all sorts of museums, both in Philadelphia and around the United States.

What do you think? Do museums have “personalities” based on location? How important is it to be labeled oldest, first or biggest?

To hear Brownlee’s interview on NPR, click here

2

Museums in the News

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on May 19, 2013 in museums in the news |

Here’s our weekly round-up of our favorite things that were said about museums this week: the good, the bad, and the really quite strange!

0

Weekly Jobs Round-up!

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on May 17, 2013 in jobs listings |

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

Sent in by Tufts alumnae:

  • Assistant Registrar [The University of Utah] sent in by Tufts alumna, Jennifer Ortiz Open Date 05/14/2013 Requisition Number PRN03750B Job Title Assistant Registrar Working Title UMFA Registrar Job Grade C Standard Hours per Week 40 Work Schedule Summary Mon thru Fri 8:00 – 5:00 Department 00073 – Utah Museum of Fine Arts Type of Recruitment External Posting Pay Rate Range 14.00 – 16.00 Close Date NOTE: May close at anytime. 06/04/2013 Open Until Filled NOTE: May close at anytime. No Job Summary The Utah Museum of Fine Arts is located on …

Other jobs!

  • Natural Science Educator [Turtle Bay Exploration Park, CA] Turtle Bay Exploration Park, located in beautiful Northern California, is seeking an enthusiastic, creative and experienced team player to join the education department. Reporting to the Education & Program Manager, the educator develops and implements interactive, engaging and learner-centered interdisciplinary education programs for museum, family and school programs, takes the lead on natural science programming and training and provides direct supervision …
  • Manager of Youth Learning & Engagement [Wolfsonian] The Wolfsonian­Florida International University, a museum and research center located in the heart of historic south Miami Beach, uses objects to illustrate the persuasive power of art and design, to explore what it means to be modern, and to tell the story of social, political, and technological changes that have transformed our world. It encourages people to see the world …
  • Project Manager [National Museum of the American Indian] Leads a multi-disciplinary team of museum personnel assigned to the project from across the museum, from inception through completion. Collaborates with representatives from the following functional areas:  collections, curatorial, conservation, registration, exhibition design, exhibition fabrication, media, information technology, fundraising, special events, publications, and administration and finance. Manages the most complex projects in the museum, i.e. those that …
  • Assistant Coordinator, Exhibition Planning and Administration [The Museum of Modern Art] The Museum of Modern Art is now accepting applications for an Assistant Coordinator in the Exhibition Planning and Administration department.  Reporting to the Associate Director the incumbent will serve as an exhibition coordinator for medium-scale exhibitions and performances within the context of The Museum of Modern Art’s robust exhibition program, overseeing and implementing all aspects of …
  • G:Class Assistant [The New Museum] The G:Class Assistant will develop and facilitate projects, trips and schedule work assignments for high school interns at the New Museum. Under the supervision of the Associate Educator, the G:Class Assistant will mentor teen interns as they gain work experience and exposure to contemporary art and ideas. The position hours are 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tues-Fri July …
  • Exhibition Coordinator [The Huntington Library] The Exhibition Coordinator serves as the project manager for the institution’s major exhibitions, including but not limited to exhibitions scheduled for the MaryLou and George Boone Gallery, West Hall of the Library, the Chandler Wing of the Scott Galleries, and the Works on Paper Room of the Huntington Art Gallery.  The Exhibition Coordinator works with …
  • Chief Registrar and Collection Manager [Museum of the Moving Image]POSITION TITLE: Chief Registrar and Collections Manager Museum of the Moving Image is seeking an individual to serve as the Museum’s Chief Registrar and Collections Manager. This person will direct the planning and day-to-day management and care of the Museum’s permanent collection, all activities concerning incoming and outgoing loans, and oversee the application of approved procedures …
  • Academic Programs Coordinator [The Hammer Museum] Under the supervision of the Assistant Director, Academic Programs, the Academic Programs Coordinator will coordinate the Museum’s UCLA student-related academic programs. These academic programs include but are not limited to the Hammer Student Association, Hammer Interns, student professional development programs, and outreach to campus. The Hammer Student Association is an organization of undergraduates and graduates …
  • Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art [The Cleveland Museum of Art]The museum’s Contemporary Art department seeks applications for the position of Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art. Working under the direction of the Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, the individual who is appointed to this position will assist in the stewardship, programming and development of the museum’s important holdings in this field. Candidates should possess a …
  • Assistant Chief Conservator, Collections Conservation and Housings [Preservation Department-Yale University Library] Preservation Department Yale University Library New Haven, CT Rank: Librarian 2-3 (Grades 24-25) Requisition: #21178BR www.yale.edu/jobs   Schedule:   Full-time (37.5 hours per week); Standard Work Week (M-F, 8:30-5:00)   Yale University offers exciting opportunities for achievement and growth in New Haven, Connecticut.  Conveniently located between Boston and New York, New Haven is the creative capital of Connecticut with cultural resources that include two major art …
  • Senior Curator of Exhibitions [Ohio State University] Job ID: 13411096 Position Title: Senior Curator of Exhibitions Company Name: The Ohio State University Job Function: Curator Location(s): Columbus, Ohio, 43201, United States Posted: May 10, 2013 Entry Level: No Job Duration: Indefinite Min Education: Master’s Degree Min Experience: 3-5 Years   Apply URL:http://www.jobsatosu.com   Senior Curator of Exhibitions Wexner Center for the Arts Columbus, OH The Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University is seeking a Senior Curator to work in tandem with the center’s Director …
  • Multiple Positions [Please Touch Museum] Current Job Openings Community Outreach Coordinator (.DOC) Experience Host (.DOC) Membership Manager (.DOC) Retail Assistant-Part-Time 24 hrs/week & Temporary May to Aug 16 hrs/week (.DOC) Security Officer-Part-Time (.DOC) Security Officer-On-Call (.DOC) Learn more.
  • Media and Communications Editor [Society of Architectural Historians]SAH seeks a Media and Communications Editor to manage SAH’s non-scholarly print and online communications. The Editor will collaborate with SAH staff and leadership to develop communication strategies for promoting SAH’s major initiatives including its annual conference, study tours, publications, awards programs and public outreach. The Editor will strategize on media, marketing, communications, and branding. Learn more.
  • Digital Preservation Officer [British Library] Ref S&C00406 Location London, St Pancras Position Type Fixed Term Specialism Curators, Conservation and Reading Room Salary: £37,937-£44,059 per annum plus benefits                     2 years fixed term                     St Pancras, London                                                                   The future of information is digital, but unless we take action today, our digital collections may not be safe, usable, or even understandable in just a few years’ time.   The British Library is one of the …

Copyright © 1971-2015 MUSEUM STUDIES at Tufts University All rights reserved.
This site is using the Desk Mess Mirrored theme, v2.2.4.1, from BuyNowShop.com.

Spam prevention powered by Akismet

Switch to our mobile site