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Snapshots: 15 Takes on an Exhibition

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on April 7, 2014 in Uncategorized |

by guest columnist Sarah McDonough

Students in this year’s Exhibition Planning class were given a challenge: choose an image that inspires you from the photographs in Historic New England’s exhibition, “The Camera’s Coast,” and use it as a jumping-off point for a full-blown exhibition plan. Snapshots: 15 Takes on an Exhibition is to take place at the Tufts University Koppleman Gallery May 6-18, 2014. Opening reception Tuesday, May 6, 2014, 5:30-8pm. See the Facebook page here.

The research process for this class has really shown just how much untapped history there is out there that most people aren’t aware of. While reading for my exhibit, A Little House on Deck: The Curious Journeys of Whaling Wives and Children at Sea, I discovered dozens of surviving diaries of women and girls who sailed as passengers on whaling ships. Reading through accounts of their adventures, it’s frustrating that so many of these people would not be remembered except for their writing, or the snippets of stories remembered about them. Here’s a particularly interesting one:

In 1846 the whaling ship Powhattan set out of Martha’s Vineyard for a hunt off the coast of New Zealand, on what appeared to be a cursed voyage. Read more…

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Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on April 6, 2014 in jobs listings |

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

 

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Snapshots: 15 Takes on an Exhibition

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on April 1, 2014 in Uncategorized |

by guest columnist Catherine Shortliffe

Students in this year’s Exhibition Planning class were given a challenge: choose an image that inspires you from the photographs in Historic New England’s exhibition, “The Camera’s Coast,” and use it as a jumping-off point for a full-blown exhibition plan. Snapshots: 15 Takes on an Exhibition is to take place at the Tufts University Koppleman Gallery May 6-18, 2014. Opening reception Tuesday, May 6, 2014, 5:30-8pm. See the Facebook page here.

This past week, as part of my research for my exhibition, Shipwreck: The Shoreline experience, and in an effort to connect with the subjects of my exhibition, I headed south to the shore to visit the Hull Lifesaving Museum in Hull, Massachusetts. I set out with hopes of learning more about the lifesaving teams that make up about a third of my complete exhibition plan, and discovering artifacts that would help round out my otherwise two dimensional exhibition. I am happy to report that both of these goals were achieved and the trip was a great success!

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Wider World

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on April 1, 2014 in The Wider World |

by columnist Tegan Kehoe

A couple weeks ago, I was a part of Boston’s first History Camp, an “unconference” that was organized by volunteers and a wiki. One of the panels was on means of publishing for history books, and Boston historian J. L. Bell made point I think applies just as well to museums. He said that people — particularly writers — are used to thinking of publishing houses as the gatekeepers: people who control what gets inside, people who has to please, appease, or even depend on the whims of. With e-books, inexpensive self-publishing and other text formats flooding the market, he proposed, it makes just as much sense to think of gatekeepers (whether they are publishers, reviewers, or others) as ushering readers in through open gates, helping them find what’s good and what suits their tastes. I think the same metaphor can be used to talk about museums as gatekeepers of knowledge, stories, and images or artifacts.

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It’s All About Image

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on March 25, 2014 in Uncategorized |

by guest blogger Emma Mällinen

Students in this year’s Exhibition Planning class were given a challenge: choose an image that inspires you from the photographs in Historic New England’s exhibition, “The Camera’s Coast,” and use it as a jumping-off point for a full-blown exhibition plan. Snapshots: 15 Takes on an Exhibition is to take place at the Tufts University Koppleman Gallery May 6-18, 2014. Opening reception Tuesday, May 6, 2014, 5:30-8pm. See the Facebook page here.

I am in the midst of planning an exhibition titled, “How We Describe the Wild: American Encounters with Nature,” an exhibition that celebrates the past and present of American writers who shaped the way we view our natural environment. From revisiting classics by Thoreau and Emerson to dissecting the controversial works of Edward Abbey and Rachel Carson, the exhibition highlights the milestones of American ecocriticism and nature appreciation.

Now, that sounds pretty text-based and potentially dry. How can you engage people in long texts in an energetic exhibition? This is the primary obstacle I’ve come up against, but one I’ve found some great solutions for.

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Snapshots of my Search History

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on March 22, 2014 in Uncategorized |

by columnist Tegan Kehoe

Students in this year’s Exhibition Planning class were given a challenge: choose an image that inspires you from the photographs in Historic New England’s exhibition, “The Camera’s Coast,” and use it as a jumping-off point for a full-blown exhibition plan. In May, the Tufts University Art Gallery will host an exhibition that will offer a peek into their minds, with mini-exhibitions showing what each of them came up with. In the meantime, follow along on the Facebook page and on guest posts on this blog for previews into the process. The first guest blogger, Tegan, normally writes the column “The Wider World,” but today she’s sharing a bit about the foibles of research.

Snapshots: 15 Takes on an Exhibition is to take place at the Tufts University Koppleman Gallery May 6-18, 2014. Opening reception Tuesday, May 6, 2014, 5:30-8pm. See the Facebook page here.

One of the things I love about history and museum work is all of the weird research paths I end up going down. In the past few months, I’ve been collecting ideas, information, and images for my exhibition proposal “Rich Clam, Poor Clam” and the detail view of it which will be my part of Snapshots: 15 Takes on an Exhibition. “Rich Clam, Poor Clam” is about the cultures surrounding food in different social classes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in New England, focusing on the way seafood had a special place in the diet of both the poor and the rich. Here are a few snapshots of what I’ve found along the way.

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Apply for coursework in Rwanda and Ethiopia!

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on March 22, 2014 in professional development |

Apply for a fourteen day course this August through Rutgers University.

This special educational travel seminar to Rwanda and Ethiopia is designed for emerging scholars in the fields of Comparative Genocide Studies, Memory Studies, Museum Studies, Media Studies, Anthropology, Political Science, Sociology, History and cognate fields. This 16 day travel experience and professional/academic course will prepare emerging scholars to gain knowledge and professional skills through study, direct observation and direct experience, dialogue with experts and implementation of critical analytical skills in understanding the history of genocide, post conflict challenges and the role of museums, memorials and civil society in remembrance, commemoration, reconciliation and reconstructions in these two nations.

Learn more: Emerging Scholars Registration Brochure pdfElectronic Registration Page

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Weekly Jobs Round-Up!

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on March 21, 2014 in jobs listings |

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

 

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Save the Date: Local Legislators discuss the Fenway Cultural District

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on March 12, 2014 in events |

Next Wednesday, March 19, from 9-10:30 am, local legislators, artists, and cultural district stakeholders will convene at The Mary Baker Eddy Library for a MassCreative public hearing. They’ll be tackling the FY2015 budget, with perspectives from the individuals and institutions affected.

For the morning’s agenda, click here.

The Mary Baker Eddy Library is located a 200 Massachusetts Avenue, in Back Bay.

 

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Graduate Student Lecturer Positions at the MFA

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on March 11, 2014 in jobs listings, professional development |

I’m excited, and sad, to forward this announcement. The MFA runs a paid program for a few graduate students per year to give tours in the galleries. For the past year, I’ve been one of these lecturers. The program is a fantastic opportunity to work not only with a diverse and fascinating set of visitors but also with two incredible educators, Brooke DiGiovanni-Evans, Head of Gallery Learning and Barbara Martin, Barbara and Theodore Alfond Curator of Education.

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