Museum Studies at Tufts University

Exploring ideas and engaging in conversation

Author: Dominique T. Marcial (page 1 of 9)

Weekly Jobs Roundup

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Weekly Jobs Roundup!

Here’s your weekly roundup of new jobs! Happy Hunting!

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5 Museums That are not a Joke this April Fool’s Day

 

Whether you’re celebrating Passover, Easter, or simply April Fool’s this April 1, here are a few quirky museums that are no joke with their odd collections. Enjoy these fascinating finds!

 

  • The Lunchbox Museum, Columbus, GA
    • Some of these school-day classics displayed in the Lunchbox Museum are worth over two grand. Most of the lunchboxes displayed are made of tin, and range in date from the early to mid 20th The museum’s collector, Adam Woodall Jr. finds the most rewarding part of this museum to be the light in people’s faces when they find the lunchbox that they once took to school.
  • The Twine Ball Museum, Darwin, MN
    • This museum honors the largest ball of twine ever made by one man, along with some other eccentric oddities of this mid-western town. Darwin MN actually celebrates a Twine Ball Day every year-yikes!
  • The International Cryptozoology Museum-Portland, ME
    • Yes, there is actually a museum dedicated to unknown animals, and myths and legends such as BigFoot. The museum carries most of its label interpretation out through questions that seek to relate known animal biology to these creatures with an unproven existence.
  • National Mustard Museum- Middleton, WI
    • This museum features close to 6,000 variations of mustard from all 50 states. The museum also displays antique jars and mustard marketing from days past. The curator of the museum is actually the former Attorney General of the state of Wisconsin-talk about leaving your day job for your side-hustle.
  • The International Banana Museum, Mecca, CA
    • Nestled in California, this museum has everything-and I mean everything- banana related. There are jewelry, creams, cookie jars, pencil sharpeners-you name it, there’s something banana related.

Happy April Fool’s Day everyone!

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The Case for Narrative Art: George Lucas Style

On March 14, 2018, the George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art broke ground in Los Angeles. The museum states that it will offer a one of a kind museum experience, when it opens in 2021, focusing on narrative and celebrating storytelling through art.

Narrative Art involves telling stories through various works and mediums such as classical paintings, comics, film, theater, etc, with a focus on how artists capture these stories.

The concept of narrative art  has roots as far back as hieroglyphics, and in all honesty, it shouldn’t be a novel concept in museums. Storytelling is essential to audience engagement with objects and material. Everything from tours to educational programs, to labels, should have a bit of a narrative thread that effectively engages the audience through the stories they tell.

Narratives in museums may come from artistic expression or intent in a piece, visitor interpretation (such as VTS), or interpretive lenses that might draw upon many contexts that are social, political, religious, etc. Whichever form a story may come in, it is the power of narratives that help the visitor connect to the content.

Narratives must involve a structure, from the rising action, there must be a climax, or an “aha” moment, and some type of resolution or conclusion. In museums, the climax, or “aha” moment is a primary goal of interpretation. It is an important aim to have the visitors reach a moment  of realization, connection, provocation, or if we’re really lucky, a transformation in their frame of thinking.

According to the website of the soon-to-be Lucas Museum, the collection will consist of paintings, illustrations, comics, and films, which provides an abundant platform of media to act as various entry points into narratives for diverse audiences. Perhaps this museum will act as a resource and a means to inspire more museums with various media to engage with narrative art in their interpretation practices.

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