Museum Studies at Tufts University

Exploring ideas and engaging in conversation

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Weekly Jobs Roundup!

Here’s the weekly jobs roundup for the week of July 9th!

Northeast

Temporary Gallery Manager [Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH]

Head of Education, Addison Gallery of American Art [Phillips Academy, Andover, MA]

Interpreter [Castle Hill, Ipswich, MA]

Interpreter [Fruitlands Museum, Harvard, MA]

ArtLab Director [Harvard University, Cambridge, MA]

Assistant Registrar [Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA]

Director of Education and Engagement [New Haven Museum, New Haven, CT]

Director of Living History Sites [Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, MA]

 

Mid-Atlantic

Chief Curator, Online Museum [YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, NY, NY]

Coordinator of Public Programs and Public Engagement [The Whitney Museum of Art, NY, NY]

Interpretation and Public Engagement Educator [The Rockwell Museum, Corning, NY]

Museum Educator [Erie Maritime Museum, Erie, PA]

Senior Managing Educator, Audience Development and Engagement [The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, NY]

Preparator [Fort Ticonderoga, Ticonderoga, NY]

Museum Specialist [Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, Washington,DC]

 

Southeast

Outreach Education Instructor [Jamestown- Yorktown Foundation, Williamsburg, VA]

School and Family Programs Manager [Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, FL]

Character Interpreter [Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon, MA]

Midwest

Assistant Curator of Education [Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin- Madison,  WI]

West

Associate Director of Education [The Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, CA]

Education and Volunteer Coordinator [Museums of Western Colorado, Grand Junction, CO]

Director of Education [Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ]

Associate Conservator [The Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA]

The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art: Indigenizing Museum Spaces

The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art

Like many museum lovers, a visit to an unfamiliar city is a chance to discover new museums. Being in the museum field, those visits are an invaluable chance to find inspiration, see museum trends in action, and gain new ideas for future practice. Never have a found this to be more true than with a recent visit to Indianapolis and the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. This one-of-a-kind museum exemplifies what it is to be a modern museum focusing on interactive displays, shared authority, and visitor experience. But more importantly, the Eiteljorg is a decolonizing museum, representing indigenous people and cultures not as relics of the past, but as contemporary and still here.

The Eiteljorg Museum was founded by Indianapolis businessman and philanthropist Harrison Eiteljorg in 1989. Originally conceived as an art museum, the institution made an early commitment to a shared authority with indigenous people. As founding curator Mike Leslie wrote, “The museum’s overall programming emphasizes not only the historical importance of Native American art and artifacts, but also their importance in a modern context. We must not forget that Native American cultures are still flourishing artistically.”

By 1991 the museum had formed the American Indian Advisory Board, this board would work directly with the museum’s administrators, curators, and collections staff to provide guidance, assistance and direction in all matters associated with the art, history, and culture of native peoples of North America. One of the main takeaways from the advisory board was the need for the museum to create a distinction between ownership and stewardship in relation to sacred and sensitive objects.

In 2002 the museum continued to to indigenize museum spaces with the opening of a new permanent gallery, Mihtoseenioki: The People’s Place, created in collaboration the advisory board and representatives from local tribes. The exhibit was opened to interpret the Miami, Potawatomi, Delaware, and other tribes who were and still are an important part of the state’s history and culture.

Mihtohseenionki (The People’s Place)

It was in this exhibition I felt the most inspired, intrigued, and moved. Mihtoseenioki tells the stories, both past and present, of the original Miami people as well as that of other tribal groups that moved into the current state of Indiana as the result of European conquest and expansion. The written panels were written by members of native communities and curated by Ray Gonyea an Onondaga Iroquois. While many museums have been accused of presenting indigenous people and cultures as historical and ethnographic this exhibition leaves visitors with the knowledge that indigenous people are still here and that tribal cultures are still being practiced. This same theme was carried through the rest of the Eiteljorg’s art galleries. The gallery space was organized not chronologically but geographically with historical and contemporary art side by side.

While I was most affected by the Eiteljorg’s decolonizing efforts, the museum further impressed me with their commitment to improving the visitor experience. This was made clear through the incorporation of different evaluation tools throughout the exhibition, encouragement of visitor feedback, multiple hands-on, participatory, and interactive exhibit elements for visitors of all ages.

As museum practitioners, I encourage us all to keep and eye on the Eiteljorg Museum and any future innovations they may take.

 

Families Belong Together: How Should Museums Respond?

Two weeks ago, the Department of Homeland Security revealed that over 2,300 children were separated from their families along the Mexico-U.S. border under President Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. Although he has since reversed this order, parents and children remain separated in detainment centers, and it continues to be unclear how – and when – families will be reunited. In response, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators across the United States took to the streets on Saturday to protest the administration and to march in solidarity with immigrant families seeking asylum.

In this ever-changing political climate, museums have the ability to foster a safe and inclusive learning environment where individuals can come together to speak out and discuss immigration and other social injustices. As platforms for education, contemplation, and inspiration, museums also have a social responsibility to respond. How though, can such institutions take action?

The Oakland Museum of California has recently highlighted its Sent Away exhibition (permanently on view in the Museum’s Gallery of California History), which documents the experience of the seven thousand Japanese American families who were sent to the Tanforan Assembly Center internment camp in the 1940s under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066. “With the recent ‘Sent Away’ installation,” according to the Museum’s curator,  Erendina Delgadillo, “we’ve been paying attention to whether the visitors really understand, and if it’s properly conveying the trajectory of racialized communities in moments of political and social stress.”

This is not the first time that museums have promptly responded to President Trump’s divisive policies. In February 2017, after announcing a travel and immigration ban against several Muslim-majority countries, MoMA protested by rehanging art made by artists from the list of banned nations. In a similar demonstration of solidarity, the Davis Museum at Wellesley College removed or covered any artworks in its collection that was “made by an immigrant” or “given by an immigrant,” surmounting to over twenty percent of its art being censored.

However, museums do not necessarily have to highlight their art to make a difference. They could also host symposia, guest speakers, readings, open forums, film screenings, panels, and other public programs that explore current events revolved around American history and culture, immigration, democracy, or government. For instance, the New-York Historical Society recently launched the Citizenship Project, an initiative that offers free American history courses for green card holders hoping to take their naturalization exam. It also hosts naturalization ceremonies, allowing individuals to come together to celebrate their new citizenship in an effort devoted to “telling the American story and fostering a community of learners to consider what it means to be an American, past and present.”

Unfortunately, museums largely remain silent about the stories of individuals who continue to be systematically excluded. While doing research for this blog post, I was surprised and saddened at the lack of museums responding to our current climate. As we have learned from our country’s history, apathy and silence will fuel, not heal, our society’s malaise. If more museums took the small step of acknowledging our political situation by actively becoming a part of the conversation, it would make a world of difference.

 

 

Weekly Jobs Roundup!

Here’s the weekly jobs roundup for the week of July 1st!

Northeast

Education Programs Reservations Specialist [Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic, CT]

Overnight Programs Educators [Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic, CT]

Development Operations Manager [The Trustees of Reservations, Boston, MA]

Linde Family Foundation Coordinator of School and Teacher Programs [Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, ME]

Visitor Experience Ambassador [Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME]

Communications Manager [Gallery 263, Boston, MA]

Education Associate, Live Presentations [Museum of Science, Boston, MA]

ArtLab Director [Harvard University, Cambridge, MA]

Exhibition Programming Coordinator [Emerald Necklace Conservatory, Boston, MA]

Membership Events Coordinator [Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, MA]

Mid-Atlantic

Director of Interpretation [Adirondack Experience, Blue Mountain Lake, NY]

Interpretation and Public Engagement Educator [The Rockwell Museum, Corning, NY]

Program Manager for its Neighborhood Initiative [Atlanta History Center, Atlanta, GA]

Southeast

Associate Director of Development [Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, New Orleans, LA]

Museum Public Programs and Education Curator [Miami Dade College, Miami, FL]

Curatorial Assistant [American Craftsman Museum, Inc., Palm Harbor, FL]

Curator of Education [Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, North Miami, FL]

Midwest

Exhibit Preparator/Designer [University of Michigan Museum of Natural History, Ann Arbor, MI]

Programs and Education Assistant [Cantigny Park, Wheaton, IL]

Collections Curator [Brown County Historical Society, New Ulm, MN]

West

Associate Director of Education [The Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, CA]

Curatorial Assistant [Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA]

Curatorial Fellow [Imperial Valley Desert Museum, Ocotillo, CA]

Weekly Jobs Roundup!

Here’s the weekly jobs roundup for the week of June 25th!

Northeast

Native American Art Fellow [Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH]

Anchor Watch Overnight Program Educator [Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic, CT]

Historical Interpreter/Actor [Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, Boston, MA]

Education Director [Preservation Worcester, Worcester, MA]

Museum Assistant, Visitor Services [Old South Meeting House, Boston, MA]

Preservation Services Manager, Northern New England [South Berwick, ME or Haverhill, MA]

Mid-Atlantic

Museum Educator [Erie Maritime Museum, Erie, PA]

Senior Director, Guest Experiences and Education [Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia, PA]

Internship Coordinator [National Museum of the American Indian, Washington D.C.]

Director of Adult Education Programs [The Newark Museum, Newark, NJ]

Museum Exhibit Technician [Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington D.C.]

Head of Operations [Cooper-Hewitt, New York, NY]

Southeast

School and Family Programs Manager [Harn Museum of Art, Gainsville, FL]

Education and Visitor Services Manager [The Sumter County Museum, Sumter, SC]

Senior Vice President, Historic Preservation and Collections [Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon, VA]

Social Media Coordinator [National Museum of the Pacific War, Fredericksburg, TX]

Midwest

Public History Manager [Organization of American Historians, Bloomington, IN]

Chief Curator [Dittrick Medical History Center at Case Western University, Cleveland, OH]

Collections Curator [Brown County Historical Society, New Ulm, MN]

Research Associate [Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL]

Associate Curator of Photography [Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH]

West

Manager of Design for Exhibition Creative Services [Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, CA]

Curatorial Fellow [Imperial Valley Desert Museum, Ocotillo, CA]

 

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