Museum Studies at Tufts University

Exploring ideas and engaging in conversation

Tag: myhomeisamuseum (page 1 of 2)

Week 11 – Something relaxing

The past few weeks have been emotionally and mentally challenging for many people. As graduate students, we have to maintain a good work and study performance while juggling our Covid colored social lives and personal care, in addition last week many experienced  the stress related with the election. This week I would like to invite our readers to share pictures of the objects in your homes that helped you relax, ground and move on. 

Send a picture (1 or 2) of your “something relaxing” to sayyara.huseynli@tufts.edu. Include your name and where you currently live. 

Sayyara Huseynli. Collage on watercolor paper, background – black ballpoint pen. Artists whose works are used in the collage: Andrea Ortuño, Paul Cezanne, Anna Madia, Gun Legler; quotes are by C.G. Jung and F. Nietzsche 

As usual, I will be the first person to share. Last week, I felt that I was attacked by news coming from everywhere, academic work deadlines gave me anxiety and personal life was troubled. While I was journaling one day, I got an idea that I should create a collage of my emotions. I mapped my emotions, connected them with other forms of art, like cutouts of paintings and drawing and added words. I extracted the words and phrases from the quotes by my favorite philosophers, poets and other artists. While creating this kind of art, I felt calm and relaxed. 

Week 9 – Learning space

In accordance to health and safety guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19, most higher education institutions in the US made the transition to virtual education, at least till the end of the Fall semester. For many students, this transition has called for certain changes/adaptations to be made in their living environments/homes to become more suitable as learning spaces.  

How have you adapted your living environment to meet your learning needs? What does your learning space look like? What kind of special tools/items you have that support your learning? 

Use these prompts to describe your study spaces. Please also include your name and location and don’t forget to include pictures 

Here is an example:

 

Email your pictures and responses to Sayyara.huseynli@tufts.edu 

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/11/half-of-us-elementary-and-high-school-students-will-study-virtually-only-this-fall-study-shows.html 

 

Week 8 – The first day of school

Happy First Week of School!

In the time when there is still no vaccine for Covid 19, academic year is nearing a start for everyone from elementary to higher education students. According to my observations many teachers, students and their parents alongside institution managers are still conversing over matters of safe ways to return to school while maintaining provision of qualitative educational experience. 

This week I want to encourage everyone to share stories of the objects which are related to the first day of school this year (Fall 2020). If you are out of school, please feel free to share stories of someone you know, friends, neighbors or family members. Let’s see how different it will be from the previous years. 

Let me remind you how to participate.

  • Choose an object what fits the theme
  • Take 1-3 pictures of the object
  • Please describe how your object reflects the theme of the week. This is your chance to make your object shine and share its story 🙂

Please include the answers to the following information when submitting your entry:

  • What it your name?
  • Where do you live?
  • What do you do?

Email your pictures and descriptions to Sayyara.huseynli@tufts.edu

P.S. Please note that by submitting your response to this project you agree to its public display.

Week 7 – Submissions – Theme “Death”

Abigail Epplett

Uxbridge, MA

M.A. Museum Studies, Office Manager at Fairlawn Christian Reformed Church

This bone is from a domesticated cow (Bos taurus) that lived and died on a beef cattle farm in Dudley, Massachusetts, which is about a thirty-minute drive from my house. It is an axis or C2 vertebra, which means it was the second vertebra in the cow’s neck. It connected to the atlas vertebra at the base of the cow’s skull and allowed the cow to turn its head. The main hole in the center of the bone protected the cow’s spinal cord, while smaller holes around the bone allowed nerves to connect to the main cord. The bone sustained some postmortem damage, perhaps nibbled by mice and deer as a calcium supplement before I found it in the woods.

The bone reminded me of Georgia O’Keeffe‘s paintings, which often feature cattle bones and other western motifs. Her art balances death and life, as longhorn skulls and arid landscapes are juxtaposed vibrant desert flowers.

The same balance of death and life can be seen in local farming, in which the cow played a small part. While agriculture in Massachusetts and the rest of New England had been in decline for several decades since the Industrial Revolution, it is fortunately no longer dying. According to the Massachusetts Agriculture Census, conducted by UMass Amherst’s Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environmentin 2017, there are more than 7000 farms in my little state– up from around 4500 in 1974, the first year the census was held. While small farms were expected to disappear after the advent of genetically modified crops and enormous factory farms, they have instead evolved to find a niche in the slow food and organic movements.

The average person no longer farms and may not have a deep connection to their food, but there are still plenty of opportunities for agritourism in the region where the cow lived. Some of my local favorites are Wojcik Farm in BlackstoneDouglas Orchard & Farm in DouglasWest End Creamery & Farm in Whitinsville, and Foppema’s Farm in Northbridge. These are great places to see how local agriculture contributes to our food system, and how the cycle of life and death affects every season, from planting to growing to harvest.

Sayyara Huseynli

Medford, MA

M.A. Museum Education

I was getting frustrated in my search for an object which would fit the theme of “Death” when I noticed a door under the stairs. I have lived in this house for longer than a year but never paid attention to that door. As the door was located near to outside door and on the first floor, I imagined that it would be full of old or rarely used items, possibly old fashioned and dusty outwear.  When I opened that door, I did indeed see some old coats. One of the them was an old vintage fur coat. I asked my landlord about that coat. She told me that inherited it after her mother passed away. Her sisters suggested for her to take the coat with her when she moved to Boston from Germany, as in their opinion Boston had colder winters then their home town.

The coat was made of real fur, but my landlord didn’t know which animal’s fur was used to make it. Because of the cruelty involved in the production of fur clothing, the coat symbolized Death to me. 

 

Week 7 – “Death”

My Home is a Museum project which aims to create an ongoing conversation around the weekly prompts inspired by the events happening the globe. Everyone who sends submissions to  weekly prompts can suggest prompt ideas for the following weeks. The proposed themes are used in the order that they are received. 

Abigail Epplett, is the last week’s participant who suggested “Death” as a prompt for new – Week 7. This is how she explained her choice:

“I was inspired by the cow vertebrae I keep on the filing cabinet next to my desk. I got it from my aunt’s farm a few years ago– her family rents grazing land to the Boston Beef butchers. The vertebrae reminds me of Georgia O’Keeffe‘s western paintings, which often feature cattle bones. I know cultural perception of “death” is highly variable around the world, so I thought it would be interesting to see what mortuary objects other people had around their houses.”

Let me remind you how to participate.

  • Choose an object what fits the theme
  • Take 1-3 pictures of the object
  • Please describe how your object reflects the theme of the week. This is your chance to make your object shine and share its story 🙂

Please include the answers to the following information when submitting your entry:

  • What it your name?
  • Where do you live?
  • What do you do?

Email your pictures and descriptions to Sayyara.huseynli@tufts.edu

P.S. Please note that by submitting your response to this project you agree to its public display.

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