Monday, April 22, 2013

Boosting the Signal: Museopunk

I am a huge fan of podcasts, and I've been on the hunt for a good museum one for a long time.

I was thrilled to see the announcement for Museopunks, a new "podcast for the progressive museum."

Suse Cairns talks more about it on her blog, museum geek. She writes:
Each month, we’ll invite passionate practitioners to tackle prominent issues and big ideas facing museums in the modern age. With innovation, experimentation and creativity as focus points, Museopunks features forward-thinking people and projects that push the sector into new territories.
Read more of her thoughts on the launch here.

I've downloaded the first episode and can't wait to listen to it on a long car ride tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Museums Respond

The Tufts Museum Studies blog has an excellent roundup of museum response to Monday's tragedy at the Boston Marathon. Many of the city's institutions have stepped up and opened their doors to help people in their grief and functioned as community anchors in the best possible way.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Chernobyl Museum

I just finished reading a remarkable oral history of the Chernobyl nuclear accident, Voices from Chernobyl. The collected stories of those who lived through the accident and are living through its aftermath are powerful and heartbreaking.

One in particular struck me, as it was told by a man who began as a rocket scientist and felt compelled to collect the material culture of the accident. He tells about his father, who fought in the Second World War, and how he has very little left of his father's personal belongings, and treasures those he has. He continues:
Now you understand how I see our museum? In that urn there is some land from Chernobyl. A handful. And there's a miner's helmet. Also from there. Some farmer's equipment from the Zone. We can't let the dosimeters in here - we're glowing! But everything here needs to be real. No plaster casts. People need to believe us. And they'll only believe the real thing, because there are too many lies around Chernobyl. There were and there are still.
I am simultaneously fascinated and horrified by the idea of a museum filled with radioactive objects, and by the commitment of a curator to the absolute unvarnished truth and reality of the physical, actual objects - a commitment so deep it is killing him daily as he works with those objects.

Friday, April 5, 2013


The internet at its finest, ladies and gentlemen: the current Los Angeles MOCA drama in GIF form.

Once there was a beautiful princess named MOCA...

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Fellow Tufts museum studies graduate Madeline Karp has been writing a really terrific series of columns for the Tufts Museum Studies blog, and yesterday she hit it out of the park. I'm not ashamed to say I got a little weepy reading it. Go, check it out.

Monday, April 1, 2013

NEMA Deacccessioning Survey

Boosting the signal on this one, and reposting direction from NEMA's announcement.

Please Participate in NEMA's Deaccessioning Survey 
Deaccessioning. It's become one of the most controversial words in museum life. But it's also one of the most misunderstood.  
Help NEMA demystify deaccessioning by participating in a short survey that will give us the pulse of the museum community and inform museum scholarship.  
The results will be incorporated into an upcoming edition of NEMA News in 2013.  
The survey is intended for anyone who is a staff member, volunteer, or board member of a nonprofit museum, historic house, botanical garden, interpretive center, zoo, or aquarium. Deadline for participation is April 9th.  
To participate click here