I’ve been having a lot of conversations with colleagues about history recently: appreciating it, analyzing it, reinterpreting it for a new generation, and collecting it for future generations. Clearly, I’m not the only one having these conversations, especially as we are in the middle of a lot of newsworthy current events.
Here are a few interesting reads on being part of history, and preserving it:
New York Magazine: Museums Across the World are Collecting Women’s March Signs
The Boston Globe: Professors stash rally signs to preserve a piece of history
Art Museum Teaching: Museums Marching
I’m not ready for ‘back to school’ quite yet, but I am back from vacation, so I guess that’s close enough. Hidden in among the piles of mail and email that were waiting upon my return were some fun reads on education and the continuing search for balancing traditional academics with lifelong learning skills, everywhere from the classroom to the playground to the museum.
Also on my current reading pile: Nina Simon’s The Art of Relevance and the latest issue of the Journal of Museum Education
What’s on your list of back-to-school reads?
What do you hope to do new or differently this year, in your classroom, gallery, studio, or teaching practice?
Indulging the inner kindergartener at the Eric Carle Museum earlier this summer.
Innovation is a buzzword, but the actual act of envisioning a new future and acting on it remains exciting, however overused the word might be. Here are a few cool reads to make your brain stretch, including a few ideas to make you feel good about the potential futures of humanity:
“A Peek inside the Moonshot Factory Operating Manual” about the offshoot of Google that’s focused on developing ‘moonshot’ ideas into tangible futuristic reality.
MISC Magazine’s “The Future According to Women” asks numerous influential women about the visions of the future they see and organizes their responses thematically. (I’m still reading this one, but so far it’s an interesting compilation.)
And in a cross-over from my creative-writing world to my museums/educational/advocacy one, “The New Utopians” and, “The Political Dimensions of Solarpunk.” (This latter one is long and not entirely positive, but has some interesting points to make.)
Even virtual collections count, apparently! There have been roughly a hundred articles already about museum responses to Pokemon in the galleries, but how is the appeal of ‘gotta catch ’em all’ much different from the other kinds of collecting we do? Shouldn’t museums understand that gathering impulse?
The Secret Sauce of Pokemon Go: Big Data – Barry over on Moosha Moosha Mooshme talks about the gamification of big data and why the appeal of Pokemon Go is more than just the AR camera.
Object Lessons: The New Museum Explores Why We Keep Things – From the New York Times, an exhibit review on “a remarkable series of object lessons about what it means to “keep.”” The NYT is also interested in your collecting stories: “Tell us how you began collecting, how your collection has evolved over the years, and any other interesting details (like how others have reacted to your collection). Your response may be featured in an upcoming story.”
Direct Care of Collections – AAM’s new white paper on ethical standards for direct care, to help in discussions of deaccessioning, etc.
If this isn’t enough on collections for you, keep your eyes out for NEMA’s New England Museums Now, new issue coming out next week with a regional benchmarking survey, articles on open storage in historic houses, updates to abandoned property laws, discussions on accessibility and authenticity, digitizing your collections, and more!