“This is an exceptional appointment for the Preservation Society,” said CEO & Executive Director Trudy Coxe. “Dr. Ossman brings both intellectual rigor and down-to-earth museum experience to this critical leadership position. We are excited to add her breadth of museum experience and academic achievement to the leadership of our combined museum affairs activities.”
The Director of Museum Affairs provides vision and leadership on curatorial, conservation, research and educational initiatives at the Continue reading →
This short feature by BET includes an interview with director Lonnie Bunch, highlights of artifacts, and a computer-generated fly-through of the new Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture. In honor of African American history month, I’ll be sharing other related videos on Fridays.
The American Association for State and Local History held its annual meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah last week, attracting about 600 staff, volunteers, and board members of history organizations around the country (and about 30 of them were from the Minnesota Historical Society). Four days of educational sessions, workshops, speeches, and receptions kept everyone busy and thinking about improving our work as historians, educators, collections managers, curators, and directors of historical societies, museums, and historic sites. I’ll provide more reports in the future, but for now, enjoy some pics from the meeting.
Today, the American Association of Museums becomes the American Alliance of Museums, which may appear at first to be merely a cosmetic change ushered in by a marketing consultant, but actually signals some significant changes in attitude. Those of us in the history field often felt like outsiders at AAM, which seemed to be dominated by art museums, our classier and richer cousins. But take look at the new AAM and you may find two major changes that may appeal to history organizations:
Terri Anderson is swapping history collections for art when she joins the Corcoran Gallery of Art next week as a Contract Registrar to help them migrate their collections database from Filemaker to TMS (The Museum System). For the past five years, she has focused her work on collections management at the 29 National Trust Historic Sites as the John and Neville Bryan Director of Collections at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, where she also taught collections management for George Washington University and became one of the national leaders on the challenges of deaccessioning collections at historic sites. With this transition, I thought it would be a good time to capture some of her thoughts about managing collections at historic sites.
Max: You’ve been managing the collections of the National Trust for the last five years–what have been the major successes?
Terri: Our most visible successes were opening several Sites to the public for the first time, including the Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut; President Lincoln’s Cottage in Washington, DC; and Villa Finale in San Antonio, Texas. Each of these Site openings required many important decisions about collections stewardship and access, and each Site demanded a different approach: one size did not fit all.
At the same time, we had successes that, while less visible, were important to me and the parties involved. We did a lot of great work with thoughtful, appropriate deaccessions at several of our Sites. I wrote about our experiences in Continue reading →
The Chronicle of Higher Education just named Dr. Daniel Cohen one of academia’s top Tech Innovators for 2012 for his innovative approaches to employing digital tools in research and teaching. Is he a computer scientist, business professor, or cognitive psychologist? Nope, he’s an historian of 19th century science and religion, not a typical place where you’d expect to find someone on technology’s cutting edge. Nice to turn the tables on those who believe history is just about the past and has little to offer the future. Think again.
Dan Cohen is an associate professor in the Department of History and Art History and director of Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University in Virginia. He is the co-author of Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005), author of Equations from God: Pure Mathematics and Victorian Faith (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007), and has published articles and book chapters on the history of mathematics and religion, the teaching of history, and the future of history in a digital age in journals such as the Journal of American History, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Rethinking History. If that isn’t enough, he is an inaugural recipient of the American Council of Learned Societies’ Digital Innovation Fellowship.
H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest, chairman of the American Revolution Center today announced that Michael C. Quinn will join the organization as president and CEO effective April 1, 2012. Quinn will oversee all aspects of the development of The Museum of the American Revolution, to be built in the historic area of Philadelphia.
Since 1999, Quinn has served as president and CEO of The Montpelier Foundation, the private non-profit organization that operates James Madison’s Montpelier, a National Trust Historic Site in Virginia. Under his leadership, the home of James Madison and its surrounding environment were transformed from a 1900s mansion into a vibrant interpretive and educational center focusing on James Madison and the U.S. Constitution. He oversaw the $25 million restoration of James Madison’s home, and the planning and construction of a 15,000 square foot visitor center. He conceived and oversaw the establishment of the Center for the Constitution, which annually provides advanced intellectual seminars on constitutional theory for more than 700 teachers, police officers, and legislators.
The Organization of American Historians and the National Council on Public History are combining their annual meetings this year and this double-header is creating a really interesting conference for people who are working to preserve and interpret historic places. Here are just a few sessions that caught my eye (and just a few–there are more than 200 sessions offered over five days):
Museum and Makers: Intersections of Public History and Technology Buffs from Steam Trains to Steampunk
Museums, Historic Sites, and the University: Public History Projects and Partnerships in the American Indian Great Lakes
The Witness Tree Project: Using Historic Landscapes to Explore History and Memory
Toward a Reinterpretation of the Indian Wars at National Historic Sites and Parks
Closing Up Shop: Strategies for Partners and Communities When Historic Sites Close Continue reading →
The Kingwood Center in Mansfield, Ohio recently appointed Christopher Roddy as its visitor services manager beginning February 6, 2012. This position oversees many aspects of the museum and gardens, including interpretation and educational/public programs; admissions, security, and volunteers; developing marketing initiatives; and the way-finding plan for the site. Built in 1926 for Mr. and Mrs. Charles Kelley King, the 47-acre estate opened as a public garden in 1953, one year after Mr. King’s death. He left most of his estate to the private foundation that continues to operate Kingwood Center today.
Chris leaves Villa Finale, a National Trust Historic Site in San Antonio, Texas. He was part of the team that transitioned Villa Finale from a private residence to a public historic site, joining the fledgling staff as the buildings and grounds manager in July 2007 to plan and manage all the capital projects. Among his major accomplishments are Continue reading →
The Old Salem Museums and Gardens Board of Trustees accepted the resignation of President and CEO Lee French and appointed Ragan Folan to replace him, effective February 1, 2012. Ms. Folan, a leading community volunteer, has been actively involved with Old Salem as a member of the Board of Trustees since 2005 and as Chair of the Board since May 2010. She chaired the Strategic Planning Task Force that developed the Long Range Strategic Plan currently being implemented. The Board elected Tony Furr, past Chair, to fill her term as Chair through May 2012. Located in North Carolina, Old Salem consists of two museums–the Historic Town of Salem and the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA)–along with award-winning heirloom gardens.
Lee French, who leaves the historic museum after five-and-a-half years of successful leadership, informed members of the executive committee of the Board some months ago that he desired to leave OSMG to explore other professional objectives and to satisfy some personal goals. “Based on a number of factors that include personal, professional and family objectives, I decided some months ago to Continue reading →