The May 2015 issue of the Public Historian was just released and provides a dozen articles related to historic house museums. Lisa Junkin Lopez, associate director of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum and guest editor of this special issue, provides the criteria that helped her select the articles and her vision of historic house museums:
Though a number of sites have turned to revenue-generating activities like weddings and farmers’ markets to stay afloat, rigorous historical content has not necessarily been quashed in favor of parlor room cocktail hours and heirloom tomato beds. Many sites have recommitted to the project of excavating their own histories, digging deeper to find relevance with contemporary audiences and identifying new methods for engagement along the way.
The individual essays are case studies of various projects at historic house museums, but many question and even break the basic assumptions of museum practices and historic preservation standards. This shift will need to be watched because Continue reading