The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Heartlands Ring – Strengthening Birmingham’s Communities and Heritage

Enterprising Communities are inviting proposals for funding for activity projects that fit into the following categories: access, arts, education, community safety, environment, community cohesion and health that would assist local communities to claim ownership of the Heartlands Ring canal network as an urban linear park to promote better health and well-being. Read more here,

The Heartlands Ring – Strengthening Birmingham’s Communities and Heritage

Friday, May 28, 2010

Mapping Urban Art

Mapping Urban Art

This article shows us how technology can be used both to curate the ephemeral, and re-value arts once deemed marginal.

Oh internet, is there nothing you cannot do...?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Call for Paper/Panel Proposals for the Collecting, Collectibles, Collectors and Collections Area

CFP: Call for Paper/Panel Proposals for the Collecting, Collectibles, Collectors and Collections Area. PCA/ACA & Southwest/Texas Popular Culture and American Culture Associations Joint Conference
Location: Texas, United States
Call for Papers Date: 2010-12-15
Date Submitted: 2010-05-25
Announcement ID: 176432
Proposals for individual presentations are being accepted for the Collecting, Collectibles, Collectors, Collections Area and related topics. We also seek proposals for entire panels as well as roundtable discussions concerning Collecting, Collectibles, Collectors, and Collections.
Some areas of consideration include, but are not limited to:

• Collections/Collecting/Collectors/collectibles in popular culture
• Collections in libraries, archives or museums
• Collections/Collecting/Collectibles in Science Fiction and Fantasy
• Personal Collections
• Folk Art Collections and Collectibles
• Collections and collectors in literature, film, theatre
• The history of collecting
• Early American collections and Americana
• Collections of Native American, African American, Asian American, and Latina/o cultures(and others)
• Private or public collections
• The impulse to collect.
• Collecting and political correctness.
• Legal issues regarding collecting/collections.
• The business of collecting - buying and selling, mediating value - the dealer, the picker, the agent.
• The impact of the Internet (including eBay and like sites) on collecting.
• Relationships between collectors and curators.
• Collecting as community activity.
• Collecting as scholarship.
• Collectors' organizations (car clubs, stamp clubs, costume jewelry collectors' groups, etc.), their functions, their controversies.
• What is an "authentic" collectible?
• Collecting the immaterial (places, memories, people, websites, words, etc.)

Scholars, artists, curators, and other professionals are encouraged to participate. Graduate students are welcome, with award opportunities for the best graduate papers. Please visit the organization website for more information about this conference. http://www.swtxpca.org. Papers should be approximately 20 minutes long (8-10 pages) and should be original works of scholarship that have not been presented or published elsewhere. Proposals for entire panels should include 3-4 presentations/papers. Roundtables should be approximately 90 minutes long. Please send 200-250 word abstracts for papers, panels, and roundtables, to the Area Chair below, by December 15 2010.

Kathrin Dodds
Texas Tech University Libraries
MS0002
Lubbock, TX 79409
806-742-2300
Email: kathrin.dodds@ttu.edu
Visit the website at http://www.swtxpca.org

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

National Trust: The Album

What does a museum sound like? Attic favourite, Jarvis Cocker, has worked with the National Trust to produce an album of sounds to be heard at NT properties across the country.

Click on the link below for more information, and to download the tracks for free.

National Trust | Events | Sounds

CFP: Curatorial Dreams (book)

Call for Papers
Curatorial Dreams: Critics Imagine Exhibitions
Shelley Ruth Butler & Erica Lehrer, eds.
The academic field of museum studies and the practical sphere of museology are both in a period of intense growth and ferment, yet there are unexamined and unresolved tensions between the domains of theoretical reflection and professional practice. Museum criticism is rarely constructive; the impulse is to find fault with exhibitions, most often around questions of representation and politics. Thus, a foundational body of critical museology associates exhibitions with the politics of exclusion, containment and self-regulation (eg. Bennett 1995, Duncan 1991, Karp and Lavine, eds. 1991). But these critiques often threaten and alienate practitioners, who must negotiate practical and political constraints even as they themselves attempt to stretch towards new vistas in their exhibitionary practice (eg. Macdonald 2006, McCarthy 2007). Further, critical and pessimistic accounts of exhibitionary politics are at odds with the sense of optimism expressed by many museum educators and museum mission statements regarding the potential of museums to contribute to an inclusive and enriching public sphere (Butler 1999).
Curatorial Dreams explores and innovatively bridges these tensions between theory and practice. In a unique challenge, we ask critics to respond conceptually, concretely and imaginatively to their own critiques, inviting them to step into curators’ shoes with empathy and imagination. Specifically, contributors will envision new exhibitions and interventions inspired by their own critical approaches to exhibitions in museums and related heritage and public culture sites.
Contributors to this volume will be asked to:
1) Review their critical work on museums and public representations;

2) Outline an imaginary exhibition that responds to these critiques;
3) Use the exercise to reflect on the value of curatorial dreaming for both critics and practitioners.
Authors will be asked to title their imaginary exhibitions and interventions, to have specific sites in mind for their work, and to have examples of artifacts, texts, performances, or other media. Authors need not walk readers/visitors through an entire exhibition, but they must be able to evoke key moments of engagement. In some cases, authors may imagine a process of exhibition development with key stakeholders and participants. Contributors will be expected to make their curatorial goals – typically hidden from the public – explicit. In this volume, would-be curators will evaluate their exhibitionary strategies and hoped for outcomes.
Some critics may propose fanciful exhibitions, while others may offer more realistic, politically astute plans. But Curatorial Dreams demands that attention be paid to the exhibition/intervention site as well as the impact of the curators’ subject-position in relation to their proposal. Sites that might be used include establishment museums, art galleries, community museums and centers, as well as heritage walks, parks, cafes, transportation systems, advertisement spaces, or other more ‘vernacular’ sites. Since much critical museology is directed at metropolitan, national, and “destination” museums, a portion of this volume will address these types of sites. Another portion will include innovative interventions in heritage sites and vernacular landscapes. We plan to include perspectives from a variety of scholars who may not have previously envisioned themselves as curators, from disciplines such as history, anthropology, sociology, geography, social work, law, art history, philosophy, cultural studies, and others.
Questions that this volume seeks to engage include:
1. How can critiques of culture and representation be transformed into exhibitions and public interventions, both within and outside of museums?
2. What kinds of social issues are exhibitions well positioned to address? How do curators’ social and cultural identities influence the politics and possibilities of exhibitions.
3. What new curatorial strategies might better encourage and enable audience engagement with specific sites and key social and political issues? How can curators navigate social and political constraints within and beyond their institutions?
4. How does the ‘curatorial imagination’ differ from academic criticism, and how might having scholars experiment with curatorship potentially transform criticism?
5. Can bridging the curator/critic divide help destabilize the widespread institutional divide in museums between curators and educators?
Interested contributors should send a proposal (250-500 words) as well as a bio and CV to the editors: Shelley.butler@mcgill.ca and elehrer@alcor.concordia.ca
Deadline for proposal submission: June 15, 2010 (early submissions are encouraged)
Notification of inclusion: mid-July, 2010
Submission due (first draft): November 15. 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It isn't every day...

...that you find a new prehistoric stonework site - but one has been found in Yorkshire!

Read more here

Westminster Abbey gets a face lift

Future of the Chapter House set in stone as extensive conservation work rejuvenates site

It is not only the British government that has undergone something of a transformation of late. So too has the medieval home of the House of Commons – Westminster Abbey Chapter House. Completed in c.1255, the Chapter House was painstakingly reconstructed by the Victorians in 1866, making it one of London’s oldest buildings. Not only is the great tiled floor ‘the best medieval tiled floor in existence’ but, as Dr. Steven Brindle, an English Heritage historian confirms, ‘the wall paintings which date from the 14th century and 15th century are among the finest we have surviving in England’.

Read the rest of the story here

Nominate Your Worthy Buildings

Following on from the Appeal from the Victorian Society which I posted earlier, I would like to invite you to nominate buildings from the Victorian/Edwardian eras in the Leicester area which you consider to be in danger and worthy of saving.

The Attic, as a starting point, would like to put forward for your consideration, Eastgates Coffee House. Designed by Edward Burgess, it was opened by the Duchess of Rutland in 1885, and was associated with the Temperance Movement. I walk past this building fairly frequently, and the state of it breaks my heart.

We would also like to suggest Silver Arcade, the only Victorian Shopping Arcade left in the city. Leicester Civic Society campaigned to open it, and were approved in 2009!

Go on then, suggest away!

Twitter Ask a Curator Day

You can participate in Ask a Curator by getting a member of your staff to answer questions from the public on September 4th 2010. They could decide to do this through Twitter, Facebook, in your venue or even all three. This website will be transformed in to a hub for those looking for participating museums and galleries.

Read the call for participation here - seems like a cool event!

PODCAST #3: Nottingham Museum Crawl

It's my great pleasure to present to you, dear readers, the third in our series of occasional podcasts, subtitled 'Hats, Holes and Heroes'.

It features over an hour of audio recorded during our Museum Crawl to Nottingham in March. Listen, as we visit and pass judgement upon the Galleries of Justice, Nottingham Castle Museum and the Museum of Nottingham Life.

There's quite a bit of serious discussion in this edition but, never fear, there's a whole pile of silliness too.Themes: dark tourism, costumed interpretation, museum merchandise, gentle listeners and Alan Rickman.

I should restate that the views expressed during the podcast are personal, and do not reflect those of the School of Museum Studies, or the University of Leicester.

Press play to listen online or, to listen later, download the MP3 by clicking on the 'divshare' icon on the right-hand side of the embedded player and follow the instructions.





***EDIT***
Apologies if you clicked on the player earlier and got The Chipmunks instead of the museum crawlers! Should be all sorted now.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Proceedings of ALHFAM Conferences

Each year the Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums (ALHFAM) publishes the proceedings of its annual meeting. These annual volumes include articles on a range of topics having to do with living history, agriculture, interpretation, historic sites and many more. An index of the contents of all past Proceedings (through the 2008 Proceedings) can be found on the ALHFAM website:
http://www.alhfam.org/?cat_id=179&nav_tree=96,102,179

Copies of the 2009 Proceedings can be purchased online at
http://www.alhfam.org/?cat_id=306#514
Member price is $15.00 US; non-member price is $20.00 US

Copies of previous Proceedings can be ordered here:
http://www.alhfam.org/?cat_id=287&nav_tree=96,102,287

All ALHFAM members at the Supporting Level and above receive a copy of the Proceedings as a benefit of membership, as do all contributors.

The 2010 Annual Conference & Meeting will take place June 20-24, headquartered in Worcester, MA, and hosted by Old Sturbridge Village. There is still time to register for the meeting; details are at http://www.alhfam.org/?cat_id=295#452

Electronic Visualisation and the Arts July 2010

ELECTRONIC VISUALISATION AND THE ARTS
EVA London 2010
Monday 5th - Wednesday 7th July 2010
Venue: British Computer Society, 5 Southampton Street, Covent Garden,
London WC2E 7HA

EARLY BIRD RATES END SOON: Discounted registration rates available
until 31st May
www.eva-conferences.com/eva_london/2010/register

MARKETING OPPORTUNITIES: EVA London 2010 offers a number of attractive
marketing opportunities for your organisation. Visit our website or
contact Suzanne Keene, Suzanne.keene@ucl.ac.uk, for further details.
www.eva-conferences.com/eva_london/2010/marketing_opportunities

EVA London 2010 will debate the issues, discuss the trends and
demonstrate the digital possibilities in culture, heritage and the
arts. This year's conference includes sessions on:

* Electronic arts
* Data, art and time
* The digital museum
* Art through evolutionary computation
* Photography and reality
* Digital art issues
* Electronic resources for the public
* Music and art
* Digital performance
* Digital arts practice
* Digital perceptions
* Art in the digital age
* Experiencing history

If you are interested in the new technologies in the cultural sector -

If you are an artist, policy maker, manager, researcher,
practitioner, or educator -
this conference is for you.

Please check the EVA London 2010 website for the latest conference
details.
www.eva-conferences.com/eva_london/2010_home

If this message has been forwarded to you and you would like to
receive EVA London announcements directly, please join our mail list.
We jealously protect this list and you will only receive EVA London
announcements - no other postings.

To join send an email to: listserv@jiscmail.ac.uk
Leave the subject line blank
In the message type: SUBSCRIBE EVA-LONDON

EVA London 2010 will be co-sponsored by the Computer Arts Society, a
Special Interest Group of the British Computer Society, and by the
BCS.

Friday, May 21, 2010

An Appeal from the Victorian Society

Help track down the ten most at risk buildings in the country


An appeal to find the ten most endangered historic buildings in the country has been launched by the Victorian Society.

The Society is calling on historians, enthusiasts and local campaigners across the country to nominate Victorian or Edwardian buildings that are at risk in their local area.

The endangered buildings campaign, now in its fourth year, aims to highlight the problems facing many of our historic buildings.

'People expect us to be obsessed with the past, but the reality is we are obsessed with the future. We want to ensure that the best examples of Victorian and Edwardian architecture are still there for future generations to enjoy', said Dr Ian Dungavell, Director of the Victorian Society. 'To do this we need to know what is most at risk; so if you know of a vulnerable Victorian school building, or an empty pub, a disused swimming pool or a crumbling chapel, we want to hear about it.'

Buildings that have been nominated in the past also include mills and factories, public baths, churches, town halls and stately homes.

'We have been left an extraordinary legacy of beautiful buildings but sadly even the finest architecture is no match for sustained neglect or poor planning.'

The nominations will be considered by the Society's experts on architecture and conservation, and a Top Ten will be published in the autumn.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

And the Winner Is...

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner! In spite of highly undemocratic multiple voting by some (*ahem* Ceri), I have to announce that the title of Ultimate Historical Hottie goes to Eleanor Hewitt, co-founder of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, by two votes (which may have been Ceri's, in which case we would once again have a tie, but it's just too difficult to recount!)


I would also like to point out that although I noted Henry Wellcome as representing the UK (as his museum influence has been here), he was actually American, and so this contest has also brought out some national divisions. Apparently, the US makes good museum hotties; the more you know!

Remind yourselves of the contest and review the nominees of this very difficult competition here.

Behind the Scenes at the Museum

No, not based on the novel of the same name; this is a three-part documentary currently broadcasting on BBC4 about small museums dealing with challenges. So far, we have learned about catfights among the retired men at the Commercial Vehicle Museum, and catfights between the curators and the custodians at the Freud Museum. I can't wait for what catfights will emerge at the National Waterways Museum next week.

All kidding aside, however, this has been an extraordinarily lucid documentary. I do find the filmmaker's frequent editorializing and opinions somewhat annoying, but he has done a great job of demonstrating the very real threats from within and without that museums face for a non-museological audience. Gaining funding, expanding appeal, retaining expertise, maintaining standards - all these are keywords for any museum studies person, but rarely thought of by visitors. I hope this opens up people's eyes.

For those who can't watch on iPlayer, here's a preview of the first episode on YouTube.

Modern Art Stolen

A major theft of modern art was organized in Paris, the BBC reports. Five paintings from major artists, documenting the birth of modern art as we now know it, were stolen from the Museum of Modern Art. Fingers crossed, the paintings will be recovered quickly and safely.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Digital Curation and Preservation Bibliography, Version 1

Version one of the Digital Curation and Preservation
Bibliography is now available from Digital Scholarship.

http://digital-scholarship.org/dcpb/dcpb.htm

This bibliography presents over 360 selected
English-language articles, books, and technical reports that
are useful in understanding digital curation and
preservation.

Most sources have been published between 2000 and the
present; however, a limited number of key sources published
prior to 2000 are also included. Where possible, links are
provided to sources that are freely available on the
Internet, including e-prints for published articles in
disciplinary archives and institutional repositories. Note
that e-prints and published articles may not be identical.
See the scope note for further details:

http://digital-scholarship.org/dcpb/scope.htm

The following recent Digital Scholarship publications may
also be of interest:

* Digital Scholarship 2009

http://digital-scholarship.org/sepb/annual/ds2009.htm

* Google Book Search Bibliography, Version 6

http://digital-scholarship.org/gbsb/gbsb.htm

* Institutional Repository Bibliography, Version 2

http://digital-scholarship.org/irb/irb.html

* Electronic Theses and Dissertations Bibliography, Version
4

http://digital-scholarship.org/etdb/etdb.htm

Reading Artifacts: Summer Institute in Material Culture Research

READING ARTIFACTS
Summer Institute in Material Culture Research

Presented by:
Canada Science and Technology Museum Corporation
Collection and Research Branch and Conservation Services

Our 2009 Summer Institute broke new ground on how to approach history
through intense study of artifacts by bringing together international
experts and participants from diverse backgrounds. This years SI will
use the same formula to expose you to a unique experience and change
the way you appreciate objects and material culture.

www.sciencetech.technomuses.ca/english/whatson/2010-reading-artifacts.cfm

The READING ARTIFACTS SUMMER INSTITUTE is for:
• Graduate Students
• Post-docs
• Faculty interested in teaching history through artifacts
• History professionals looking to expand their research methods

Participants will:
• investigate artifacts, trade literature and photographic collections
as resources for research, teaching, and the public presentation of
history
• work with leading collection scholars in a national museum setting
to explore material culture methodologies and approaches
• use artifacts as the center of discussion and hands-on activities
• immerse themselves in a material culture perspective of the
technological past
• learn the basics of conservation, cataloging and developing
collections in local environments – a growing and essential resource
for history studies.

Location: Canada Science and Technology Museum, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Dates: August 16-20, 2010
Tuition: Students $250. Post-Docs $350; Faculty and Professionals $450
(includes breaks, lunches, and a field trip)
Some financial support for students may be provided.
Accommodation is close to the site and very reasonably priced - details will follow.

Registration: https://nt8.magma.ca/technomuses.ca/summerinstitute/summerinstitute_e.asp
Limit of 30 participants
Registration deadline: June 16th, 2010
For further information contact Anna Adamek at:
aadamek@technomuses.ca

Join our Google Group at: http://groups.google.ca/group/reading-artifacts-CSTM?hl=en&lnk

Happy International Museum Day!

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) established International Museum Day in 1977 to encourage
public awareness of the role of museums in the development of society.
Momentum has been rising unabated ever since. In 2009, International Museum Day garnered record-breaking
participation with almost 20,000 museums hosting events in more than 90 countries.
The worldwide community of museums will celebrate International Museum Day around May 18, 2010 and
will, as always, be creative in organising discovery tours by day or night, atypical visits, workshops and
conferences for all kinds of visitors.
“Museums for social harmony" is the theme of this year’s International Museum Day. Harmony is a concept
significant for both Humanity and for representing Eastern cultures. The basis of social harmony lies in
dialogue, tolerance, coexistence and development, based on pluralism, difference, competition and creativity.
Fundamentally social harmony is "to agree but to stand out, to look for common ground but to keep the
difference."

For more, clicky the linky

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Secret of Creativity

For those of you who are, like me, currently struggling your way through reports and papers and presentations...crikey, it's indefinately accumulating isn't it?...I thought you might be inspired here, and less worried about your 'darkness and solitude'.

Take care, and enjoy your work chaps.

Art Fund Prize shortlist announced

Art Fund Prize shortlist announced

Go and take a look. I don't know how I feel about the entrants...I've loyalty to a number, so perhaps I should abstain.

Forum for Young Leaders on Cultural Policy, 4th June 2010, City University

UKCCD is hosting a major event, a Forum for Young Leaders on Cultural Policy, on the 4th of June at City University.

The UK Coalition for Cultural Diversity, UKCCD, together with our partners, the Global Policy Institute, City University, the National Campaign for the Arts, and the U-40 Programme, is bringing together a special event to inform young and upcoming cultural leaders on Unesco's groundbreaking Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, 2005. It is the latest in a series of events set up by the UKCCD to promote the Convention, a unique, international tool for cultural policy and international, cultural exchange.

Our aim is to initiate a U40 group in the cultural and creative sector to represent the UK in the growing, international U40 network.

Admission is £10 for individuals.
Free for students.

Please, feel free to contact us or acquire information on our website and join our facebook page!

http://ukccd.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Young-Cultural-Professionals-Forum-on-Cultural-Diversity/117323031620856#!/pages/Young-Cultural-Professionals-Forum-on-Cultural-Diversity/117323031620856?v=wall


Best regards,
Maria Ioanna Xanthaki
UKCCD

History of the World in A Hundred Objects

Just a little reminder, this is coming back today! Today's object is a coin with the head of Alexander.

Oh, and if you go here, you can sign up to receive the podcast, or, indeed, download all the episodes thus far - which I believe you will be able to keep for ever and ever, and make a podcast museum of your own...

Sorry. It's early in the morning and I've had no coffee.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A walk around St Margaret's Church, Leicester

St Margaret's Church in Leicester is located in one of the busiest parts of the city. It stands close to the intersection between St Margaret's Way, Burley's Way, Vaughan Way and Church Gate (which leads into the city centre), the traffic thundering past and surrounded by modern office buildings and the bus station. For ages I have walked past the church, meaning to go and explore its ample graveyard but only got round to it recently. If you enjoy looking round graveyards I thoroughly recommend having a look because there are some fantastic examples of 17th and 18th graves with their lurid depictions of skulls, memento mori, weeping women and cherubs, which came before everything got too maudlin in the Victorian age. Most of the gravestones are carved into slate rather than softer sandstone, meaning that their inscriptions have survived the dirt and destruction of years of industry and general erosion better than most.

Take this cheery little skeleton offering what looks like a globe to the dying person in bed. I marvelled at how well the skeleton was carved, he has ribs and everything. And rather a jaunty pose don't you think? Sadly the quality of carving on tombstones is very rarely considered as part of the amazing public art that exists in the streets and shady nooks of cities and towns in the UK.


Towards the back of the church the graveyard is dominated by a massive tomb to Andrew, 5th Lord Rollo, a Scottish Army commander who fought for the British in the Seven Years War in the Americas, serving in Canada and Dominica. Born in 1703, he died in Leicester in 1765 and this grand confection in stone and iron was erected in his memory. The friezes around the sides convey the fall of a great man, a skull surrounded by the carnage of a civilisation collapsing and on the other side a roman breastplate lying amongst the paraphernalia of warfare. There is a useful description of the man's great deeds towards the front (which you can see in the picture below), however it does not explain why he died in Leicester.


These cherubs were particularly noticeable for not being very attractive or babylike, rather ugly and fearsome looking. They both blow trumpets and I imagine if the sound was to be replicated it would be rather discordant from the baleful looks they are giving. Still the gravestone is very arresting with its double inscription and very careful carving.


No graveyard is complete without a weeping woman somewhere and here is one from St Margaret's; it has been stacked against the wall with a number of gravestones, suggesting that it might have been bigger at one point and these were causalities of needing more building space. Or they might just have decided to clear the graveyard a bit to make it more open, anyway it is sad that these memorials have become disconnected from the people they commemorate. Still at least they didn't get ground down into gravel for a path like in Sheffield Cemetery.

It was not possible to find out much information about St Margaret's Church from the Internet, but it is apparently one of the oldest churches in Leicester, built before 1066 and the Norman Conquest of England. It stood outside the city walls in the Middle Ages and one of its most famous clergymen was the fabulously named Robert Grosseteste, famous Bishop of Lincoln from 1235-1253 and the first chancellor of Oxford University. He was a famous scholar too in his day.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Our heritage is in your hands | Opinion | Building Design

The Brooking Collection of Architectural Detail needs your help to survive

...The Brooking Collection of Architectural Detail, founded unofficially by the schoolboy Brooking in the mid-1960s and, officially, when a trust was formed to protect and nurture it in 1985, is in many ways the cradle of “architectural salvage” and “skip” culture, or the way many of us rebuilt our first homes, climbing in and out of skips laden with the kind of wonderful things museums and architects should have been proud of...

The rest of this article can be viewed here http://www.bdonline.co.uk/5000113.article

Historians and Material Culture

Have a look at this book review - seems that historians are starting to engage with material culture at last! There is hope.

http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/901

Thursday, May 13, 2010

ICOM: Museums, Participation and Society

Anyone interested in attending or presenting should, in the first instance, contact Paula Dos Santos at p.dossantos02@ahk.nl,

XIII International Workshop MINOM/ICOM
Museums, participation & society: a dialogue between European practices 28-30 June 2010 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Discussions regarding the social role of museum, participation and the democratization of museum tools and processes have become a priority in many countries. Different approaches and solutions are being developed in different places. MINOM would like to invite professionals and practitioners from European countries to share their views and solutions to issues that affect us all.
The workshop will deal with the following topics and initiatives:
Topics: Different approaches to the social role of museums and heritage: from development to social inclusion; new social practices based on knowledge networks, informational networks and communities of practices; upcoming tendencies in sociomuseology.
Initiatives: Creation of a global knowledge network of heritage and development (former interactions-online website); I European Meeting of Museology students and the creation of a network of museology students
Programme
28 June Recognizing
10.00- 10.30 - Opening
11.00- 12.00- Presentation of workshop themes
12.00 13.00- Launch of new Interactions Online website and network project
14.00-16.00- Thematic Workshops
-Knowledge networks & communities of practice: multiple perspectives (Paula Assuncao dos Santos, Amsterdam)
-New pathways of participation in museological processes (Robert Heslip, Belfast)
-Museums as service providers and the creative industry (Mario Moutinho, Lisbon)
16.00- Plenary reports
17.00-19.00 I European Meeting of Museology students
20.00- 22.00 Working Group – Interactions online project
29 June Problematizing
10.00-12.00 Group visits and discussion with coordinators of participation projects in museums in Amsterdam
14.00 -16.00 Assessing and giving advice to the museums visited
16.30- Plenary reports
17.30- 19.00- I International Meeting of Museology students
20.00-22.00-Working Group– Interactions online project
30 June Acting
10.00- 12.00- Presentation of the working group Interactions online project. Final plenary discussion about network actions
12.00- 13.00 Closure
Language: English
Documents online
MINOM general information
Network Project Interactions Online
Action Plan “2007-2010 MINOM renovation”
Network of Students in Museology
http://www.minom-icom.net

Congratulations!!

I, and I am sure many others, would like to extend their congratulations to DR AMY, who is now officially no longer a student and has had her thesis completely and fully approved by the appropriate personages!

Well done Dr B!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Because this...

...is the kind of thing I think about, and because it amused me, I thought the existence of this book might amuse you all

The Thief of Time

Enjoy

The results are in! Unfortunately, one of you only voted on the men and not the women, and you could have broken our tie! So while Sir Henry Wellcome won by a narrow margin (congratulations, Amy!) it is up to our conveniently located (in the PhD room next to me) male representative, Geuntae, to cast his deciding vote for our hottie female. Given his alternative in Peggy Guggenheim, Geuntae decided that the winner is: Eleanor Hewitt!
So now, gentle readers, please now cast your vote for the ULTIMATE Museum Hottie. I look forward to the results - will it be Sir Henry Wellcome or Eleanor Hewitt? Only you have the power to decide!!!

Guinea Pigs wanted!


Do you want to be a glamorous guinea pig in a fantastical museumy research project?

I am looking for participants in my experiment looking at how people view art and would love to hear from anyone able to take part in 3 session over the next 6 months. This would take place in Leicester and all you need to do is look at some art and answer some questions... no sharks with lasers on their heads to get past, no mathimatical equations to solve, and no absolutly no asparagus to eat!

If you're interested and would like some more details please send a wee note to me at:

jmbb2[at]le[dot]ac[dot]uk



Thanks muchos

Museum of London - Street Museum

Check out this new iPhone app from the Museum of London:

Museum of London - Street Museum

Looks fab, and it's free to boot!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Webcasts of 2010 WebWise Conference Now Available

The following is a text-only press release from the federal Institute of
Museum and Library Services (IMLS).An HTML version of this release can
be viewed on the agency's Web site at
http://www.imls.gov/news/2010/051010.shtm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 10, 2010

IMLS Press Contacts
202-653-4632
Jeannine Mjoseth, jmjoseth@imls.gov
Mamie Bittner, mbittner@imls.gov

Webcasts of 2010 WebWise Conference Now Available

Washington, DC-Anyone who missed the 2010 WebWise Conference on
Libraries and Museums in the Digital World, held March 3-5 in Denver,
Colorado, can now go online to watch sessions on leading edge digital
technologies that libraries and museums use to share their collections
and engage the public.

The webcasts focus on the sustainability of digital content, engaging
users, new tools and services, essential skills for practitioners, and
funding. The captioned videos also feature a pre-conference session on
school libraries and 21st century skills and a thought-provoking
dialogue between Howard Besser, professor of cinema studies and director
of New York University's Moving Image Archiving & Preservation Program,
and Susan Chun, a museum technology consultant.

Also available online are interviews with leaders in cultural heritage
digitization such as Joyce Ray, IMLS associate deputy director for
libraries and principal organizer of the annual WebWise conference. The
"Digital Pioneers" project was launched by the University of Denver's
Penrose Library and Morgridge College of Education's Library and
Information Science.

Full-text papers of many of the presentations will be available in the
summer at the online journal First Monday.
WebWise 2010: Imagining the Digital Future was sponsored by the
Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), with support from the
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur and Morgridge Family Foundations. The
University of Denver, the Denver Art Museum, and BCR, a multi-state
library collaborative, cohosted the event.


About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of
federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums.
The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that
connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the
national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to
sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and
innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about
the Institute, please visit www.imls.gov.

Museum Outposts in France

The BBC reports that the Pompidou Centre has opened a regional outpost in Metz; the Louvre aims to open a regional outpost in Lens in 2012, and the French government is hoping that this artistic decentralisation will help regional economic development. Geuntae, do I smell your PhD turning into a monograph??

Friday, May 07, 2010

Election anxiety

I don't know about you but I am sitting here today in a massive state of anxiety about the fate of the nation following the UK General Election last night (I have already bitten off all my nails so have resorted to drinking copious cups of tea and flicking between the Guardian and BBC websites to catch the final totals). And whilst the state of the nation is at stake, what about the fate of museums? I cannot believe that I am the only person really concerned over what might happen to museums if the Conservatives get into power - which at the moment it looks like they will. It has been a while since the Conservatives were in power but I still remember having to pay to get into the national museums. I might be panicking a bit but is it fair to think that all the gains made over the last 10 years, the massive changes that have been made in the sector, the repositioning of museums as agents of social change, of learning, will start to vanish again expect for the few passionate believers? I managed to find one blog post about what might happen to museums, libraries etc. in the advent of a Conservative / Labour / Liberal Democrat victory - http://heritage-key.com/blogs/sean-williams/uk-election-2010-what-will-happen-britains-museums. I have absolutely no idea what will happen but I cannot help feeling worried that culture will start to revert back to being accessible only to the privileged - even with Labour policy and funding towards broadening participation there were mixed messages from the sector about its success. Okay so not everyone believes that museums should be anything more than temples to culture, but when you have been doing research in the sector in this area (for almost 8 years now) and you see the benefits that museums can bring to communities; how they can operate effectively as forums for debate on contemporary issues; the contributions that they can make to the lives of vulnerable people; how much better a museum looks when it is vibrant with people of all cultures and backgrounds, you cannot help but be worried about a party which supports the idea of culture, heritage and arts (in the traditional sense) but don't want to give any money to it*. Perhaps we will soon be looking back on the years 1997-2010 for all their faults as some kind of golden age?

*Thank you to Elee for finishing off that sentence for me

Community Collection Conference

RunCoCo: how to Run a Community Collection online
26 May 2010
Oxford, United Kingdom
Organized by: JISC/University of Oxford
Website: http://projects.oucs.ox.ac.uk/runcoco/events/index.html
Contact name: Alun Edwards
A chance for managers and others from community collection projects (or working to harness a community to enrich an existing collection with tags or comments) to share best practice and exchange knowledge and meet face-to-face.

New book on Museums and Ethnicity

Via Museum-L:
This groundbreaking book brings together a collection of essays on the revolution taking place in museums around the world as they look anew at the ways communities are represented. It highlights a fundamental shift occurring in 21st century museums: how they confront existing assumptions about people, and the pioneering ways they work with specific groups to narrate oral histories, tell ancestral stories and keep memories from the past alive.

Among the fifteen highly-respected authors sharing their analysis and experience are:
* Kate Craddy, Director of the Galicia Jewish Museum, Poland
* Victoria Dickenson, Chief Knowledge Officer, Canadian Museum for Human Rights
* Annette B Fromm, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Museum Studies, Florida International University and President of the International Committee of Museums of Ethnography.
* Carmita Icasiano, Curator and Collections Manager, Cultural Centre of the Philippines
Magdalena Mieri, Director of the Program in Latino History & Culture, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
* Alison Taylor, Head of Inclusion and Diversity, Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry
* Dr Marzia Varutti, Honorary Visiting Fellow, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester.

For more information and to place your order, please visit: www.museumsetc.com/?p=3012

Among the innovative museum programmes featured in the publication's 350 information-packed pages are:
* African American Civil War Memorial Freedom Foundation and Museum
* Ethnic Minority Museums, People’s Republic of China
* Galicia Jewish Museum, Poland
* Herbert Art Gallery and Museum
* McCord Museum of Canadian History in Montreal
* Museo ng Kalinangang Pilipino
* Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
* National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
* National Museum of Singapore
* Red Location Museum, South Africa
* Sabah Museum, Borneo
* Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History
* San Diego History Center

Because of its importance, we’re releasing this book in our Preview Edition format, which provides early access to the book’s content - before publication on 30 May. Order now at our discounted rate, saving you over 20%, and you:
* Access the full digital version immediately - read online, download, or print.
* Receive a complimentary copy of the book on publication on 30 May.
* Receive at least 20% savings on the full price!

Narratives of Community: Museums and Ethnicity is available NOW! Order your copy online at www.museumsetc.com/?p=3012.

Graeme Farnell
Publisher, MuseumsEtc

PS We offer all our readers an unconditional guarantee: if, once received, you decide this book's not for you, simply return it to us for a full refund!

A knitting-museum mash-up

Have just found out about this awesome project being organised by Stitch London in collaboration with the Science Museum.

Stitch London has teamed up with London’s Science Museum to create a Stitch Yourself exhibit for the re-opening of their Who Am I? gallery in June 2010. You are invited to contribute a tiny Stitched Self and take part in scientific stitching history.
You can send in your contributions from anywhere in the world.
Your Stitching + Creativity = A Stitched Self

What makes you you? How do your genes impact on your brain, or how you act, think and look?

The new Who am I? gallery opens in June 2010. Visitors can explore their identity by encountering striking object displays and iconic artwork, or share their opinions on ethical issues in science. Our interactive exhibits offer a chance to morph your face or experience a voicebox makeover, whilst our Find Out More displays provide in-depth coverage of genetics and brain sciences.
(Science Museum)
I'm seriously considering taking part. I will knit my doll, but you can also download a 'body blank' for crochet or sewn dolls for you to personalise. All submissions must reach Stitch London before 26th June to be featured in the new gallery.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Shout-Out: MMA, doing it right

Just wanted to give props to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for being awesome in the age of digital access. They are hosting a two-day symposium in cooperation with the Brooklyn Museum in May, and as I won't be able to physically make it, I emailed to ask about whether the proceedings will be available online. Sure enough, they will be! As you all know, conferences tend to be ephemeral, and if you didn't attend (or even if you did, but missed a session), there is no way of getting that content unless it is recorded and made available - so, thanks to the MMA for doing this.

Third International Conference on the Inclusive Museum

Third International Conference on the Inclusive
Museum
29 June-2 July 2010
Yildiz Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey

The Museum conference invites museum and culture
professionals, and interested scholars, to explore
the current and future role of the museum in this
era of tremendous global change.

This year's conference features the following
Plenary Speakers:
* Mohammad Zia Afshar, Deputy Minister for
Culture, Afghanistan
* Nurhan Atasoy, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey
* Okkas Daglioglu, Director Genearl of Cultural
Heritage and Museums, Turkey
* Zahava D. Doering, Smithsonian Institute,
Washington D.C, USA
* Omarakhan Massoudi, Director of the National
Museum of Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan
* Arev Samuelyan, Deputy Minister of Culture,
Republic of Armenia
* Alissandra Cummins, President of ICOM, Barbados
* Margaret Anderson, Director of History South
Australia, Adelaide, Australia
* Amareswar Galla, University of Queensland,
Brisbane, Australia
For more information about these speakers, please
visit:
http://onmuseums.com/conference-2010/plenary-speakers/

In addition to plenary presentations, the Museum
Conference includes Parallel Presentations by
practitioners, teachers and researchers. We invite
you to respond to the conference Call-for-Papers.
To Submit a Proposal, please see:
http://onmuseums.com/conference-2010/call-for-papers/

For the conference Themes, please see:
http://onmuseums.com/ideas/themes/

For Registration Options and Fees, or to register
for the conference, see:
http://onmuseums.com/conference-2010/register/

Enquiries: support@onmuseums.com
Web address: http://www.Museum-Conference.com
Organized by: Common Ground Publishing

Hospitality Conference July 1-3, Sheffield Hallam Uni

Transmission: HOSPITALITY

Transmission: HOSPITALITY is an interdisciplinary conference that will address the relation between the modes of analysis and communication for comprehending art, through addressing the ethics and politics of hospitality and the positions of host, stranger and friend.

Keynote guest speakers

• Clegg and Guttmann • Juliet Flower MacCannell • Ahuvia Kahane
• Esther Leslie • Dany Nobus • Blake Stimson

Dialogue sessions will explore themes of • art and responsibility • art and ethics • art and psychoanalysis • cultures of curating • hospitality and film • art and the foreigner (or the odd, eccentric and uncanny) • art and philosophy • multidisciplinary practice • art and dialogue • art and community • art and politics • collaborative practice

A new journal, Transmission Annual, will be launched during the conference. The pilot issue takes ups hospitlaity, incorporating both stranger and friend in the dual host relation.

For costs, booking and more, visit www.transmission.uk.com

Historical Hot or Not - Poll!

Attic readers, it's election time in the UK, but we have a more appealing set of candidates for you - it is up to you to decide who will be crowned our Ultimate Museum Hottie! In the sidebar, you will find the top male and female candidates. You will have until May 11, 2010 to vote for your favourite in either category (click on the Museum Hot or Not tag to refresh your memory of their varied aesthetic appeals), and then you will be able to vote for your ultimate favourite between those. Get clicking!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

G. Brown Goode Smithsonian Education Lecture

The Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies announces the next
G. Brown Goode Smithsonian Education Lecture.


Dr. Lynda Kelly, Head of Audience Research, Australian Museum, will speak on: "How WEB 2.0 Is Changing the Nature of Museum Work".

Friday, May 21, 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. in the Ring Auditorium of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. The lecture will be web cast live, available at http://museumstudies.si.edu

Critics have argued that museums need to move from merely supplying information to providing usable knowledge and tools that enable visitors to explore their own ideas and reach their own conclusions. The argument seems especially relevant today, when technology gives individuals access to communication, information gathering, and analysis. Dr. Kelly's presentation will examine the impact of Web 2.0 across museums, focusing on three areas of museum practice: learning, exhibition development, and organizational change.

Dr. Kelly has published widely in museum evaluation, and writes the Audience Research (http://amarclk.blogspot.com) blog, with a readership of about 1,500 a month. She is particularly interested in visitor experiences and learning and how these can be measured; young children's learning; indigenous evaluation; strategic uses of audience research; and new technologies in organizational change. She claims to be "happily obsessed with all things Web 2.0 and is curious to see how this will change the world that museums operate within, and the ways people learn." Dr. Kelly also administers Museum 3.0 (http://museum30.ning.com), a social networking site for museum professionals, with an active, global membership of over 2,000. Her latest book, Hot Topics, Public Culture, Museums, co-edited with Dr. Fiona Cameron, University of Western Sydney, will be published in 2010.

ISKO UK event: New Technologies for Cultural Heritage - London 9th June 2010

"SEEING IS BELIEVING: NEW TECHNOLOGIES FOR CULTURAL HERITAGE"

DATE: Wednesday 9 June 2010, 13.30-19.00
VENUE: University College London, UK
FEE: £ 20 (ISKO members and students FREE)
BOOKING:

Access to cultural heritage collections and information is a hot topic with the public and even with some politicians. Information professionals in museums, galleries and libraries, including managers of virtual collections on the Internet, now have the opportunity (as well as the obligation) to harness technology and bring our cultural assets to the people. Even more, we can actively engage the public in tagging and otherwise participating in curation!

Come to this seminar to hear about current work with texts, archives, objects and museum collections, from both a theoretical and an implementation standpoint, and to look at a variety of approaches to the material including Web 2.0 solutions.

This ISKO UK open meeting is organized in cooperation with the UCL Department for Information Studies.

To read more about the programme and to book your place go to the event page

Museum Education Blog

Via Museum-L:
There is a new blog in town just for museum educators! Access Pastport: Your portal for tips, trends and tools for the Museum Educator at www.PastPortMuseumEducator.blogspot.com .

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Glasgow Colloquium CFP

Constructing the Discipline:

Art History in the UK





The third annual Glasgow Colloquium on Art Historiography will be held in the Institute for Art History of the University of Glasgow 25th – 27th November 2010. Papers lasting 20 minutes are invited on formative moments, movements, institutions and individuals in accordance with the mission statement of the Journal of Art Historiography. The UK means England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Moments could include significant exhibitions or the creation of the Dip AD, with its attendant requirements for art historical instruction. Movements could include the movement of scholars or exchange of ideas, the movement towards new art history and broadening of study to extend out of Europe. Institutions could include the foundation of art history departments or changes in the museum sector. Individuals could include significant scholars who have made an impact on the practice of the discipline.



Declarations of interest with a provisional topic should be sent to the organiser, Richard Woodfield, at r.woodfield@arthist.arts.gla.ac.uk, as soon as possible and no later than June 30th. Finalised papers should be submitted by 1st November and will be circulated to participants prior to the event. Those papers, or developed versions of them, will be eligible for publication in the Journal. The organiser will also actively solicit papers.



There will be a conference fee of £75 to cover the costs of a conference dinner, refreshments and administration. Contributors will be expected to make their own hotel bookings though rooms will be reserved in convenient hotels for booking purposes. The expected cost of a single hotel room would be no more than £45 per person per night. Cheap internal and international flights are available through both Glasgow and Edinburgh airports.



Information about the Journal: http://www.gla.ac.uk/departments/arthistoriography/

Information about the Department of Art History: http://www.gla.ac.uk/departments/historyofart/

Information about Glasgow: http://www.gla.ac.uk/visitors/



For further information contact Richard Woodfield, at r.woodfield@arthist.arts.gla.ac.uk.

Museums at Night Launch!

Well, I promised an update, so here it is!

Thursday saw the launch of Museums at Night, and Culture 24 very kindly invited me to the "Grand Opening", which was great fun, I have to say! There were lots of lovely and friendly people there, and it was great to hear about all the projects that are going on across the country. Support came from Andrew Collins, who is helping to promote the Museums at Night Campaign - you can read the interview Culture 24 did with him here. It's nice when people actually care, as he seemed to do. Speaking of people who care, former Culture Secretary Chris Smith was also there, and it is clear that even though he is no longer in that post, he still works hard for us. So there's hope, there's hope, my children...

Anyway, back to the evening. It was held at the new Florence Nightingale Museum, which will open on the same weekend as the main Museums at Night events, so I got a sneaky peak. There are some really interesting pieces in the displays, actually - notably the artwork "Notes on Nursing", which is intended to remind visitors that Florence Nightingale did more than work in the Crimea. When she returned home from the war, she lived on until 1910, spending much of that time ill in bed, yet tirelessly writing and campaigning on a huge number of issues, including nursing. There's something melancholy about this artwork, yet it is very, very beautiful.

Actually, the museum itself is a particularly interesting example of invention in a small space. Located on the grounds of St Thomas' hospital, it has really limited room in which to store and display what it holds. In order to give some interest in the space, the designers have divided it into three pods. The first of these depicts Florence's early life, the second the war in the Crimea, and the final one the return home, and her work thereafter. All around the surrounding wall of the main room are ranged photographs of nurses and nursing activities from various periods, interspersed with video interviews which tell some interesting and sometimes painful stories. Each of the pods is built from, or covered with, a different material, which each have significance in terms of the overall character of the pod. The first is a privet hedge - yes, I was initially puzzled too, but came to believe that it represented the gilded cage in which Florence and her sister grew up. The second is covered in eastern style tiles, reminiscent of the style of the Crimea, the third made from bookshelves which represent her later retreat into the world of letters. Throughout there are peepholes through which the visitor can look and explore photographs and stories outside the main narrative. And for those of you who don't hate audio-guides, stethoscopes are provided for you to put against lighted points in the walls to hear what they have to say. And yes, there are costumed interpreters.

Have to say, it makes a great space for a party, with places you can closet yourself off in and wonder around. And of course, when that is accompanied with wine, a harpist, and magician and a sihlouettist the result can only be good.

So go to a Museums at Night event near you! I reckon you'll have a good time, whatever the event.