Museum Appreciation I’ve been following the discussion on Confederate statues all across the US this summer, like a "Dead-head" for inadvertent on-line discussions on public history ( I've seen them play "Stop trying to erase history!" like 100 times). The comments on various local and national news reports illustrate Americans' diverse understand the situation, the Civil … Continue reading Museum Appreciation & Hoarding Confederate Monuments.
I recently read Vincent L. Michaels’ article “The Problem of the House Museum.” Michaels identifies the problem as the concept of the house museum itself. He argues that the house museum "model" never worked. His argument is a sharp turn away from previous assessments of house museums, like Ruth … Continue reading “Yes, Vincent, There is a House Museum That Works”
Let’s talk about President Obama’s National Monument proclamations! I read Kate Shepard’s article “One Big Piece of Obama’s Legacy: A Park System that Looks Like All of Us,” on Huffington Post this morning, and I just had to add a bit more about the sites’ historical significance to her discussion.[i] To begin; Since 1906 … Continue reading Obama and The Antiquities Act
This past week I had the pleasure of exploring Seattle while attending the Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) conference. I was staying with friend who studies museology at U. Washington, obviously the two of us visited the city’s wonderful museums. The thing that struck me and has stuck with me since I left was the … Continue reading Interactive History at the Museum of History and Industry (Seattle,WA)
This week I came across a Boston Globe article that reiterated the question , "Are there too many house Museums." The article argues that museums (the traditional "stuff and exhibit space" museums) are experiencing new found popularity and are stepping-up their game with new exhibits, wings and architectural wonders. House museums, on the other hand, … Continue reading How to Reinvigorate House Museums
Like many public historians, I read this season's copy of The Public Historian with long awaited enthusiasm. What stuck with me was a very small part in Amy Tyson's interview w/ Azie Mire Dungey, the actor in "Ask A Slave." The article touched on what it is like for African American women (more specifically Dungey, but it … Continue reading Making Small Children Cry at Historical Sites
Part 1 I recently read James Oliver Horton, and Lois E. Horton, Editors. Slavery and Public History: The Tough Stuff of American Memory, which is a bit outdated but creates space for good discussions. One of the main difficulties with portraying slavery at historical sites is the reality of physical and mental abuse inherent in slavery. … Continue reading The Tough Stuff is Still Tough Stuff : Slavery in Public History