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”
This spring break I decided to temporarily put down Virginia folktales (provided by my past love—The WPA) and give some attention to the Library of Congress’s digital newspaper collections (I am going to make this very obvious, the federal government does great things for my education, WPA, the LOC, the grants and loans I got… Continue reading The Library of Congress & I (& also ghosts): A Torrid Love Affair
I wrote this for my past blog, but a friend reminded me of it by posting a link, http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/The-overexposed-museum-7757, to an article that laments people taking selfies with museum objects. The author has a rather romantic vision of what museum visits are like and as my friend pointed out "police for the values of the bourgeois… Continue reading Smithsonian Visit From August 2012
Last year at the National Museum of American History I was surprised that the museum decided to call the military action at the turn of the twentieth-century “War of Expansion.” I was not surprised because I felt differently, I was surprised that the nationally excepted (which I think we can safely assume because the museum… Continue reading The National Museum of the Marine Corps
(Originally from June 2013) I am back in Virginia for the summer, exploring the state, its history and the state’s history with history—and working with the NPS reanalyzing the 1930’s excavation which found George Washington’s birthplace home or "Building X." More on that to come. For my first blog of the summer I want to… Continue reading Nat’l Museum of the American Indian (D.C)
(This was original from my old blog, Fall 2012) Greetings! I recently read Round-Trip to America: The Immigrates return to Europe 1880-1930. by Mark Wyman. His book is about the percentage of European immigrants who came to the United States to work, build a savings and return to their land of origin in order to achieve their… Continue reading The America Trunk Comes Home
(This was originally from my old blog, written in 2012) I am very excited about this. Ghosts and talk of them make me very uncomfortable and so do dead bodies, but within the confines of history I find it very interesting. On page 86 in Handler and Gable’s controversial 1997 book New History in an Old… Continue reading Ghosts, Museums and Spiritual residue
Souvenirs I recently joined Twitter and have been following the Smithsonian’s various twitter accounts; they post fun facts, museum news, and parts of their object collection. One collection in particular engaged me- the historical souvenirs. Now they were not the type of historical souvenirs seen in museum stores or in Marling’s George Washington Slept Here, but… Continue reading Souvenirs
(This is originaly from my old blog, Fall 2012) The alternative title is “Why I Watch Hoarders” Last week my boyfriend came home to me lying on the couch watching Hoarder: Buried Alive. He despises all reality T.V. and for the most part I agree with him, but Hoarders I watch for scholarly reasons! On Hoarders a psychologist confronts a hoarder… Continue reading Holding on to the past: Hoarders and Collectors?