International Women’s Day

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I am a day late posting this blog in Australia but right on time for people who live in other parts of the world where it is, indeed, still 8 March aka International Women’s Day! To celebrate, I wanted to write a short blog piece focusing on a few incredible women. The following women have been selected as I have recently seen their stories on display in a museum.

1. Amelia Earhart – National Air and Space Museum

Late last year I visited the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. While there are some museums I am quite happy to aimlessly walk around and see at my own pace, I really wanted some guidance here. We joined a volunteer-led highlights tour which proved to be for the best. Fast forward to the third object on the tour, a large red plane (Lockheed 5B Vega) that looked so unbelievably retro I was in aviation heaven. All the guide had to say was ‘this plane belonged to Amelia Earhart’ and I was hooked. She purchased this plane in 1930 and gave it the nickname ‘Little Red Bus’. Continue reading “International Women’s Day”

Museums I’d Love to Revisit

CURATE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE

In honour of Valentine’s Day, two years ago I wrote a list of museums I love. Last year, I thought about what museums I’d love to visit. In keeping with this tradition, I am going to focus my post for this year on museums I’d love to revisit. This has been the most challenging by far. There are so many museums I would love to see again. This might be because my interests have changed or because I just couldn’t see everything the first time!

1. Museo Nacional de Antropologia (National Museum of Anthropology), Mexico City

Reason: Visitor Fatigue

Mexico has some of the most incredible museums and archaeological sites I have ever seen. When we visited in 2015, the National Museum of Anthropology was our first stop. To say the least, it was an overwhelming experience. There are so many rooms and displays to explore. Even after two visits I didn’t feel like I’d seen enough! The highlight of the museum is the Aztec Calendar Stone (or Sun Stone). I would love to return and spend more time in the other wings of the museum learning more about the different cultures inhabiting Mexico.

Continue reading “Museums I’d Love to Revisit”

#MuseumWeek on Twitter

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This week was Museum Week on Twitter. Basically an opportunity for museums around the world to showcase their collections and stories while promoting a ‘theme of the day’. This year, there was also an overarching theme – women in museums. A fantastic opportunity for museums to consider the stories of those that are often marginalised. From following this hash tag everyday, I learned so many incredible stories of women and their achievements. A very empowering week. Continue reading “#MuseumWeek on Twitter”

Seven Days a Week

CURATE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted a new entry. This is mostly because I’ve spent the vast majority of my time working. Rather than keep silent because of this, I thought why not post about what exactly I do. I’ll start by saying each week is completely different. Although this might sound exhausting to some, shaking things up, to me, keeps things interesting. I thoroughly enjoy doing something a little different every day! Continue reading “Seven Days a Week”

Museums I’d Love to Visit

CURATE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE

For Valentine’s Day last year, I created a list of museums I love. This year, I’m going to focus on the museums I’d love to visit. My list is long…very long. I have painstakingly selected six that I want to share. Six may sound like a random number because it is a random number. I originally planned on narrowing my selection down to five, but, that proved an impossible task. Here is my shortlist arranged in no particular order!

  1. Mütter Museum – Philadelphia

The Mütter Museum showcases an array of anatomical specimens, models, and medical instruments. It is essentially one huge curiosity cabinet. Ever since I became interested in medical history this museum has been at the top of my must-visit list. I have researched the museum for countless essays and have spent literally hours trawling through its website, online exhibitions, and Youtube channel.

Here is a great little online exhibition of radiation in the United States:

http://www.cppdigitallibrary.org/exhibits/show/radium/curie/piezoelectric

As you can see, quite a few of the exhibitions are very specific to my interests.

I hope to visit this museum as soon as possible.

  1. Museum of Broken Relationships – Los Angeles & Croatia

A chain of museums that examine how we experience love and loss. I am fascinated by the types of objects that this museum contains and its acquisition policies. It would be very interesting to see what objects they refuse!

It is an unusual museum that actually tackles a pretty difficult subject matter. I see it as emotional heritage in a museum space. It is taking something incredibly personal and sharing it with a wide audience. For somem this could be very cathartic. For others, it would probably be their worst nightmare.

https://brokenships.com/

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By Patty Ho (Flickr: Zagreb, Croatia) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
  1. Te Papa Tongarewa – Wellington

The National Museum of New Zealand consists of six floors that explore the history and development of the country. I have heard very positive reviews of the museum especially regarding its integration of Indigenous and non-Indigenous content.

They have such a large percentage of their collection searchable online. Browsing through their object list has made me very excited to visit.

https://www.tepapa.govt.nz/

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By en:User:JShook – en:wikipedia, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1322382
  1. Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum – Washington D.C.

When we visited Washington D.C. in 2013 there was so much to do in so little time. The Air and Space Museum was not at the top of my list. After visiting the Kennedy Space Centre and working in the Powerhouse Museum, however, I have developed a new appreciation for these types of objects and stories.

Needless to say, I am very keen to return to Washington D.C. and visit this museum!

https://airandspace.si.edu/

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By xiquinhosilva – 02740 – National-Air-and-Space-Museum, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49159966
  1. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum – Washington D.C.

Another museum we did not have time to see in Washington was the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Having studied genocide memorials and museums this year, I am hoping to visit and see how they interpret this history.

I am, therefore, interested in visiting to see their exhibition design and how they have decided to display their objects. I am also interested to see how they have integrated other genocides into their narrative.

https://www.ushmm.org/

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  1. The Henry Ford Museum

There are so many objects I want to see in this museum. Mainly because of the stories they can tell whilst adding an authentic element. For example, the Lincoln Continental from President Kennedy’s Assassination and the bus Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on are just two of the fascinating objects on display.

Basically, it is a museum of large objects each of which can shed light on a significant event in the history of the United States.

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I cannot wait to hopefully see some of these museums in the next few years. It will be interesting to reflect on this list next year and see how much it has changed. Better yet, it would be amazing to actually visit a couple of the museums between now and then. Tick them off the list! We will see what 2017 has in store.

National Volunteer’s Week

Despite the fact that this week is National Volunteer’s Week, I would like to think that museums (and other institutions) around the world support and appreciate their volunteers every week. I’m using this week as an opportunity to say thank you to all the wonderful supervisors I’ve had over the past six years. The opportunities and wisdom you have provided has been truly amazing. Continue reading “National Volunteer’s Week”