Weekly News Roundup: June 9, 2014

IMG_2415The Hermitage’s director talks museums and politics.

A fascinating look at Soviet-era museums.  Are they now museums of museums?

Nazi-Art in a museum in Kleve? Is it allowed to display art from National Socialist artists?

Nina Simon interviews Eric Siegel of the New York Hall of Science on the museum’s e-book project False Conviction: Innocence, Guilt, and Science.

“At Home in Holland,”  a new student digital history project in Amsterdam, responds to the way that hostile reactions to immigrants have undermined the traditional idea of Dutch tolerance and hospitality in recent years.

What role do museums have in our philanthropic thoughts?  R.J. Stein takes a thoughtful look at the good museums can do in the world (and reminds us that not all museums are good at doing good.)

Orhan Pamuk, keynote speaker at the Museums and Politics conference,  about his “museum of innocence.”

A useful list of resources for museums and controversy, via Australia’s Lynda Kelley.

Imitating a famous painting, a Luxembourg artist exposes her genitals at the Musée D’Orsay in Paris; won’t face charges but removed from gallery.

Sweden returns ancient textiles to Peru.

Image:  A nautical diorama at the Museum of the Arctic and Antarctic in St Petersburg by Konstantin Budarin

Weekly News Roundup: June 2, 2014

SAL_2010_050-1The 9/11 Museum’s Gift Shop is controversial, but the Guardian actually spoke to museum visitors about what they purchased there.  What they purchase–and the reasons why– might surprise you.

The Berlin Senate considers the controversial plans for a “Body Worlds” Museum in the basement of the television tower in Berlin to be a private affair: “The planned museum is a private museum and is […] not set up on public land,” they say. As long as no fundamentally unlawful aspects play a role, the Senate holds back with judgments on exhibitions.” The tourism agency Visit Berlin, the CDU party as well as churches in the surroundings strongly speak against this project.

On June 6, Portland Art Museum’s fifth year of Shine A Light asks audiences to rethink what is possible in an art museum.  Dance, karaoke,  healing rituals and arm wrestling with artists are just a few of the artist-generated projects on tap

How to save money and not to close a museum?

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Weekly News Roundup: May 27, 2014

Image-2-Emley_loosepageA fascinating new website takes a look at photographs, colonial legacies and museums in contemporary European culture.

The V & A Museum begins a program–and gallery exhibit- of rapid response collecting.  Among the first objects:  Primark jeans made in the Bangladesh factory consumed by fire last year.

Probably an act of terror: murder in the Jewish museum in Belgium.

An exhibition at the Arp Museum in Rolandseck shows the presentation of violence in the history of art.

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Weekly News Roundup: May 12, 2014

P1020561Museums around the world celebrate International Museum Day on May 18, with Museum Nights, special programs, and much, much more.  Consider the issues of power and politics as you visit!

Debate about the planned, private Body World Museum of Gunther von Hagens in the centre of Berlin: Churches, politicians and Berlin’s tourism industry find such a museum tasteless, lurid, and impious.

One million visitors a year come to the Acropolis in Athens, but a bomb threat last week showed that well-visited museums could also be targets for terrorism.

Porchia Moore’s thoughtful reflection “ Performing Blackness: Museums, Mammies and Me,”  makes a thought-provoking read, no matter where you’re from.

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Weekly News Roundup: April 28, 2014

slave_houseHistory has to be a plural construction.”  Listen to the audio of Senegal’s Doudou Diène of the UNESCO Secretariat keynote address to the American Association for State and Local History.

Are our museums broken?  Will nap rooms, photo policies and cafes change that?

In the State Memorial Museum of Defense and Blockade of Leningrad on April 28-29 will take place the international conference “Connection of times: war and its reflection at the contemporary Museum.” This humanitarian disaster is one of the most tragic pages of history, which, however, is still not fully and very one-sided presented in museums. As a result, in the public eye the blockade is often presented as a set of myths.

Museum, innovation and commerce: Samsung will open its own museum in South Korea. Continue reading

Weekly News Roundup: April 21, 2014

t03_05040120Working conditions in museums have changed  substantially during the last years. More and more freelancers are included in the often daily work.  Now the service staff in the Jewish museum has complained.   And for additional thoughtful perspectives,  check out this this issue of Art Practical on valuing labor in the arts.

One lone (and brave)  Chinese archivist documents protests through social media. 

Tiananmen Square memorial museum to open in Hong Kong.  Goal is remembrance as the 25th anniversary approaches.

Politics are not just external but also internal.  12 museum staffers respond to the prompt,  “sketch what you think represents coordination.”

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Weekly News Roundup: April 14, 2014

“Can museums respond quickly to tragedy and help heal a community?  Blogger Gretchen Jennings takes a look at the work of #BostonBetter, a project that developed as a result of last year’s Boston Marathon bombing.

Kiss or Cat Stevens?  Linda Ronstadt or Nirvana?  Inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (and its museum) raise the question of a rock and roll canon and who should be included.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, new exhibit  Permission to Be Global/Prácticas Globales  features avant-garde artists from the Caribbean and Central and South America who’ve been excluded for from institutions at home and abroad.

Should cultural monuments become an active issue of the human rights agenda? Continue reading

Weekly News Roundup: April 7, 2014


Arts for the Aged: The audience of cultural institutions is getting older. The young, however, are not among the recipients of culture, but are the organizers and producers. What impact will this have in the long run?

The State of Mississippi, who long used the power of the state to enforce segregation, will now open a civil rights museum.

In March, local museum professionals and academics gathered at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Museum to attend the Jamaican launch of the new publication Plantation to Nation: Caribbean Museums and National Identity

How should we view the museum?  Perhaps as a kaleidoscope, says the Incluseum bloggers.

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Weekly News Roundup: April 1, 2014


What can museum collections tell us about climate change?  The scientists at an Australian museum take a look.

A new Social Justice Alliance for Museums includes compelling case studies and informative resources.

Is free admission a political issue?  Definitely access is.  Listen to Museopunks podcast with Dallas Museum of Art director Max Anderson talk about their free admission approach and the future of free.

ICOM’s Special Report on Training Museum Professionals.

The Colorado State Museum closes exhibit on Sand Creek Massacre;  to consult with Native Americans on the interpretation of the event 150 years ago. Continue reading

Weekly News Roundup: March 26, 2014

men-of-the-docks-1912-oil-on-canvas-lynchburg-virginia-randolph-college-maier-museum-of-artIs the British National Gallery’s acquisition of a George Bellows painting sold by Randolph College ethical?

Should nations sell cultural heritage to balance the budget?  Portugal plans to sell Miros.  Should museums be able to do the same?  The Delaware Art Museum plans to sell works to stabilize financially, it says.

New Brooklyn Museum show takes compelling look at the Civil Rights Movement.  “The show gets the balance of history right in other ways, too, by letting it be confused and confusing, a thing of loose strands and hard questions”  from the NY Times review.

The Museum as warehouse of memory: Berlin Museum is a confidential tip to insiders. 

Unbeloved history? Discussions about the Jewish museum in Cologne are ongoing. 

The home of Martha Mahlungus, an activist–and mother– will become a museum in South Africa. Continue reading


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