On the Role of Museums

Volunteers building the New Belgica

Many of the Saint Petersburg conference participants traveled to Yekaterinburg for the second part of the meeting – a three hours flight to the Ural -, and many more Russian colleagues joined us there. But before any papers were presented, an agreement was signed in the presence of the international participants and many members of the press: the agreement of intent to establish a Hermitage-Ural cultural and learning center. Yekaterinburg has long been a closed city, but today it is bursting with construction and development projects, and the cultural center is an important component to make an appearance on an international scale. Continue reading

Museums and “Hard History”

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What’s “hard history?”  It’s not difficult to find hard to talk about subjects in any of the three countries who sponsored the conference and this session on Thursday, September 11 included talks from three nations, plus more, in a session at the Museum of Religion.  But the three primary foci were on the legacies of World War II; of the Soviet times; and of colonialism.

A post about all the speakers in detail would be far too long, so I’ll attempt to explore just a few points that interested and intrigued me within these themes.  Dr. Franziske Nentwig of the Berlin City Museum talked about the relationships of the post-war museums in that city.  The German-Russian Museum in Berlin was initially founded as a museum of German-Russian relations solely for the Russian military–originally local people did not have any access so now the challenge is to make it appealing for both locals and visitors.   Its founding principles still mean that the war is presented from a Soviet military perspective, making it in the only place in history to have a Russian history of that war; while the Allierton Museum, the Allied Museum) tells the story of post-war Berlin from the perspective of the three Western allies.  Having such a richness of museums means that the Berlin City Museum can be, as Neuwig said, “a key to the door of the city history.”

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Weekly News Roundup: August 11, 2014

Pyramiden_july2011_9Check out this website on Cold War era tourist sites in Europe and the United States, ranging from the UK’s Radar Museum to the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas.

Despite being censured by professional organizations and its art selling far below estimate,  the Delaware Art Museum continues down its path of deaccessioning to raise operating funds.

The Moving Museum takes up residence in Istanbul.

The battle for Roma history in the Czech Republic.

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The Visa Process

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Over the last year, I’ve visited 14 countries and I’ve learned that every country has its own distinctive process for entry–and Russia is no exception.  I’ve just made my way through the Russian process here in the United States and Katrin has done the same in Germany.  We thought it might be helpful if we shared what we learned along the way.  In either country, if you’re reading it now, get going!  The best thing you can do is submit it in a timely fashion, saving that panicky feeling as your trip approaches. Continue reading

Nimble and Responsive Exhibitions

20120918-tje5c86b67p2qdwfguqh44kcxuThe Exhibitionist, the journal of the National Association for Museum Exhibition,  invites proposals for its Spring 2015 issue, “The Nimble and Responsive Exhibition.” Proposals of 250 words maximum are due by September 3, 2014.

For the Call for Papers and details on how to submit a proposal, please go to the “News” page of the NAME website.  Or, you can find a Word.doc version of the Call here.

Please consider submitting a proposal–and spread the word to your friends and colleagues around the world.

Image:  Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History Pop-Up label

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