The BestBlog Blogstoeckchen

BestBlogA few weeks ago we were lucky to receive the BestBlog Blogstöckchen from another international project: the Registrar Trek, along with 11 questions.


1. How did you get the idea of setting up the blog?

Once upon a time – last summer, to be more precise – Kristiane and Katrin met for a chat in a café in Bonn, Germany. Some months ago we had worked together in Minsk, Belarus, and wanted to catch up on things. We talked about museums, ICOM, museum conferences, blogging experiences and international networking. And we discovered that we would like to explore how we could improve knowledge transfer, foster new connections and networks among our many colleagues worldwide and make ICOM and its work more visible. Thinking of the next conference co-hosted by ICOM Germany, we eventually came up with the idea of setting up a blog to try all this. We wanted to create a space for international conversation that everybody worldwide has easy access to and where it is easy to participate and exchange ideas way before and also after the conference and also among those, that for any reasons can not attend the conference.

Having this in mind, we started to share the up-to-then only rough idea with colleagues from the ICOM national committees co-hosting the conference who might want to join us on this daring journey. Linda from the US with her experiences both in international museum work and blogging was excited to  join us; and soon after Irina from Russia completed our team of four. Continue reading

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.”

Continue reading

What Language are Your Labels?


In my travels, I’ve noticed distinct differences in how museums approach multilingual labels, and of course, the ability to understand and share in a museum’s message is, in itself, a message about politics and power.    In Europe, labels seem to appear primarily in the native language, plus English, the language that most tourists seem to speak to some degree.   There, it seems to be an issue about access for relatively well-heeled travelers (which is also, I assume, why I see labels now in Russian, Japanese and Chinese).

In the United States, there is some effort made for tourists, primarily at larger museums, but increasingly new efforts are made to provide multilingual labels for our community members, not just tourists.  Thanks to Nina Simon of Museum 2.0 and a guest post there by Steve Yalowitz,  I’ve learned about a new study that looked at bilingual labels (Spanish) from a visitor perspective.   As Steve writes,

access to content—the most obvious benefit of bilingual labels—is just the tip of the iceberg. Bilingual interpretation expands the way visitors experience and perceive museums, shifting their emotional connection to the institutions. Continue reading

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

Deutsch-Russische Museumsbeziehungen – Германо-российские музейные отношения


Vor dem Hintergrund der aktuellen politischen Komplikationen ist es mir ein Anliegen, den Blick auf die Vielfalt und Breite der deutsch-russischen Kooperationen im Museums- und Ausstellungsbereich zu lenken. Welche Museen pflegen regelmäßige Kontakte, einen Austausch oder planen gemeinsame Ausstellungen? Welche anderen Kooperationsprojekte, etwa in den Feldern Ausbildung, Museumspädagogik, Forschung, Sammlungen gibt es zurzeit? Wie sind die Erfahrungen russischer und deutscher Kollegen? 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.

Continue reading

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


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