art design museums projects

In the Flow Making Necklaces

In the midst of sorting and packing household items in order to prepare for a move, I took some time to engage in a creative project. Not that sorting and packing can’t be creative … they’re just not creative in quite the same way as making something new. I spent about four hours making three new bead necklaces. While I was making these necklaces, I listened to music and podcasts, though I was only half-listening…

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history law museums pragmatic historian preservation

Taking History Seriously

I am irritated. I read a story on NPR News about a Pennsylvania guy who stole artifacts, mostly firearms, from about a dozen museums in the 1960s and ’70s. He got caught in 2018 after trying to sell one of the guns. His sentence? One day. One. Day. I am irritated because this sentence shows how unseriously the courts, and by extension, society in general, take thefts from museums. Oh, well, it’s just an artifact,…

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museums pragmatic historian

Wealth Disparity in the Museum World

Recently, the museum Twitter community was abuzz with a report from the trade union AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees), specifically from AFSCME Cultural Workers United. The report, called “Cultural Institutions Cashed In, Workers Got Sold Out,” presents information on the cultural sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, including museums of all types, historical sites, zoos, and botanical gardens. It explains how the pandemic hit the sector in terms of closures and the…

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history museums pragmatic historian preservation

The Museum of Loaned Artifacts – For Reals!

After publishing last week’s post about a thought experiment regarding setting up a history museum that has no collection but uses short-term loans, I got some feedback on LinkedIn. David Grabitske (yes, him again!) said he knew of someone who was part of such a museum. The museum of loaned artifacts – for reals! –  is the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas. Tom Wancho, exhibit planner for the museum, said in our…

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ideas museums pragmatic historian preservation

The Museum of Loaned Artifacts

Chatter from Museum Colleagues Last week’s post about what to do with three handmade baptism gowns stirred some chatter from museum colleagues on social media, particularly LinkedIn. One colleague is trying to figure out what to do with his letterman’s jacket, which he said he would not accept for his own museum’s collection. Another wondered whether the sacrament of baptism will continue. And another, David Grabitske, who has written for my blog in the past,…

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