M A R C H > Articles by: Heidi Campbell-Shoaf
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A Sad Summer

In the past month and a half, we studiers and practitioners of historic preservation and historic trades lost two important people who contributed immeasurably to our understanding of the past. At the end of July, suddenly and without warning, Jay

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The Doctor is In

Over the past month or so a recurring topic has been floating in and out of my consideration so I’d thought I would share. It is the idea of museums as places, not just of learning and inspiration, but of rejuvenation and therapy. It started when a colleague returned from a trip to Europe full of excited stories about the new exhibition at the Rijksmuseum. Art is Therapy is not a typical exhibit where objects are selected for their relevance to a theme and displayed all together in a gallery. This show takes place throughout the museum, with commentary about the art and the space it inhabits posted adjacent to the objects which remain in their normal display areas. The underlying point of the show is to get people to go beyond looking at museum objects as special simply because they are made by a noted artist, or are particularly old or rare, but to appreciate them for how they make you feel regardless of provenance or pedigree.

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The Fickle Public

A week or so ago, a friend and museum colleague posted a link on Facebook to this article published in the Denver Business Journal. It is an opinion piece by David Sneed, CEO of Alpine Fencing. From viewing his company’s website—which offers a nice variety of fences for any of your neighborly needs—I think he would qualify as a typical “joe public” museum goer. This is someone we as museum professionals want hear from. How else will we be able to be relevant to a wider population? We must know what our patrons think, what they want and we should deliver, right?

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Yes, but what does it all MEAN?

This past fall I taught an undergraduate course on American material culture. It was my first go at this type of course. I’ve taught “traditional” history courses covering everything from medieval & early modern Europe to American women’s history (my

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Don’t Be Hatin’

Hate. It ends up encompassing a spectrum of negative feelings; from annoyance (like when my cat Diderot upsets the kitchen trash for the upteenth time) to the mind-altering ire that fuels people to maim and kill. The word has become a

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Shutdown After Action Report

I had a post almost ready to put up early in October about that opinion piece by the travel writer who said he hated museums, remember that? Seems a long time ago, now.  Then the shutdown hit and blew all

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What’s Old is New Again

It’s been a while since I’ve contributed a post here and I’m sorry for being MIA for so long. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been making the transition to a new job and to a new commuting scheme.

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You (Don’t Always) Get What You Pay For

I’ve been reading with some interest recent articles about internships. Do they or do they not lead to jobs? Do unpaid internships violate minimum wage and labor laws? One important distinction that doesn’t seem to be factored into much of

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Fox in the Hen House

The love of money, it is said, is the root of all evil. I think we can all agree, given the recent financial unpleasantness, the statement conveys a universal truth. As an executive director of a non-profit historical organization, I

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What’s it Worth to You?

Over the last few weeks I have been turning over in my mind and bouncing off colleagues the idea of admission fees, pro and con.  Museum fees are hot button issue for many reasons. Few museums can claim fees are

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CONFERENCE CALENDAR

Oct
31
Fri
12:15 pm Feminist Art History Conference @ American University
Feminist Art History Conference @ American University
Oct 31 @ 12:15 pm – Nov 2 @ 1:15 pm
Announcing the Fifth Annual FEMINIST ART HISTORY CONFERENCE at American University in Washington, DC, Friday, October 31 – Sunday, November 2, 2014. This annual conference builds on the legacy of feminist art-historical scholarship and pedagogy initiated by Norma Broude and
Nov
1
Sat
all-day CFP: Fourth Biennial Interdiscip... @ Deadline
CFP: Fourth Biennial Interdiscip... @ Deadline
Nov 1 all-day
From H-New Jersey: The Fourth Biennial Conference on Race, The Criminalization of Race in History and Global Societies: Social Activism and Equal Justice, will be held April 16-18, 2015 at Monmouth University in Long Branch, New Jersey.  The planning committee has
Nov
4
Tue
all-day Pennsylvania Historical Associat...
Pennsylvania Historical Associat...
Nov 4 – Nov 7 all-day
The Pennsylvania Historical Association has announced the dates of its 2014 Annual Meeting.  The conference will be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from November 4-6.  The calls for paper, panel, and poster submissions can be found at the conference website.   Conference information will
Nov
6
Thu
all-day 7th Annual Lawrence J. Schoenber... @ Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts of the University of Pennsylvania Libraries
7th Annual Lawrence J. Schoenber... @ Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts of the University of Pennsylvania Libraries
Nov 6 – Nov 8 all-day
From MuseWeekly: In partnership with the Rare Book Department of the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Schoenberg Institute of Manuscript Studies at the University of Pennsylvania is pleased to announce the 7th Annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies
1:00 pm 25th Annual MAPACA Conference @ Lord Baltimore Hotel
25th Annual MAPACA Conference @ Lord Baltimore Hotel
Nov 6 @ 1:00 pm – Nov 8 @ 2:00 pm
From mapaca.net: November 6-8, 2014 Baltimore, MD Lord Baltimore Hotel You are invited to celebrate the 25th annual conference of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association at the newly renovated Lord Baltimore Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition to

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