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
4
Sat
8:30 am Preservation in Practice: A Pri... @ Kean University
Preservation in Practice: A Pri... @ Kean University
Oct 4 @ 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
From: New Jersey Historic Trust: This one-day workshop is open to all preservationists, but specifically geared toward those serving on a local commission. This program is designed to benefit both new and experienced commission members as well as being relevant
Oct
6
Mon
9:30 am Greater Philadelphia Visitor Exp... @ Chemical Heritage Foundation
Greater Philadelphia Visitor Exp... @ Chemical Heritage Foundation
Oct 6 @ 9:30 am – 6:30 pm
Organizers of the Greater Philadelphia Visitor Experience Conference have announced the date of their 2014 event.  This year’s conference will be held October 6, 9:30am-6:30pm at the Chemical Heritage Foundation at 315 Chestnut Street, in Philadelphia. Proposals are due by
Oct
9
Thu
4:52 pm 1st Annual African and African D... @ CUNY Staten Island
1st Annual African and African D... @ CUNY Staten Island
Oct 9 @ 4:52 pm – Oct 10 @ 5:52 pm
From H-Net: The African American Studies Program (soon to be African and African Diaspora Studies Program) at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island announces its First Annual AFRICAN AND AFRICAN DIASPORA STUDIES CONFERENCE to be held
Oct
15
Wed
all-day CFP: Learning from the Reservati... @ Deadline
CFP: Learning from the Reservati... @ Deadline
Oct 15 all-day
From MuseWeekly: The National Council for Preservation Education seeks proposals for a conference titled “Learning from the Reservation: Using the Traditional Cultural Place Perspective for Better Decision Making in a Diverse Cultural Landscape.” Deadline: October 15, 2014.  The conference is to highlight
all-day CFP: Society for Applied Anthrop... @ Deadline
CFP: Society for Applied Anthrop... @ Deadline
Oct 15 all-day
From MuseWeekly: The Society for Applied Anthropology seeks proposals for papers, panels, or posters for its 75th annual meeting in Pittsburgh, PA on March 24 – 28, 2014. The theme is “Continuity and Change.” Deadline: October 15, 2014. Pre-registration for the conference is

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