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

Nov
20
Thu
1:30 pm 41st Annual Conference on D.C. H...
41st Annual Conference on D.C. H...
Nov 20 @ 1:30 pm – Nov 23 @ 2:30 pm
From the Annual Conference on D.C. Historical Studies:  The theme for the 41st Annual Conference on DC Historical Studies is “Making New Washingtons: Historical Consciousness in a Transforming City.” At this time of great change and new development, historians are
Nov
21
Fri
all-day 2014 New Jersey Forum @ Kean University
2014 New Jersey Forum @ Kean University
Nov 21 – Nov 22 all-day
From the State of New Jersey Department of State: With its significant Native American heritage; complex colonial history; ethnically diverse people; religious tolerance; contributions to technology; and, political, racial, and social tension, the history of New Jersey mirrors the development
Dec
3
Wed
12:30 pm American Anthropological Associa...
American Anthropological Associa...
Dec 3 @ 12:30 pm – Dec 7 @ 1:30 pm
From the American Anthropological Association: The American Anthropological Association will hold its 113th annual conference,  Producing Anthropology, in Washington, D.C. from December 3-7.  More information will be available on the conference website at: http://www.aaanet.org/meetings/index.cfm
Dec
15
Mon
all-day CFP: Retooling Remembrances @ Deadline
CFP: Retooling Remembrances @ Deadline
Dec 15 all-day
From H-Net: The planning committee for the conference Retooling Remembrances: Technology and Memory are seeking papers proposals about technology and memory in the American experience from the colonial period to the recent past.  The conference will be held April 18, 2015,
Jan
2
Fri
9:00 am American Catholic Historical Ass...
American Catholic Historical Ass...
Jan 2 @ 9:00 am – Jan 5 @ 10:00 am
The American Catholic HIstorical Association has announced the dates of its 2015 conference.  The event will be held January 2-5, 2015 in New York, New York. Event information will be updated at: http://www.achahistory.org/conferences/

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