Immigration Pop Up Museum: A Small, Powerful Voice

In January, 2016, I organized and taught a two-week seminar with Monica Montgomery called Museums Are Us. The seminar was one of the on-site courses offered as part of the Johns Hopkins University Museum Studies Program.  We partnered with the DC Public Library to present a pop up museum on the themes of Home and…

Warming our Hands Before the Fire of Life

  Since the November 2016 elections I have been asking myself how to be, live, and work in a world that appears to sanction autocracy, intolerance, and racism (both veiled and unveiled).  If I had the answer I think I could bottle and sell it!  Yet, over the past past eight weeks I have become aware…

Can Museums Be Empathetic? Yes!

In a December 6, 2016 post Museum Geek blogger Suse Cairns asked this question: Can institutions be empathetic?  My EM colleagues and I have been discussing the many thoughtful  questions Suse has raised.  Following is our response.  We believe that it is possible for institutions such as museums to be empathetic, and below we outline…

An Update on The Empathetic Museum

As many of you know I’ve been thinking and writing about the empathetic museum for some years now.  The last time I wrote an update on our project was in summer 2015 after we had presented our first official session at the American Alliance of Museums conference in Atlanta.  Prior to that we had led…

MUSEUMS AND RACE: LANGUAGE PRIMER #3, ON “OPPRESSION”

  [We propose a paradigm] for how museums address their responsibility for fair and inclusive staffing, collections, and interpretation, and equality of access to their resources. This paradigm will examine a vocabulary and a set of theories not usually found in current museum discourse: Oppression: identifying the complex – and too often unacknowledged – ways in…

Documenting Museums’ Growing Social Awareness

Lisa Gilbert@gilbertlisak What is the role of museums & sites in responding to current events? Key Q even before this past week #YalePH2016#museumsrespondtoFerguson This tweet, posted just the other day, caught my attention not because it was unique, but because it was similar to others.  I am struck by the contrast (small yet noteworthy) between…

The Rule of Three

  What is The Rule of Three? Iceland has been called “a feminist paradise” in terms of health, education, economics, politics, and justice.Women figure prominently in the upper levels of its government (Johanna Sigurdardottir was PM 2009-13); and they are well represented in banking and business.  A group of Icelandic woman leaders, in a recent…

MUSEUMS AND RACE:  LANGUAGE PRIMER #2, ON “INTERSECTIONALITY”

  [We propose a paradigm] for how museums address their responsibility for fair and inclusive staffing, collections, and interpretation, and equality of access to their resources. This paradigm will examine a vocabulary and a set of theories not usually found in current museum discourse: Oppression: identifying the complex – and too often unacknowledged – ways in…

Pop Ups: Disrupting the Idea of “Museum”

  By Gretchen Jennings and Monica Montgomery  At the start, many of us were curious about why the project was designed as a partnership with a library instead of another museum.  However, by the end of the project, we not only understood why, but also realized it would not have worked any other way.   Student report. On January 16, 2016, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm, The…