Monuments, Memorials, and Mascots: What is the Museum’s Role?

Racist images pervade our public spaces and mental landscape  If you missed the live feed of the symposium, Mascots, Myths, Memorials, and Memory on Saturday, March 3, you can still find the agenda on the program’s Facebook page, and a number of recordings of the talks on YouTube.  There is also a great summary of the day…

Thoughts on Museum Neutrality: A Question of Balance?

I’m still gathering my thoughts on the fast and furious Twitter conversation of the week of December 18, 2017, sparked by Rebecca Herz’s post, Can Museums Be Neutral?  While I’m working on my response I’d like to add to the discussion by publishing the thoughts of Dan Spock (formerly Director of the Museum at the…

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…

Joint Statement on Museums and Ferguson: First Anniversary

On December 11, 2014, and in the days following a number of us posted a joint statement expressing our concern about museums’ lack of recognition of the underlying causes of the events in Ferguson (writ large). The statement has had both immediate and continuing impact, so I think it’s worth republishing it, and reflecting on…

Characteristics of the #Empathetic Museum: 1) Civic Vision

Museums have to look at where they can challenge the status quo, and where they can push, but also where they can partner.  Peoria, IL City Manager   Every once in awhile a confluence of books, articles, conference presentations, and blog posts calls attention to the same phenomenon in the museum world.  Is this synchronicity, the zeitgeist,…

Museum Voices from India: Why I Want to Be a Science Museum Professional  

  I want to “be a part of place that doesn’t just spread knowledge  but pulls the string of science cord in everyone.”  Itisha Once again my colleague Karen Lee of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and I are teaching in the MT in Science Communication program for the National Council of Science…

#MuseumsrespondtoFerguson: What’s Authentic?

  In December 2014, in the midst of demonstrations and widespread discussion about race and racism in the aftermath of a grand jury’s decision against indicting a white police officer for shooting an unarmed black teen,  a group of bloggers (including this one) and colleagues posted their Joint Statement urging museums to become involved and…

Museum Hack: Worth Thinking (and Writing) About

How do you get started writing professionally?  How do you know what to write about?    These were among the questions that Will Crow, writer/museum educator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and I discussed recently at a program on writing as part of professional work.  During the evening, sponsored by the New York City…