I’m sure a lot of people are familiar with Stephen Colbert and how he tried to get his portrait in the Smithsonian National History Museum and then succeeded in getting it into the National Portrait Gallery as it got a lot of press (and the videos are hilarious and could always be re-watched). It made me think about communities contributing to museums in non-traditional ways and the media power Colbert was able to use. His fan base was also very influential in getting his portrait in the gallery. Of course there were always people critical about putting a celebrity’s not-so-serious photo in the Smithsonian, but many fans felt they had contributed to this museum exhibit and became visitors to an institution they may not have otherwise visited. Even the Director of the National Portrait Gallery said that they had thousands of new visitors due to Colbert’s “humorous portrait.” (http://www.npg.si.edu/inform/sullivan.html) How do you think the museum acted? Did they have a choice with all of the media pressure?
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While this link is fairly obvious, it is a great place for finding legitimate job postings in museums around the country.
I heard about the 9/11 exhibit at the SI American History Museum from a co-worker. I find checking on what the SI is up to from time to time is worthwhile as they have some of the best supported museums in the world and are able to utilize new methods. For the 10th anniversary this exhibit placed objects on tables with no cases. Educators also focused on how to teach recent history to a new generation. They used technology in a great way by holding an online conference for educators across mediums. Topics included Conducting difficult conversations with young people and the curator’s challenge. Recordings are now available.
This is a link to a museum education list serve I just found out about through another class. I was told the museum ed world is fairly small and this is a great website to use in finding out what educators around the country are doing. It also helps to familiarize yourself with well-known members of the community. Discussions vary from job postings to docent training tips.
I found this link today that depicts a fake (but interesting) advertising campaign for the Smithsonian called Historically Hardcore. Thought some of you may enjoy it.