As an Engagement Specialist at the Global Museum, I overheard a student ask how they should interpret the South American jewelry on display. Since there is no information about the maker or wearer, should a visitor approach these objects as fine art, ornamentation for celebrations, or secular jewelry? It was a simple question, but nonetheless … Continue reading The Challenges of Interpreting Objects
In our Museum Studies graduate program one of the core seminars we have to take is History of Organizations & Museums and in this class we are taken to the past to learn and understand about how museums function today. A recent session we had was about the action of “decolonizing museums.” There is a … Continue reading Decolonization and Fred Wilson’s “Mining the Museum”
Most museum visitors spend only 10 seconds in front of an object—7 reading the label and 3 looking at the object. This research finding from a study done 9 years ago at The Met in New York has always surprised and saddened me. Of course, there have been many times when I’ve zipped through galleries, … Continue reading To Label or Not to Label?
This post recounts an event in the Global Museum in October, part of the new public programming series that launched in the Fall 2018 semester. On October 2nd the Global Museum co-hosted a talk on environmental and cultural infringement with Amazon Watch, a bay area non-profit group whose mission is to protect the rights of … Continue reading The Global Museum’s Amazon Watch event
I work at a major, traditional museum in downtown San Francisco. I was hired in the spring to work on a single year-long project: designing, fabricating and installing completely new labels for every single item on display, as well as all of the other printed material in the museum’s galleries (all thirty of them!). I’m … Continue reading Hurdles and Challenges: Experiences with Labels and Design
When many people visit a museum the first thing that might catch their attention is an object on display or maybe a fun and interesting exhibit. And if they interact with museum staff it is often either the ticket staff, a docent, educator, or a security officer. But what many visitors may not realize is … Continue reading Behind the Gallery Walls at the Global Museum
In August of 2017, I was struggling. I had graduated with my BA in Anthropology 2 years before and yet, somehow, I had not yet managed to become Zora Neale Hurston (side note: my mom named my sister, Zora, after Hurston but for me she chose the late, great Maya Angelou. Maybe I should try … Continue reading How I Learned to Love Busy Work