The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Of interest to some?

ACAH2014 - The Asian Conference on Arts and Humanities
3rd to 6th April 2014
Osaka, Japan

Web address:

Sponsored by: IAFOR - The International Academic Forum


The International Academic Forum in partnership with Waseda University (Japan), Birkbeck University of London (UK), The National Institute of Education (Singapore), The National University of Tainan (Taiwan), Lincoln University (UK), the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKSAR), Virginia Tech (USA), Auburn University (USA), and its global partners is proud to announce the Fifth Annual Asian Conference on Arts and Humanities, to be held from April 3-6 2014, at the Rihga Royal Hotel, and The Osaka International Conference Center, Osaka, Japan.

Hear the latest research, publish before a global audience, present in a supportive environment, network, engage in new relationships, experience Japan, explore Osaka and Kyoto, join a global academic community...

Join us as we celebrate the 5th Anniversary of the Asian Conference on Arts and Humanities, and explore new avenues of interdisciplinary study in the wonderfully rich physical and cultural environment of Japan. This international conference will again bring together university scholars working throughout Japan, Asia, and beyond to share ideas and forge working relationships with each other over a stimulating, challenging, and fun long weekend.

Conference Theme 2014: Individual, Community and Society: Conflict, Resolution and Synergy

Conflict from earliest times has been a characteristic of the human condition. The struggle between our individual selves and our social selves arises from what makes us unique on the one hand, being challenged by our being part of an interdependent structure of relationships on the other.

The specific blend of experiences, abilities, attitudes, and aspirations, that helps to define us, can sit sometimes uncomfortably alongside our commitments to those closest to us, our communities and our cultures. This can lead to conflict at different levels.

Conflict within communities and societies is inevitable given that these groups are based on commonality of geography, values, attitudes, and beliefs that help to differentiate one from another. The dialectic engendered by diversity, however, although it may lead to conflict, can play an important role in the expansion of ideas in communities and societies. One major challenge of modern society is to harness the synergy that emerges from the interactive dialectic generated by these differences.

The Arts and Humanities have long recognized these differences and frictions when they try to explain conflict through the systematic exploration of ideas, words, and artistic expression. By proposing such a wide-ranging 2014 conference theme, the organizers hope to encourage exciting new avenues of research, inspire the creation of new explanatory concepts, and provide a context for academic and personal encounters. The resultant exchanges it is hoped will stimulate synergies that cross national, religious, cultural and disciplinary divides. This is central to the global vision of iafor.

We look forward to seeing you (again) in Osaka in 2014!

Professor Stuart D.B. Picken
Order of the Sacred Treasure, M.A., B.D., Ph.D., F.R.A.S.
Chairman, Japan Society of Scotland and Chairman IAFOR IAB
Conference Chair, The Asian Conference on Arts and Humanities 2014

Abstract Submissions Deadline Extended: February 1 2014

Publishing Opportunities:
Authors of Accepted Abstracts will have the opportunity of publishing their associated paper in the official conference proceedings, and a selection of papers will be considered for inclusion in the internationally peer-reviewed IAFOR Journal of Arts and Humanities.
For more information about the journal and to see our latest issue, please visit

The International Academic Forum - A Global Academic Partnership
IAFOR works with our university partners to nurture and encourage the best in international, intercultural and interdisciplinary research. We work with senior administrators and professors in our partner institutions to develop programs which are timely, thought-provoking and academically rigorous. The global partnership alliance means that our interdisciplinary conferences are backed by some of the world's foremost institutions of learning. For more information about IAFOR, please visit our website at

ACAH 2014 will be held alongside the fourth Asian Conference on Literature and Librarianship - LibrAsia 2014, and registrants for either conference will be given the opportunity to attend sessions in the parallel event at no extra charge. Please click on the banner to go to the LibrAsia 2014 sister site.

The Fifth Conference on the Arts and Humanities is happy to host the 2014 DAMIN Round Table (When Orient and Occident Meet) as part of the conference. DAMIN is an international research partnership studying Silver Monentary Depreciation and International Relations. The International Academic Forum is a partner organization, and others include the National Center for Scientific Research - CNRS (France), The Ecole Normale Superieure (France), The National Museum of Denmark, The Financial University (Russia), The Far Eastern Federal University (Russia), Tokyo University (Japan), and Keio University (Japan).

ACAH/LibrAsia Conference Chair - Stuart D. B. Picken

Stuart D. B. Picken is the founding chairman of the IAFOR International Advisory Board. The author of a dozen books and over 130 articles and papers, he is considered one of the foremost scholars on Japan, China, and Globalization in East Asia.

As an academic, Professor Picken has devoted more than 30 years to scholarship in Japan, notably as a professor at the International Christian University in Tokyo, where he specialized in ethics and Japanese thought, and as International Adviser to the High Priest of Tsubaki Grand Shrine (Mie prefecture). He has also served as a consultant to various businesses, including Jun Ashida Ltd., Mitsui Mining and Smelting Corp., Kobe Steel, and Japan Air Lines.

In November 2008, the Government of Japan awarded Professor Picken the Order of the Sacred Treasure for his pioneering research, and outstanding contribution to the promotion of friendship and mutual understanding between Japan and the UK. The honour is normally reserved for Japanese citizens and is a mark of the utmost respect in which Professor Picken is held by the Japanese Government. Although now resident in Scotland, Professor Picken maintains his interests in Japan, as Chair of the Japan Society of Scotland, and through his work with IAFOR. A fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society, he lives near Glasgow with his wife and two children.

DAMIN Conference Chair - Georges Depeyrot

Georges Depeyrot is a monetary historian at the French National Center for Scientific Research, (CNRS) in Paris. He began his scientific career in the 1970's studying coin finds and joined the CNRS in 1982. After some years he joined the Center for Historical Research in the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) and is now a professor at the Ecole Normale Superieure.

After his habilitation (1992), he specialized in international cooperative programs that aim to reconsider monetary history in a global approach. He has directed many cooperative programs linking several European countries, including those situated at the continentâ 셲 outer borders (Georgia, Armenia, Russia, and Morocco).

Professor Depeyrot is the author or coauthor of more than one hundred volumes, and is the founding director of the Moneta publishing house, the most important collection of books on the topic of money ( Aside from the continuation of the studies in the field of Ancient coin finds, his current program of study is concentrated on the history of the 19th century monetary unification and crises, in cooperation with European countries, Russia and Japan as part of the DAMIN research group on silver monetary depreciation and international relations (ANR 2011 BSH3 008 01). For more information on DAMIN, please see the website at

Professor Depeyrot is a member of the board of trustees of the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

CfP for our Museological Review journal!

Museological Review (MR), a peer-reviewed journal published annually by the community of PhD students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, is currently seeking contributions that aim to explore the phenomenon of metamorphosis — or change — in the museum. The criteria for submission of papers can be found via the following link (or below):

Deadline: 10th January 2014.

Museological Review, Issue 18: Change in museums Due in Spring 2014
Submission Deadline: 1700 GMT, Friday 10 January 2014.
Museological Review (MR) is a peer-reviewed journal, published annually, by the community of PhD students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, UK. It is aimed at graduate master students, PhD students and early career researchers from around the world and from any museum-related discipline. It is a forum for the exchange of museological ideas and for the development of academic skills.
In relation to this years’ PhD student led ‘Museum Metamorphosis’ conference
Museological Review issue 18 welcomes contributions that seek to explore the phenomenon of metamorphosis — or change — in the museum. Museums are often perceived to arrest time, or go beyond it, yet they are not fixed or static entities. It has often been claimed that in order to become meaningful, museums should
change by addressing and responding to the needs of society. Is this the case?

Papers addressing the following themes and questions are encouraged, but we also welcome new suggestions and creative proposals.
  • How might we define metamorphosis in the context of the museum?
  • Metamorphosis is a concept that resonates across many disciplines, from biology and geology to literary studies. How can such different conceptions of
    metamorphosis be harnessed in order to consider change in the museum?
  • How do museums deal with resistance to change, both internally and
  • What are some of the opportunities and/or risks arising from constant and
    never-ending change in the museum?
  • Historically, how has the museum changed from its early inception?
  • What organisational changes have museum institutions implemented, and
    how has the museum profession responded to these?
  • How have digital and other technological trends impacted upon the way we
    conceive museums and the ways in which museums relate to their
  • Have collections and displays been made relevant for contemporary
    audiences? If so, how? If not, why not?
  • How have museological concepts such as learning, interpretation and
    collection adapted to new contexts?
  • How, and to what extent, are new trends in exhibition-making creating the
    museum anew? How have museum-making processes changed?
  • How can we describe changing understandings of museum space?
  • How has our knowledge of the complex range of visitor experiences shifted?
    What impact has this had?
  • How are museums used to create identity on different levels, and how are museums' identities created in turn by the communities they serve?
  • To what extent are museums an instrument for social change, and to what extent is change forced upon them?
  • How can museums explore and reflect contemporary discussions in society?
The editorial team will contact authors in late January 2014. The editorial process (peer review and editing) of those accepted papers will take place from February to April 2014. The issue is due to be ready and uploaded in the MR webpage by late May 2014.

Information on submission can be found here:

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

December 4th Brown bag - Nick Poole 'The Collections Trust'

We're starting to get a bit more happening around the department these days. The conference last month rather did us all in, but back to our regularly scheduled programme now!

We had another great Brown bag today with Nick Poole from Collections Trust coming up to talk about 'The Collections Trust'. I've been trying to get Nick up to talk to the PhDs for, quite literally, years so it's fantastic that it finally happened. Below is the usual BB write-up for those that follow this blog and the PhDs unable to attend.

This session was a breath of fresh air, informal and to the point and didn't mince a single word! We need more this in the museum sector, for certain. Nick wanted us to know that he believes we need to have a conversation about what we are doing in museums, and be clear what works and what doesn't in order to move forward.

We all introduced ourselves and it was really nice with the turn out; some very varied research and plenty about current issues in the sector. Nick also introduced himself, as he has his own varied background, with linguistics and business and also as a trained portrait painter! It seems that varied and diverse backgrounds such as this are very common in the sector.

Nick started with a short introduction to the Collections Trust, for those of in the audience who weren't aware.

So what is CT?

Collections Trust is a professional organisation, currently based in the Natural History Museum in London, that works with around 23,000 museums around the world (mostly in Europe). They deal with professional issues confronting the museum sector. Nick wanted us to understand that their current focus is very much on making a 'permanent culture shift in museums', so that the focus is not on short-term projects but embedding change from standards in the institution all the way up and throughout the organisation. As Nick said, 'great museums in the future…are well managed, well run.' This is what we want the sector to be.

CT also publishes a professional standard guide, called SPECTRUM for museums. However, Nick pointed out that it is a rather singular view of how you capture and collect knowledge in the institution. The also have several publications on insurance, pest control, risk and environmental control, to name a few other issues.

Nick then moved on to ask a question, as the focus of today was all about questioning things we've taken for granted. 'What does a great museum meant to you?'

Good question. He explained that museum professionals fall into four categories, outlined below:

Objects                               |                               Experiences
Facts                                   |                               Stories

Each person fits into one category, though most will say 'object' if the whole thing is about to go up in flames! However, Nick pointed out that these four categories should not un-reconsilable, but they can go together. Having all of these is what makes museums different from, for example, schools.

It is through collections management that museums to these, by bringing all four categories together.

But what is a 'collection' Nick asks, going back to basics. It is physical, but also partly administrative information, collections-based knowledge, narratives around the objects, digital assets belonging to the objects and physical surrogates (3D printing, something new!) These days we are moving beyond the question of what the collection is - it's all of these. Collections have changed drastically in recent decades, but we have to adapt.

It is through SPECTRUM that CT keeps track of these changes. They have a 13 year plan about what comes next. What a concept! Nick says that, how we did it needs to connect with why we do it, i.e. museum policies and missions need to go hand in hand and work together, not be separate. Collections are dynamic, they need to grow and change (accessioning is fine, but only if you deaccession too!!)

So how do we bring about change in museums? Through people, systems, procedures and information. Over ten years, collections management in museums has become huge and important. CT gives this network a voice while indicating key performance indicators for museums to measure their impact and how they are changing and adapting.

Nick also pointed out that we get sidetracked and bogged down a lot these days. Since the recession hit in 2008, our focus has been on funding. Or, really, lack of funding. This needs to change or we'll never take a step ahead and start to think about the future. Instead of complaining about how much money we don't have, we need to change, to adapt and to move on. We're chocking on money and politics and not making changes for the future of culture. What Nick points out is that it's not a money crisis we're having, it's a crisis of confidence in ourselves and our institutions.

Nick's talk ended here, but we went on to have a lively discussion on all manner of issues. Some are below:

-SPECTRUM is open source, so anyone can change the standards in it and make use of it, commons of professional practice, and goes into a wiki for all to see and use.
-ICOM is not the global movement for change that it should be - at least not in the UK. In other countries without a Museum Association, ICOM does amazing work, but here the two are sort of in tension with each other.
-One should remember that we should hand culture onto the future generation, in a better condition than we found it (not worse!)
-'agents of change' as collections managers - reach out to other functions in the museum and show how they can support them in order to power other things you want the museum to do
           -Collections managers need to be experts on their collections, not just managers
           -in training collections managers they need to have various competencies: ethical or value driven, managerial, professional practice, subject expertise, and soft skills (not least, communication)
-Giasemi asked the question, well where is the digital in that? The answer: Digital is everywhere! It's in all of this.
-we sometimes forget the definition of digital, instead we use it to mean technology, formats, and user behaviours, which are all very different - so when people ask 'where do I put digital?' you need it everywhere, you need to plan to put it in every part of the institution.

A reminder that OpenCulture Conference is next June and will be about reaching out to people from all areas to ask 'what happens when museum stuff happens in other (non-museum) places?' Culture is everywhere, collections are everywhere.

Powerful stuff and hopefully it will spawn some discussion.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Cfp - New Conference on Glass Collecting in Portugal

We are pleased to announce that the Research Unit VICARTE – Glass and Ceramic for the Arts and Parques de Sintra – Monte da Lua (entrusted with the management of Pena National Palace) are organizing the international conference Collecting through Connections: Glass and Stained-glass Collectors and their Networks in the 19th Century, which will be held in Lisbon from the 4th to the 6th of February of 2015.

For this conference, we invite abstracts focusing on 19th century collecting practices for glass and stained glass. Selected papers will be published before the conference.

The aim of this conference is to develop knowledge about the art market for historical glass and stained glass during the 19th century, the contacts and network of collectors, the criteria for collecting and the use/display of the objects within the collector's domestic space. We welcome abstracts which answer to one (or more) of the following questions:

Why collect?
Who gathers?
Where to buy?
Which provenance?
What to assemble?
How to display?

Final papers will be published in time for the conference.

250-word abstracts must be submitted with a short CV before the 23th December 2013

For more details or enquiries, please visit our website at or send an email to

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Brown Bag 7th November 2013

Our first Brown Bag of the year! The write up this week is care of Ching-yueh Hsieh, who has been organising the BBs this year. And what a wonderful job of it he's done too.

“Intentional Civility in Museums”
Elaine Heumann Gurian

Elaine Heumann Gurian, as a well-known museum practitioner, she contributes to museum in diverse roles with huge successful records. In her personal website, people can see what did/does she achieved over 40 last forty years. She was the Director of the Exhibit Centre, the public facility of the Boston Children’s Museum over 15 years. She worked for one of largest museum institution Smithsonian museums and directly engaged with the initial works of national Museum of the American Indian and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum during 1990s. She teaches in universities and in-service programmes worldwide. Now she is a senior consultant for over six museums around the world.

Her passion and professionals to this field through her practical and straightforward thoughts could be seen as a vital mirror to the academic museology, if we think we hold a part of practical essence in this field.

Her Brown Bags session topic, the intentional civility in museums, is a good example of how she uses her insight to the world to articulate a fundamental goal of museums which museum practitioners may need to review and consider. That is, correct me if I am wrong, a social inclusion of different cultural/ethnic/habitus groups.

For Elaine, the concept of civility is not just formal or perfunctory politeness, but an act of showing regard for others. It’s not only about showing multicultural perspectives in society, but recognizes different worldviews, cultures and ethnics are equal. She thinks if the practitioners of social institutions begin take their responsibility to civil interaction more deeply than before and proactively review their methodology used in interactions with audiences and information receivers, stakeholders and staff, then institutions like museums may have opportunity to lead a peaceful and supportive engagement into publics and eventually into their mission and values statements.

She provides many aspects and profound questions of this topic that museum and museological practitioners may need to intentionally review and then consider amending their:
1. Assumptions about their audiences/practitioners and the ways that those assumption play a role in actions.
 - How does the museum expect its visitors to behave?
 - How does museum enforce that behaviour?
 - What is our tolerance or lack thereof of disruption and aggression?
 - Do we understand that what constitutes courtesy may be culturally or class-based and not universally acceptable?

2. Expectations about staff-to-staff interaction and the form and culture of the internal structure.
 - How can museum practitioners make the process of museum practice more transparently?
 - How is the work world changing and in what ways should museums accommodate to the new work reality?

3. Use of the terms “community",“forum"and“meeting ground”when applied to the interaction with publics.
 - How do we encourage public debate in formats and language that is welcoming and encourages thoughtful response?
 - Have we built in and encouraged opportunities for sharing knowledge those others have generated?
 - What is the language of response that allows for further discussion and respect?

4. Choice, process and treatment of exhibition/education contents
 - In what ways does displayed content need to reveal any underlying alternative position and how can museums promotes shared expertise within a diverse society?

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Remember, remember the fifth of November...

Or, in this case, remember that we are liveblogging from our conference today and tomorrow. Posts can be found on the conference blog here! Follow along, if you are unable to attend.

We are also tweeting with hashtag #mmeta2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

“There is but a straight path”

The autobiography of Wafaa El Saddik
Wafaa El Saddik  © privat
It was the 28th of January, 2011, the „Day of Rage“, when Wafaa El Saddik, the former director of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, decided to write this book. She had retired only few weeks ago and had been asked by Suzanne Mubarak herself to be at the head of the new children’s museum in Heliopolis. El Saddik had been stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea. On the one hand she had been committed in providing museum education for Egypt children for more than twenty years; on the other hand she had been reluctant to work again for the regime. On this day she suddenly knew that she could not head a museum “founded by people who torture and beat young people to death”, how she writes. Instead, she decided “to open the drawers” and to write about her experiences reflecting what had changed in her country since her childhood and “since when they had been on the wrong track”. 
Reading her autobiography can be a true inspiration for people working and studying in the museum field. Very seldom you can find personal reports of museum scholars and thus following El Saddik’s career, step by step, is informative and exciting. Besides this it is her perspective as an Egyptian archaeologist which turns the read into a rewarding endeavour. She describes how she had to fight for being taken seriously working on sites in her own country by colleagues coming from abroad. Or how she was confronted, travelling, with Egypt masterpieces in museums in the USA or England, being aware of the sometimes difficult acquisition histories. But what make this book relevant are the descriptions how she tried to stay on the “straight path” in a controversial political system, when to compromise, when to disagree.

These questions became burning issues when she returned to Egypt after having lived for many years in Germany, and even more in 2004 when she was asked to head the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. She decided to accept the dare and entered a field which she depicts as characterised by corruption and mismanagement. In spite of these adverse conditions she succeeded in introducing innovations like the “Children’s Museum of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo” in 2010. Today she is concerned mainly about the destruction and pillage of the cultural heritage in her country and tries to spread the message how important it is to keep in sight the origins of one’s culture.

The book is published yet only in German.  
Wafaa el Saddik (with Rüdiger Heimlich), Es gibt nur den geraden Weg, Mein Leben als Schatzhüterin Ägyptens, Köln: Kiepenheuer & Witsch 2013.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Call for articles for Museums and Social Issues Journal

Museums and Social Issues: A Journal of Reflective Discourse

Deadline for article submissions: November 1, 2013 and April 21, 2014

Museums & Social Issues welcomes the submission of original articles on
the interaction between social issues and the way that museums respond to,
influence, or become engaged with them. Topics should address questions
and issues that are pervasive, long standing, critical, and not easily
solved. Submissions may include a history of the issue, critical
questions, philosophical reflections, theoretical positions, examples of
exhibits, programs or initiatives that have addressed issue, and a review
or bibliography of pertinent books, websites, exhibits and other
resources. All manuscripts are subject to anonymous peer review by
knowledgeable scholars and professional
practitioners, and if accepted may be subject to revision.

Materials submitted to the journal should not be under consideration by
other publishers, nor should they be previously published in any form. All
article submissions will be sent to independent referees. It is a
condition of publication that on acceptance of the paper by the journal
Editor that copyright must be assigned to W. S. Maney & Son, Ltd. All
submissions should be sent to Elee Wood, Director, Museum Studies Program,
IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Phone (317) 274-7332, email: Authors wishing to correspond directly with the Editor are
also welcome to do so via email:

Articles should not normally exceed 10,000 words in length. In preparing
the electronic version, there is no need to format articles. Use a single
(not double) space after the full point at the end of sentences. Please
use plain style and avoid elaborate layout or typography, but include
italics or bold type when necessary, and make sure that headings and
subheadings are clearly visible as such. Words should not be hyphenated at
the end of a line. Consistency in spacing, punctuation, and spelling will
be of help. References and captions should be placed at the end of the
file. Submission should include a cover letter, an original manuscript,
and copies of any illustrations. Articles must also be accompanied by a
short abstract (c. 100-150 words) summarizing the contents of their paper.
Articles should also be accompanied by up to 6 key words to aid
searchability of the article online. Any acknowledgements should be placed
at the end of the article, before any Notes.

EXHIBITION REVIEWS explore the ways in which institutions approach social
matters through exhibition topics and exhibition strategies. The journal
publishes 1,000- to 1,500-word reviews of recent exhibitions mounted
around the world. Potential authors may examine exhibitions that have
social issues as a stated emphasis, or they may evaluate exhibitions
dedicated to other topics by using a critical lens focused on the social
issues that the exhibition implicitly raises. Exhibition reviews should
include the title of the reviewed exhibition, its host institution, and
exhibition dates. (When applicable include this information as well for
known sites to which the exhibition has traveled or will travel.)

BOOK REVIEWS reflect on or inform how museums and other cultural
institutions are addressing, or might address, social
issues. Submissions should be from 1,000 to 1,500 words in length.
Personal reflections are welcome, but the reviewed material¹s usefulness
to professionals in the museum field is imperative. MSI will reject
submissions from authors, publishers, and others who stand to gain from
favorable reviews. Book reviews should include publication title, author,
publisher, ISBN number, number of pages. All reviews should include the
author¹s name, affiliation, and contact information.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Fellowships Available in USA 2014-2015

Winterthur, a public museum, library, and garden supporting the advanced
study of American art, culture, and history, announces its Research
Fellowship Program for 2014–15. Winterthur offers an extensive program of
short- and long-term fellowships open to academic, independent, and museum
scholars, including advanced graduate students, to support research in
material culture, architecture, decorative arts, design, consumer culture,
garden and landscape studies, Shaker studies, travel and tourism, the
Atlantic World, childhood, literary culture, and many other areas of social
and cultural history. Fellowships include 4–9 month NEH fellowships, 1–2
semester dissertation fellowships, and 1–2 month short-term fellowships.

Fellows have full access to the library collections, including more than
87,000 volumes and one-half million manuscripts and images, searchable
online at Resources for the 17th to the early 20th
centuries include period trade catalogues, auction and exhibition
catalogues, an extensive reference photograph collection of decorative
arts, printed books, and ephemera. Fellows may conduct object-based
research in the museum’s collections, which include 90,000 artifacts and
works of art made or used in America to 1860, with a strong emphasis on
domestic life. Winterthur also supports a program of scholarly
publications, including Winterthur Portfolio: A Journal of American
Material Culture.

Fellows may reside in a furnished stone farmhouse on the Winterthur grounds
and participate in the lively scholarly community at Winterthur, the nearby
Hagley Museum and Library, the University of Delaware, and other area
museums. Fellowship applications are due January 15, 2014. For more details
and to apply, visit or e-mail Rosemary Krill at


The Wolfsonian–Florida International University is a museum and research
center that promotes the examination of modern visual and material culture.
The focus of the Wolfsonian collection is on North American and European
decorative arts, propaganda, architecture, and industrial and graphic
design from the period 1885-1945. The United States, Great Britain,
Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands are the countries most extensively
represented. There are also smaller but significant collections of
materials from a number of other countries, including Austria,
Czechoslovakia, France, Japan, the former Soviet Union and Hungary. The
collection includes works on paper (including posters, prints and design
drawings), furniture, paintings, sculpture, glass, textiles, ceramics,
lighting and other appliances, and many other kinds of objects. The
Wolfsonian’s library has approximately 50,000 rare books, periodicals, and
ephemeral items.

Fellowships are intended to support full-time research, generally for a
period of three to five weeks. The program is open to holders of master’s
or doctoral degrees, Ph.D. candidates, and to others who have a significant
record of professional achievement in relevant fields. Applicants are
encouraged to discuss their project with the Fellowship Coordinator prior
to submission to ensure the relevance of their proposals to the
Wolfsonian’s collection.

The application deadline is December 31, for residency during the 2014-2015
academic years.

For information, please contact:
Fellowship Coordinator
The Wolfsonian-FIU
1001 Washington Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139
305-535-2613 (phone)
305-531-2133 (fax)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Museum Metamorphosis PhD Conference - Registration Update

If you have not already registered for our amazing conference in November, sign up soon! The deadline for registration is October 25th.

We have a spectacular programme lined up! We are very delighted that Sharon Heal, Editor of the Museums Journal at the Museums Association will be our external keynote speaker at Museum Metamorphosis and will be talking about 'Curators have only interpreted the world: the point is to change it'.
Our second keynote address will be by Matthew Constantine, Collections, Learning and Interpretation Manager for Leicester Arts & Museums Service and he will be talking about current developments and changes including the ACE-funded redevelopment of the German Expressionists Gallery.

Tickets for students are just £60 and professionals are £70! This includes tea/coffee and lunch both days. We are also arranging exciting pre-conference events on November 4th and a great networking dinner on November 5th.

Sign up soon!

Monday, September 09, 2013

Art Blogging

Just got sent this interesting blog post, which is well worth a look!

Art in Your Backyard: Philadelphia, Charleston, Oakland and Atlanta

Perfect for anyone from those cities and also people visiting! It gives some great pointers on art in those four cities and what to look out for when visiting. Accessible, easy and informative.

Makes me want to go visit; I've only been to Atlanta!

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Some great events this year from MEG!

Exciting 2013/14 events season for all interested in museum ethnography (

Following a review of the Museum Ethnographers Group’s (MEG) traditional events programme and feedback from members, we’ve redesigned the autumn 2013 – spring 2014 programme with an emphasis on continuing professional development and networking opportunities. We’re trialling a range of different events, all of which are reasonably priced, and are keen to secure participation and feedback. These events are open to all so please publicise them to your colleagues and contacts.

The programme starts with a training day on ‘Researching donors of museum ethnography’ on Friday 27 September 2013 at Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum. Led by historian and museum consultant Dr Katherine Prior, the day will provide a unique opportunity for museum ethnographers to learn how to make effective use of commonly-available local and family history resources to research donor history. The day will have an emphasis on practical, hands on experience and participants are encouraged to bring a donor name to test out the process. The participation fee is just £40 for members (£70 for non-members).

On Friday 8 November 2013 we will be visiting the Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology (University of Cambridge) for a critical assessment of their new exhibition, Chiefs and Governors: Art and Power in Fiji. Co-curated by Anita Herle and Lucie Carreau, this exhibition presents highlights from the most historically significant collection of Fijian objects in the world outside of Fiji. The visit will include an opportunity to meet exhibition curators and other staff involved. Participation for members costs just £10 (£15 for non-members) and includes lunch.

Following the success of a previous Europe visit (to Paris) this winter we invite MEG members to join us on a visit to the Museum of World Cultures (Varldskulturmuseerna) in Gothenburg,Sweden on Friday 6 December 2013The visit will include a chance to view their current exhibition and to meet collections staff at this ground-breaking museum. Flights cost from about £85 (Ryanair, Stansted) or £135 (various, London Heathrow or Gatwick). Participants are responsible for booking their own flights and accommodation.

Lastly, we’ve teamed up with the Human Remains Specialist Subject Network for a training event on ‘Curating Human Remains in UK Museums’ on Wednesday 26 February 2014 at theRoyal College of Surgeons, LondonThe day will address the ethics and practice of caring for human remains in an institution, and includes a hands-on workshop focusing on the packing and storing of human remains. The speakers include specialist curators and conservators from theNatural History Museum, Royal College of Surgeons and the Museum of London. Participation costs £30 and is open to all.

MEG are aiming to keep costs down by handling bookings ourselves. For any of these events please complete a booking form on the MEG Events web page ( or email our treasurer (

Sunday, August 25, 2013

iSay: Visitor-Generated Content in Heritage Institutions

New Conference (and free) coming up in Leicester.

LocationSchool of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, UK
Dates11-12 September 2013

The focus of this iSay event is on the ethical, legal and epistemological frameworks that govern VGC, concerning itself with the practicalities of ‘generating’ visitor content. By exploring issues of IPR, ownership and maintenance of VGC as well as museum ethics pertinent to the integration, archiving and disposal of VGC, we are seeking to explore and address the tensions between museums’ aspiration to embrace VGC on one hand, and their anxieties over maintaining quality and trustworthiness.
Keynote speakers:
Naomi Korn (IP Consultant and Chair, Libraries and Archives Copyright Alliance)
Mike Ellis (Thirty8 Digital)
Dr Janet Marstine (University of Leicester) 
Registration for the event is free.