DepositPlanning: Environmental and Lighting Systems, Museum of International Folk Art and the New Mexico Museum of Art

The Museum of International Folk Art (MOIFA) and the New Mexico Museum of Art (NMMoA) request a planning grant from the NEH Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections program to assess environmental needs and outline a plan for energy-efficient upgrades within collections areas. The proposed project involves convening an interdisciplinary team in order to determine new energy-efficient lighting strategies for MOIFA, as well as climate control systems improvements for NMMoA. The goal of this project for MOIFA will be a lighting assessment of all collections areas, with a focus on the outdated and harmful exhibit case lighting within the Girard collection exhibit. NMMoA’s goal is to assess its lighting systems and to develop a plan to stabilize its environment while increasing the energy efficiency of its climate control systems. Severe relative humidity fluctuations within the original 1917 building adversely affect the building and the museum’s collections.

DepositIntersections of the Cultural Kind: Public Digital Humanities and the Museum

The presentation examines a recent research intervention in the Permanent Collection Gallery of the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Canada that used digital data mining to assess how visitors in a museum of Islamic arts were making sense of their encounters with the patterned works of art – both physical and digital – in the galleries. Data was collected by the researcher through visitor interviews and analysed in NVivo, a qualitative data analysis software. The interview data was compared to material compiled as a literature review of scholarly writing, also imported into NVivo, on the same topic of museum-going subject / patterned museum object intersections. Text data mining and data mapping and visualization methods built up a picture of the striking contrast between scholarly views of visitors’ experiences of patterned art and the actual experiences of visitors themselves when confronted with the art in the galleries. In essence, the salient difference between scholars’ and visitors’ views of patterned art comes down to their approach to the meanings held in the visual patterns themselves: generally meaningless beyond aesthetic functions to scholars yet full of meaning to visitors. By using NVivo to search for consistencies in the interview texts, I discovered that the visual patterns in the art tell stories, and this makes them deeply meaningful to their viewers. My research demonstrates how data visualization methods can be used effectively to uncover and analyze the microcosm of human culture and society that is a museum gallery.

DepositMuseum Photo Archives and the History of the Art Market: A Digital Approach

Digital images with metadata contain unique potential for research into the history of the art market. The embedding of digital images in a database allows for the possibility of an association with their historical context due to the presence of metadata, which includes economic data, such as the provenance chain, as well as information about collecting practices. The database becomes a historical reconstruction of context accompanying the reproductions of the works. In this paper, a case study of a museum photo archive of forgeries illustrates the ways in which digital methods can be helpful in analyzing these contexts. The archive was run by the secret “Verband von Museums-Beamten zur Abwehr von Fälschungen und unlauterem Geschäftsgebahren” (Association of Museum Officials for Defense against Fakes and Improper Business Practices). This archive allows the engagement of early 20th century museums in the art market to be traced within specific genres. The goal of the case study and methodology presented here is to learn more about the economic practices of museums. Specifically, this paper reconsiders a study by Timothy Wilson on fake maiolica, with a new focus on the involvement of museums in the art market.

DepositAll change please: your museum and audiences online

In this new ground-breaking book leading innovators from both sides of the Atlantic explore how museums can create an effective social media strategy to engage with new and existing audiences. This pioneering volume comprises of influential museum professionals explaining how to use social media to: reach new audiences; enhance access; increase visitor participation; enable and attract user-generated content; create new marketing opportunities; expand brand development; increase revenue generation; and improve the overall visitor experience.

DepositAn Energy-Efficient Climate Control System for the Juneau-Douglas City Museum

The Juneau-Douglas City Museum requests $300,000 from the National Endowment of Humanities, Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections to install a heating, humidity, and ventilation upgrade that will correct and stabilize internal temperature deficits in our historic building that houses our collections. Housed in the first library built by public funds in Alaska in 1951 as a territory of the United States, the Juneau-Douglas City Museum resides in a building listed on the national register of historic places for the official 49-star flag raising ceremony when Alaska achieved statehood in 1959. Since initial construction in 1951, this facility has had no upgrades to its heating system, and has no integrated heating, ventilation and air cooling. The Juneau-Douglas City Museum is the only Museum in Alaska dedicated to the city of Juneau’s art and history collection

Deposit‘Still Children of the Dragon’? A review of three Chinese Australian heritage museums in Victoria

The Museum of Chinese Australian History reopened on 29th August 2010 with newly refurbished exhibitions displaying Chinese Australian history and contemporary Chinese Australian identities. This article reviews the new exhibitions in comparison with the Gum San Heritage Centre at Ararat and the Golden Dragon Museum at Bendigo and specifically examines the way each museum represents being Chinese and being Australian. This will be shown by interrogating the historical representations, text and methods of display.