Celebrity Museum Review - Billy Bragg and the British Museum’s ‘Vikings’

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Billy Bragg - “Bard of Barking” and activist, one of my favourite artists of all time. If you don’t know him yet, check out A New EnglandGreat Leap ForwardBetween the Wars and a NPR Tiny Desk Concert (all on YouTube). 
Post by Billy Bragg from his facebook page.

Website Woes

Oh dear… the museumsandstuff.org website theme seems to have gone AWOL. Looks a bit naked. Bear with me while I try and restore it’s modesty…

Anyone else having problems?

Edit: Mostly back to normal. Phew. Tech support were quick!

Detail from the crypt of Karl VI of Austria #skull #Vienna  (at Imperial Crypt)

Detail from the crypt of Karl VI of Austria #skull #Vienna (at Imperial Crypt)

Protesters Sneak Into the Guggenheim, Make It Rain False Bills By Zoë Schlanger 

The bills were flung over the balconies by an activist political group called GULF (Global Ultra Luxury Faction), an affiliate of the activist groups Gulf Labor and Occupy Museums. A few days before, the group launched a fake Guggenheim website, where it is hosting a design competition for a “sustainable” Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. GULF got significant press last month for a similar interruption, when it unfurled banners over the Guggenheim ramps painted with the words “1% Museum,” “Abu Dhabi” and “Wage Theft.”
Both “interventions” were staged to protest what participants described as the indentured servitude of migrant laborers on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, where the new Guggenheim franchise will be built alongside the under-construction branch of the Louvre museum and a campus of New York University.

Protesters Sneak Into the Guggenheim, Make It Rain False Bills By Zoë Schlanger

The bills were flung over the balconies by an activist political group called GULF (Global Ultra Luxury Faction), an affiliate of the activist groups Gulf Labor and Occupy Museums. A few days before, the group launched a fake Guggenheim website, where it is hosting a design competition for a “sustainable” Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. GULF got significant press last month for a similar interruption, when it unfurled banners over the Guggenheim ramps painted with the words “1% Museum,” “Abu Dhabi” and “Wage Theft.”

Both “interventions” were staged to protest what participants described as the indentured servitude of migrant laborers on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, where the new Guggenheim franchise will be built alongside the under-construction branch of the Louvre museum and a campus of New York University.

It has taken a little longer than anticipated to get this list live. I had a long think about what to do with the information,  or how to present it but in the end I decided that I would leave it in it’s spreadsheet form and let people to continue adding to I as they please,  so that it will hopefully grow as people set up new blogs,  or submit blogs they come across and are busting to share.  

I considered trying to group them by topic, or country, but instead I think you might be more pleasantly surprised if you just pick your favourite number and visit that one, or your age, or your shoe size. 

The world cloud above comes from the keywords that people submitted with their suggestions.  Hardly a surprise that museum and museums come up strong,  but look closely and their are some more intriguing words…

It has taken a little longer than anticipated to get this list live. I had a long think about what to do with the information, or how to present it but in the end I decided that I would leave it in it’s spreadsheet form and let people to continue adding to I as they please, so that it will hopefully grow as people set up new blogs, or submit blogs they come across and are busting to share.

I considered trying to group them by topic, or country, but instead I think you might be more pleasantly surprised if you just pick your favourite number and visit that one, or your age, or your shoe size.

The world cloud above comes from the keywords that people submitted with their suggestions. Hardly a surprise that museum and museums come up strong, but look closely and their are some more intriguing words…

For #museumsblogs day, add your blog or your favourite blog via a super quick form and I’ll publish the list.

Here’s hoping the embed works, if not, visit this link, 

Museums and Stuff turned 4 this month!
Thanks for all your support!

Museums and Stuff turned 4 this month!

Thanks for all your support!

Study Finds a Gender Gap at the Top Museums

museumuse:

Happy International Women’s Day!

I have often heard people talking about whether museums and google putting tours online of museums of the world will ever replace the museum visit. If those people are in any doubt, then I don’t think that they have seen Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper in Milan. The visit was a little difficult in ways that might make a visit quite inconvenient: tickets have to be booked months in advance (we booked in November for a visit in January and some of the time slots were already sold out), you have to be there 20 minutes before your time slot to pick up your tickets but there isn’t anywhere to really wait except for a corridor where the different timeslots mingle. Confusion reigns. The person who gave us our ticket literally didn’t speak a word to us, simply took our booking print-out, printed our tickets and gestured with a limp hand in the direction of the first of three holding pens.
But… but… walking into the room and catching the first glimpse of the well-known and familiar fresco was amazing. In comparison to the Mona Lisa in the Louvre where visitors have to jostle to get even close to the small portrait behind bullet-proof glass, the Last Supper is a fragile wall fresco where visitor numbers are strictly limited (roughly 25 at a time) to maintain the atmospheric condition in the room and it was bigger than I expected. As such, it was possible to sit on one of the benches provided and soak it up, even if people were standing in front of you. It was my first time visiting, but the person I was with remembers it from 15 years ago being much darker. Presumably this was pre-restoration and they have been able to up the lighting having stabilised it better.
You only get 15 mins in the room before a voice chips in over the loudspeaker asking you to vacate the room, which is also why there is no interpretation in the room and very little anywhere else with the exception of a panel on the rails showing which disciple is which.
So, in summary, whilst I was thankful I spent the 20 mins spent waiting in the holding pen looking up some information about the symbolism, technique and history to help me truly appreciate my visit (I don’t have an art history background and interpretation – even self-guided – enhanced my visit a lot), the impact of seeing the art work in all its glory was – at the risk of sounding a bit corny – breath-taking. You just don’t get that from a computer screen.

I have often heard people talking about whether museums and google putting tours online of museums of the world will ever replace the museum visit. If those people are in any doubt, then I don’t think that they have seen Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper in Milan. The visit was a little difficult in ways that might make a visit quite inconvenient: tickets have to be booked months in advance (we booked in November for a visit in January and some of the time slots were already sold out), you have to be there 20 minutes before your time slot to pick up your tickets but there isn’t anywhere to really wait except for a corridor where the different timeslots mingle. Confusion reigns. The person who gave us our ticket literally didn’t speak a word to us, simply took our booking print-out, printed our tickets and gestured with a limp hand in the direction of the first of three holding pens.

But… but… walking into the room and catching the first glimpse of the well-known and familiar fresco was amazing. In comparison to the Mona Lisa in the Louvre where visitors have to jostle to get even close to the small portrait behind bullet-proof glass, the Last Supper is a fragile wall fresco where visitor numbers are strictly limited (roughly 25 at a time) to maintain the atmospheric condition in the room and it was bigger than I expected. As such, it was possible to sit on one of the benches provided and soak it up, even if people were standing in front of you. It was my first time visiting, but the person I was with remembers it from 15 years ago being much darker. Presumably this was pre-restoration and they have been able to up the lighting having stabilised it better.

You only get 15 mins in the room before a voice chips in over the loudspeaker asking you to vacate the room, which is also why there is no interpretation in the room and very little anywhere else with the exception of a panel on the rails showing which disciple is which.

So, in summary, whilst I was thankful I spent the 20 mins spent waiting in the holding pen looking up some information about the symbolism, technique and history to help me truly appreciate my visit (I don’t have an art history background and interpretation – even self-guided – enhanced my visit a lot), the impact of seeing the art work in all its glory was – at the risk of sounding a bit corny – breath-taking. You just don’t get that from a computer screen.

Migration sammeln

A quick heads-up to museum people in Austria/Switzerland/ about an interesting looking conference that will take place in February, called “Migration Sammeln (Collecting Migration)”.

The conference is being organised and run by the Museums Academy in association with Uni Innsbruck. 

Registration €180, register per email. Full details available here (link from email)
It’s unlikely I’ll be able to make it, but I am hoping to catch up with what is discussed at the upcoming gatherings in Vienna as part of the campaign for an archive of migration, which shares a lot of the same interested parties. The next meeting is due to take place on the 23rd and directly addresses museums and migration, based on what potential role museums can play in migration and featuring speakers who will present case studies.

For those of you who are not in Austria/Vienna and are nevertheless interested in Museum and migration, there are quite a MELA* is a good open access resource to get you started.

Free ebook: Slavery and the Country House

English Heritage have made their publication “Slavery and the Country House” by Madge Dresser and Andrew Hann (Eds.) available as a free pdf download via their homepage. 

"The British country house has long been regarded as the jewel in the nation’s heritage crown. But the country house is also an expression of wealth and power, and as scholars reconsider the nation’s colonial past, new questions are being posed about these great houses and their links to Atlantic slavery.

"This book, authored by a range of academics and heritage professionals, grew out of a 2009 conference on ‘Slavery and the British Country house: mapping the current research’ organised by English Heritage in partnership with the University of the West of England, the National Trust and the Economic History Society. It asks what links might be established between the wealth derived from slavery and the British country house and what implications such links should have for the way such properties are represented to the public today."

Happy New Year!

Heartfelt, even if belated!

This year has started slow for the blog as I have started a new research-related job and have been concentrating all my time and energy on that.

It might take a few more weeks for things to settle down, but there will be more posts coming in 2014 and hopefully with a new sense of purpose that comes from a change!

Hungarian Memorial at the memorial park in front Mauthausen concentration camp  (at KZ-Gedenkstätte Mauthausen)

Hungarian Memorial at the memorial park in front Mauthausen concentration camp (at KZ-Gedenkstätte Mauthausen)

G. Brown Goode Smithsonian Education Lecture Series

The Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies produces the annual G. Brown Goode Smithsonian Education Lecture Series. Through this series, named after the Smithsonians earliest proponent of museums as educational institutions, Smithsonian staff can help keep abreast of emerging developments in education pertaining to many aspects of their work, from exhibit design to outreach in the schools.

Including:
* “The necessity of making the invisible visible: the challenges of using museums in formal learning”
* “Fostering critical thinking in schools and museums”
* “Learning on location with handhelds in museums”
* “Forces shaping the future of museums: Vistors”

Call for Papers “100 Years since the outbreak of World War One”

Call for Paper „100 Jahre Ausbruch Erster Weltkrieg“

Die österreichische Museumszeitschrift neues museum plant für die Ausgabe 14/2-3 des Jahres 2014 ein Themenheft mit Schwerpunkt zum Ersten Weltkrieg. 
Wir sind auf der Suche nach innovativen Ausstellungs- und Vermittlungsprojekten in österreichischen Museen rund um das Gedenkjahr „100 Jahre Ausbruch Erster Weltkrieg“. Es kann sich sowohl um ein zum Erscheinungstermin bereits umgesetztes Projekt als auch um ein erst in Umsetzung begriffenes Projekt handeln. 
Aus den Einreichungen werden von einer Jury durch Punktevergabe 10 Beiträge ausgewählt.

Jury
Dr. Wolfram Dornik Ludwig Boltzmann-Institut für Kriegsfolgen-Forschung, Graz, Museum im Tabor, Feldbach
Mag. Friederike Lassy-Beelitz Österreichischer Verband der KulturvermittlerInnen im Museums- und Ausstellungswesen, Wien
Dr. M. Christian Ortner Heeresgeschichtliches Museum/Militärhistorisches Institut, Wien
Dr. Monika Sommer schnittpunkt. ausstellungstheorie & praxis, Wien Museum, Wien

Anforderungen Call for Paper
# Kurzbeschreibung: max. 1500 Zeichen inkl. Leerzeichen
# Kurz-CV der/des Einreichenden in einem separaten Dokument
# Einsendeschluss: 13. Jänner 2014
# Verständigung: 10. Februar 2014

Schicken Sie Ihre Einreichungen an »»> info@museumsbund.at.