This week’s Roundup shares stories of diversifying museum personalities, managing museum reputations, studying the impact museums as part of the education ecosystem and working with board and staff to best support museum professionals. Enjoy!
1. In part homage to the social media manager, Russell Dornan reflects on how digital communications have helped museums develop personalities. As the person in charge of social channels for the Wellcome Collection, Russell shares considerations for each tweet: “Should I say ‘we’ instead of ‘I’? Am I pretending the museum is actually speaking? What would it say? How would it say it? Can I make jokes? How funny is my museum?” This is a great read with quotes from other hard-working museum social media professionals.
Think about some of your favourite museums on Twitter. How about Instagram? What is it about how they present themselves across social media that you enjoy or relate to? Beyond the subject matter or the expertise, it’s the people behind the accounts that bring museums to life online.
2. Colleen Dilenschneider dives into data appearing to indicate that MoMA experienced a confidence boost in response to the museum’s decision to display artwork of artists from the Muslim-majority nations affected by the original travel ban executive order. Can museums build trust by being more responsive to the environments in which they serve?
Here’s what market research reveals about MoMA’s decision to display artwork from artists hailing from the Muslim-majority nations affected by the original travel ban. Here’s the scene: In early February, The Museum of Modern Art in New York rehung parts of its permanent collection with works by artists from the majority-Muslim nations whose citizens were blocked from entering the United States as a result of the end-of-January travel ban.
3. Earlier this week King’s College London held a museum-school forum and networking event where museum staff, school teachers and education specialists shared share ideas for developing closer museum-school relationships. (You can find the twitter discussion at #schoolsinmuseums.) The event reflected on findings from a King’s College learning experiment called My Primary School is at the Museum where three schools have moved classes into their local museums to test whether it boosts learning.
Children have been learning alongside ancient artefacts and innovative artwork as part of research to investigate the benefits of going to school in a museum. Three schools have moved classes into their local museums to test whether it will boost pupils’ learning and also attract a new audience of visitors to museums, as part of a project run by King’s College London.
4. On the U.S. side of the pond, the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) and the National Art Education Association (NAEA) have partnered to conduct a research project studying the effects of an art museum visit on K-12 students. The study will look at a wide range of domains including cognitive, experiential, affective, social and academic by collecting data over multiple years at six art museums.
Can a single visit to an art museum impact the minds and hearts of K-12 students? That is the question on the minds of a couple of national arts organizations as they launch a national research project aimed at determining the cognitive and emotional values of art museum field trips.
5. Motivated by some not-so-positive stories about small museums and parenthood, Sarah Richardt of the Lombard Historical Society offers an uplifting read about her small museum’s approach to supporting staff and their families. Sarah shares her two big lessons learned: “a) even though we are a small organization, we can take on significant policy challenges; and b) when a director and the board work together, change can happen.”
by Sarah Richardt, Executive Director, Lombard Historical Society, Lombard, IL on When I read Melissa Prycer’s AASLH posts, ” Baby Boom: Motherhood and Museums” and ” Baby Boom II: Motherhood and Museums One Year Later,” I was inspired to write about my experience, since this is an issue that needs to be addressed.
Do you have a great museum story to share? Let us know in the comments!