So, it’s been a while.

Hello, world. What’s new? I realize I haven’t posted here in…jeeze…forever. Sorry about that. I think I started blogging just to have a blog, which is never a good reason to start blogging. Take that as a lesson!

I’ve moved on from the Waterworks Museum, where I was briefly (for 8 months) running their social media, in addition to occasional work on the collections, scheduling Waterworks Wednesdays, and anything else I could fit in to my 15 hour work week. It was a great learning experience, but after a combined 2.5 years there, it was time to move on and seek new adventures. (Don’t worry, you can still find me in the gift shop at the Harvard Museum of Natural History)

Now, I’m a graduate intern at the Bostonian Society, which runs the Old State House Museum in downtown Boston. I’m working with an off-site collection, and that’s really all I can say until I get a better sense of TBS’ social media policy. I’m hoping I’ll be allowed to blog here and there about my experiences there, but we’ll see. I’ll be there for a year (I started in January and will end in December), so there’s a lot of room for growth and discovery. I’m really looking forward to the journey.

I’ve completed all my classes for my graduate degree, and I’ve realized I’ve been spending my days spending money I don’t really have. I feel like I should be reading museum books, but do I really need to be reading more theory? I had an idea while I was tweaking the appearance of this blog (dear lord it took forever to figure out that social menu below my title) — wouldn’t it be cool to visit one or two historic houses and museums in Boston a week, and blog about them? I think that would be neat. And it would get me to write. So I think I’m going to do that. I should make a list of all the historic houses in the area (helloooo Google) and try to get to as many of them as I can.

In other news, Drinking About Museums: Boston and NEMA are co-hosting a networking 101 evening at the Hong Kong on April 15th, 2015. I helped come up with the idea and get it together (sorry to brag but I gotta take some credit, right?), and I’d love it if everyone came! Click the DAM:B link above to RSVP (and make sure to come to the event this Wednesday for casual drinks and chats!).

Speaking of Drinking About Museums, I’m pretty glad the Google+ group exists. I’m heading to Austin, TX in a few weeks (for funsies), and posted in the group to see if anyone wanted to get together — BOOMSAUCE! Got a fun date with a bunch of Texan museum pros on April 6th now. I love the internet. Don’t you?

Time to make that list.

– a

So, it’s been a while.

Format Changes

No, this is not the long post I have been gathering research for and slowly writing for the past week. That post, on the effects of touch and learning in museums, should hopefully go up Sunday night. I had to get a few quotes from my sister, and make sure all my research was sound and made sense before I started compiling the post.

ANYWAY! I am thinking about changing up the format for this blog. A lot of what I do, both for work and for school, centers around a hefty amount of research, most of which I take on for my own enjoyment, and sometimes has nothing to do with museum studies, just with the stuff filling the museums I work at. And I really like this kind of research, because it leads to me being happy and learning something new. Plus, I realize I haven’t been very consistent with my posts, which is only harming me. I want this blog to showcase my abilities and be a forum for me to question and interpret the field and (hopefully) engage with other professionals in the comments (seriously guys please comment). So, with that, I think we’re going to do things a little differently.

Something I started doing off and on last month on Instagram was Cetacean Saturday. I’m thinking I might bring that here as well, but only once a month because we only have 5 whales at the natural history museum (though then there are two orcas in the Northwest Labs building…). Also, I do crazy amounts of research for the things I tweet about for the Waterworks Museum, and for the objects I document and accession. These posts won’t be very long, and they’ll more than likely be accompanied by at least one Hipstamatic photo. I realize this format might be better suited for Tumblr, but I a) have no patience for Tumblr these days, and b) cannot be bothered to reactivate another social media account.

So starting tomorrow, I’ll throw up a post for Cetacean Saturday, more than likely featuring a whale I’ve already covered on my Instagram account. We’ll see how that goes. Maybe I’ll push it beyond the skeletons we have at HMNH if people seem to enjoy it.

Yes, I’ll still be posting about current issues and topics in the field, but as many of you probably know, working full time sometimes means that sitting down at your computer to write a lengthy blog post sometimes isn’t the thing you want to do every day. Look for these meatier posts probably once or twice a month. You can expect shorter posts every week starting tomorrow (but don’t worry, your feed will not be flooded with posts).

What say you to that? 🙂

Format Changes

A Quick Update & A Question

Hello hello!

Please forgive me for lacking in any posts recently. I’ve been busy with Christmas shopping and finishing papers (another semester down, yay!), and work has been a blur with folks coming in to do Christmas shopping in the museum store (thank you for supporting your museum, shoppers!). So, basically, I haven’t had much time to think, let alone write a blog post!

I do want to weigh in on the photography in museums debate, but I feel like that is really deserving of an entire blog post of itself. For now, I’ll say this: I like taking pictures in museums. I really do. I like having neat filters (I have Hipstamatic Oggl on my phone and oh my goodness do I love it), I like having memories of places I love on my phone and on the cloud to go back to, and I like being able to share with my friends and family something interesting that I did. That being said, I’m also pretty tame with my photography when it comes to museum spaces. I don’t like getting too close to art, mostly because I’m paranoid the alarm will go off, but also because I’ve had experiences in the past where as soon as I step too close to a piece, I see museum guards out of my periphery and immediately become uncomfortable. I also don’t take pictures just to have pictures. I don’t walk from one masterpiece to the next, taking a photograph and disregarding the actual art, so I can set it up on a slideshow at home to show all of my friends. No, that’s not me. But when the light is pouring in to the new Art of the Americas wing at the MFA at just the right angle and hits one of the sculptures in the Salon Gallery with a perfect glow? Yeah, that I’ll take a picture of. Sometimes I am photographing in a museum as a reference, or as part of an assignment; that’s when I’m only photographing labels, though, which I don’t do very often.

Anyway, I have a six hour flight to California ahead of me on Monday (whooooo!), which is where I plan on reading most of the articles that have surfaced over the past two weeks regarding photography in museums and memory (if you haven’t read Ed Rodley’s post about it yet, you probably should), so when I have done that, hopefully you’ll see a more fleshed out post about the subject.

I do have a question for folks, though. How do you feel about Christmas trees in museums? Here in Boston, the MFA put up quite a tree in the rotunda, and all the photos I’ve seen of it have it splendidly framed with Sargent’s murals. I know other art museums are also putting up trees as well. And last night it made me think: why are we putting Christmas trees up in our secular spaces? I swear, I’m not trying to be a Scrooge; I love Christmas. But I also have to advocate for those that don’t celebrate the holiday. Are we being culturally rude to them by putting Christmas trees up in our museums? What do you think?

And with that question out of the way, I bid everyone a good weekend. Hope you all have a happy holiday, whatever you celebrate, and a festive New Year!

A Quick Update & A Question