Brown Bags

Learning from Practice: Creating Online Educational Resources (and a New Museum Professional) at the Henry Ford

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Presented by Tamara Shreiner, PhD, Education

The Applicability of Museum Studies at a Commercial Gallery: An Intern’s Perspective

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Presented by Ksenya Gurshtein, PhD, History of Art

Unpacking ICOM 2007: Museums in an International Context

Friday, October 12, 2007

Presented by Raymond Silverman, Director, Museum Studies Program; Professor History of Art and Afroamerican & African Studies

In 2002, Raymond Silverman joined the faculty at the University of Michigan where he is Professor of History of Art and Afroamerican & African Studies, and serves as Director of the Museum Studies Program. In addition to teaching courses dealing with the visual cultures of Africa and Museum Studies, he has curated a number of exhibitions dealing with various aspects of African visual culture. Silverman’s research and writing has examined the interaction between West Africa and the cultures of the Middle East and Europe, the history of metal technologies in Ethiopia and Ghana, the social values associated with creativity in Ethiopia, the visual culture of religion in 20th-century Ethiopia, and the commodification of art in Ethiopia and Ghana. Among his many writings, Silverman is the author of Ethiopia: Traditions of Creativity (1999) and Painting Ethiopia: The Life and Work of Qes Adamu Tesfaw (2005). Most recently he has been exploring “museum culture” in Africa, specifically how local knowledge is translated in national and community-based cultural institutions.

Examining Parent-Child Conversations in a Natural History Museum

Friday, November 9, 2007

Presented by Medha Tare, PhD, Psychology

Playing Together at the Exploratorium: Preliminary Results on Factors Affecting Participation in a Multi-User Software-Based Exhibit

Friday, November 30, 2007

Presented by Leilah Lyons, PhD, Electrical Engineering

Supporting Corporate Clients at NewProductWorks: An Innovative Collection for the Food Industry

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Presented by Carol Sherry, Curator, NewProductWorks, The Arbor Strategy Group

Developing a Royal Museum in the Heart of Thailand

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Presented by Mya Gosling, MA, Southeast Asian Studies

Motor City Theme Parks: From the Henry Ford to the Volkswagen Autostadt

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Presented by Kerstin Barndt, Associate Professor, Department of Germanic Languages and Literature

About Kerstin Barndt

Kerstin Barndt studied German literature, philosophy, and linguistics at the Free University Berlin and Duke University. An Associate Professor in German Studies, she is also affiliated with the Museum Studies Program. She currently serves as Associate Chair and Director of Graduate Studies in the German department, and on the Steering Committee of the Museum Studies Program. Her research and teaching focus on the literary and visual cultures of the long twentieth century. Barndt’s publications include interwar literature, gender history, and exhibition culture in Germany as well as in the US. Her current book project is devoted to exhibition culture in Germany since 1989. Non/Synchronicities: Exhibiting Time and History in Contemporary Germany analyzes shifting representations of temporality in historical exhibitions, world fair pavilions, and post-industrial landscapes. Drawing on her curatorial experience from working with the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum in Dresden, Kerstin Barndt collaborated in 2010 with artist Sarah Berkeley and exhibited a multi-media installation Hello. My name is Tam in the old public museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The installation revolved around a female transparent anatomical model with links to Dresden’s famous Gläserne Mensch from 1930.

Maori Ancestor/Object: The Challenges for Ruatepupuke II and Chicago’s Multicultural Marae (Gathering Place)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Presented by Christine DeLisle, PhD Candidate, History and Women Studies, and Museum Studies


Issues in Museum Studies

5O Years in Training: ICCROM and the Challenges of Teaching Preventive Conservation Worldwide

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Presented by Ana Maria Theresa P. Labrador, Associate Professor, Department of Art Studies and Curator, Jorge B. Vargas Museum

As the International Centre for the Study of Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) celebrates its 50th year, the Rome-based intergovernmental organization is faced with a few challenges that many training institutions are presently experiencing. These involve developing courses on preventive conservation that integrate local knowledge and present fresh perspectives on the preservation of cultural materials. ICCROM has also had to confront a profession that has always been seen as the territory of scientists and specialists rather than the stakeholders who are given the task of taking care of objects in their custody, including museum personnel, monks, community leaders and government employees.

This presentation offers an overview of how ICCROM is facing the tests of both time and contexts, using examples of programs in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia. Professor Labrador will be discussing these from her perspective as a heritage professional who has been involved in one of ICCROM’s programs, CollAsia 2010 — a 7-year program involving a series of preventive conservation courses in Southeast Asia, in partnership with SPAFA (Special Projects on Archaeology and Fine Arts of the Southeast Asian Ministers for Education Organization).

About Ana Maria Theresa P. Labrador

Ana Maria Theresa Labrador is a social anthropologist and lecturer in Anthropology, Non-Western Aesthetics, Museum Studies and Cultural Heritage Management at Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. She was previously the head of University of the Philippines’ Vargas Museum and a curator at the Contemporary Art Museum of the Philippines. Since 2003, Labrador has been an Honorary Fellow at the Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation at the University of Melbourne and in 2008 undertook two main research programs in Melbourne examining indigenous conservation practice. Labrador has held multiple editorial positions and lectures widely on museum studies and the aesthetics and theories of non-western art. Recent publications include “Painting Practice in the Philippines: Two Institutionalized Practices and their Materials and Techniques” (co-written with Nicole Tse and Robyn Slogett) in Crossing Cultures: Conflict, Migration, Convergence (2009) and “A Re-Appraisal of the Bulul”, in The Philippines: Early Collections in the Museum fur Volkerkunde (2009).

The CultureBanks of Mali: “Saving” Heritage and Providing Credit in West Africa

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Presented by Todd Crosby, Independent Scholar, Chicago

The CultureBank is an institution that integrates a community museum with a village bank. First created in 1995 in the Dogon region of Mali, not far from the city of Timbuktu, the CultureBank’s mission is to conserve cultural heritage in African villages by allowing local people to use their culturally important objects as collateral to acquire small business loans. The interest income from these banking activities provides the CultureBank with an important source of revenue, permitting it to thrive in a relatively isolated area of West Africa. Over the past 12 years, the CultureBank has not only helped to prevent the loss of cultural heritage in Dogon country, but it has significantly increased the household incomes of its clients. The CultureBank has received significant attention in the international press with mention in The International Herald Tribune, The New York Times, The Guardian and in academic journals. Three CultureBanks are currently in operation in Mali.

About Todd Crosby

Todd Crosby has worked and lived in West Africa on and off since 1995 when he began a stint as a Peace Corps Small Business Advisor in the Dogon country of Mali. During his 3 years as a volunteer, Todd collaborated with local people to create, design and build the first CultureBank. Upon his return to the United States in 1998, Todd founded a nonprofit organization, The African Cultural Conservation Fund (ACCF) to promote the CultureBank model and other cultural conservation initiatives in Africa. In 2001, ACCF was awarded $210,000 in the World Bank’s “Development Marketplace” competition to fund the replication of the CultureBank in two additional villages in Mali. During 2002-2003, Todd directed the “Banking on Culture” project to create a core network of CultureBanks in Mali. The project was eventually integrated into the local World Bank project portfolio as an ongoing activity. Todd has consulted with several other development agencies interested in replicating the CultureBank model in other countries. Besides promoting the CultureBank, Todd has worked as a Program Manager for Population Services International (PSI) and the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) to manage large development projects in agriculture and health on behalf of USAID, The World Bank, and various bilateral development agencies.

Nkwantananso: A New Cultural Centre for Techiman (Ghana)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Presented by Nana Emmanuel Asare, Adontenhene of Techiman (Ghana)

Translating Tradition: The Slovak National Gallery After the Political Turn in 1989

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Presented by Maria Oriskova, Associate Professor, Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Bratislava (Slovak Republic)

This lecture deals with the question of national culture in the new European/global context. Since 1989 East European nation states (and recently new EU members) have been struggling with a problem of interpretation of their past in museums. However, the need for a new self-interpretation goes hand in hand with the issue of a new geographical cultural arena, a competitive global system within which some cultures seem to be unplugged, disconnected. In recent years in Slovakia there have been attempts at reconstructing the past, mostly within defensive patterns or romantic aspirations and illusions about wholeness, purity, coherence, continuity or parallel developments with Western art. But the question is not only about preserving place-bound traditions but globally “translating traditions.” New geographies are in fact about the renaissance of locality and region as well as the vitality of local culture within global culture.

About Maria Oriskova

Dr. Oriskova’s residence at the University of Michigan is under the auspices of the Center for Russian and East European Studies, as a recipient of a Ronald and Eileen Weiser Professional Development Fellowship.

The Vienna School of Art History and the Role of the Museum: A Case Study of the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Presented by Maria Oriskova, Associate Professor, Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Bratislava (Slovak Republic)

Vienna today the capital of Austria but once the heart of the Habsburg monarchy is a city of great collections and museums. Moreover, Vienna is known for its contribution to the institutionalization of art history through the Vienna School of Art History in the second half of the 19th and beginning of 20th century. Influential institutions of art history arose out of a necessity to sustain the idea of a common trans-national imperial heritage and universal “objective” art history. This lecture will deal with the ideas around art-historical knowledge, education and display in the Museum of Art and Industry in Vienna at the time when Alois Riegl was a curator in the museum. It will examine the processes of re-thinking the “minor arts” and transforming the displays in the Museum of Applied Arts, as well as the shift from Collection of Models to the Study Collection/Studiensammlung and Show Collection/Schausammlung in the 1980s, staged by internationally renowned artists Donald Judd, Jenny Holzer and Barbara Bloom.

About Maria Oriskova

Dr. Oriskova’s residence at the University of Michigan is under the auspices of the Center for Russian and East European Studies, as a recipient of a Ronald and Eileen Weiser Professional Development Fellowship.

An Agenda for American Museums in the 21st Century

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Presented by Harold Skramstad, President Emeritus, Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village

During the past generation, museums have become an increasingly influential presence in American life. They have done this through a constant process of re-invention to attempt to meet increasing social needs and desires. In this process the traditional concept of what a museum is and does has been subjected to all manner of both external and internal critiques and analysis as individual museums struggle to sort out their changing responsibilities to a multiplicity of groups with widely differing hopes and expectations.

Dr. Harold Skramstad will explore a number of the social critiques and changes that museums have attempted to address in the recent past and will offer some practical thoughts as to what an agenda for continuing change might look like in order to ensure that American museums will continue to be influential agents of education and social influence in the 21st century.

The 2008 Whitesell Lecture is sponsored by the The Bentley Historical Library and the Museum Studies Program at the University of Michigan.

About Harold Skramstad

Harold Skramstad is President Emeritus of Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village and a consultant specializing in strategic and interpretive planning for museums and cultural organizations. He also served as Director of the Chicago History Society, has participated in a variety of museum and executive leadership and management programs, and was commissioned in 2003 by AAM to write A Handbook for Museum Trustees. In 1994 President Clinton appointed him to the National Council on the Humanities where he served as the Chairman of the Public Programs Committee. Among other awards and honors, Dr. Skramstad was awarded the Charles Frankel Prize by President George H. W. Bush for his efforts in bringing humanities to a wide public audience.

Do Museums Need Objects Anymore?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Presented by Steven Conn, Professor, History Department and Director, Public History Program, Ohio State University

This talk will sketch a history of what has happened to objects in various kinds of museums art, anthropology, natural history, science. Over the course of the 20th century, objects have grown scarcer in the galleries of museums. Some museums simply exhibit fewer than they used to; some have replaced objects with technology; some museums have been built without collections at all; and in some cases objects have left museums, either through sales or “repatriations.” In this lecture, Dr. Steven Conn will chart out a history of the disappearing object and examine what role objects now play in the museum.

About Steven Conn

Steven Conn specializes in 19th and 20th century cultural and intellectual history. After completing his undergraduate education at Yale, he received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1994. In 2000 he was appointed to be a member of the faculty of the Art History Department at OSU and in 2004 he became the department’s first Director of Public History.

Curating as a Woman: Women Curators in the Past and Present in Slovakia

Monday, March 17, 2008

Presented by Maria Oriskova, Associate Professor, Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Bratislava (Slovak Republic)

This talk was originally presented at the 2005 symposium, “Women in the Service of Art History” that was held at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. It deals with the role of women curators in Slovakia, in the past and present. During the first half of 20th century there was a distinct division of labor based on gender not only in everyday life but also in the art-historical profession. Slovak women art historians were not expected to conduct research but to focus on practical experience, classification, preservation of art objects in museums and educating the public. They were expected to manage collections even if they were very well educated. Because the retrieval of Slovak national heritage has been an important task, women in lower positions were assisting patriotic men in higher positions. Museum hierarchy and gender division continues today. However, women in museums have become more visible as exhibition curators. Curating means entering into the public sphere and undermining gender stereotypes in our society.

About Maria Oriskova

Dr. Oriskova’s residence at the University of Michigan is under the auspices of the Center for Russian and East European Studies, as a recipient of a Ronald and Eileen Weiser Professional Development Fellowship.