Public programs facilitate dialogue between academics and professionals, informing scholarship and strengthening practice.

Multiple day conferences, year-long colloquia, individual lectures, “conversations” between individuals, hands-on workshops, and Museums at Noon talks featuring our graduate students all contribute to the remarkable richness of MSP offerings.

Video recordings of some MSP lectures are archived for viewing in our Media Gallery.

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Historic House Museums workshop

February 16, 2018 @ 8:30 am - 12:30 pm

The morning session of this workshop is free and open to the public.  The afternoon visit to Fair Lane Estate, however, is limited to 40 people and is fully registered.

House museums have been a mainstay of the American museum landscape for generations.  The most common museum type in the United States, these monuments to affluence and influence—often associated with ‘great men’ and community founders—are found from small towns to major urban centers.  Over the last half century, the model for the historic house museum has become both familiar and entrenched.  Today, historic house museums are being challenged: to respond to changing audiences and interests of contemporary museum goers: to tell more complex—and difficult—histories; and to more fully represent the many and diverse communities and individuals that constitute our past and present.

Re-Imagining the Historic House Museum brings together scholars, professionals, and provocateurs who are transforming historic house museums to tell new stories and create new visitor experiences.  This all-day event has two parts.  In the morning, speakers will introduce their work and institutions in on-campus presentations.  In the afternoon, pre-registered participants are invited to join a visit to Henry Ford’s Fair Lane Estate in Dearborn, MI, currently in the midst of an innovative renovation.  Attendees will be introduced to new approaches to historic house museums and have the opportunity for a rare behind-the-scenes look at work being undertaken in our own community.


8:30 am – 12:30 pm, Michigan League (Koessler Room, 3rd floor)



Elizabeth Chew, Vice President for Museum Programs, James Madison’s Montpelier

Lisa Yun Lee, Executive Director, National Public Housing Museum and Director, School of Art and Art History, University of Illinois, Chicago

Mark Heppner, Vice President for Historic Resources, Historic Ford Estates

Frank Vagnone, co-author, Anarchist’s Guide to Historic House Museums

Nancy Villa Bryk,  Associate Professor, Program in Historic Preservation, Eastern Michigan University


Please see the complete schedule, presentation titles, and participant biographies here.


* The bus to Fairlane Estate will leave from the Michigan League at 1:30 pm (The bus is fully reserved; if you have reserved a spot and must cancel, please email [email protected] to open your spot for someone else.)





February 16, 2018
8:30 am - 12:30 pm
Event Category:


Michigan League
Ann Arbor, MI, + Google Map