Interns @ The Herbert: Movie time! -
As a lover of all things history (and because it’s one of my favorite books ever), I sat down this weekend and watched Angels and Demons. For those that hated The Da Vinci Code movie (I’m totally with you), give this a try. It was a LOT closer to the book than I expected. But, I digress.
This is why I can’t watch Indiana Jones films
(Conversely, I have a great and not-so-secret love for the National Treasure films, and not just because Nicolas Cage’s general ridiculousness makes me lol forever. They have historians and archaeologists who actually observe procedure! And who bag and number finds! And who rightly pitch a fit when the protagonist trololols merrily on-screen and tries to damage historical artefacts in search of treasure.)
In retrospect, downing a seventh pint of liquid courage before challenging Lt. Bowley to a bout had been ill-advised.
Everyone knew that a seaman on skates was not to be trifled with.
I know, I know, I’m reblogging myself, how declassé. But this photo still makes my day, so as they say on the internets, haters to the left.
(Er. I suppose this might also be a good time to mention that I’m currently trial-Tumbling for Coventry’s Herbert Art Gallery & Museum over at herbertinterns, which is why this blog has been a little quiet. What can I say - I’d feel a little guilty for spamming the internet from two professional Tumblrs at once.)
Archaeological News: Body aged over 2,000 years found in Laois bog -
PREHISTORIC human remains, believed to be the result of a human sacrifice, have been found on Bord na Móna land in Co Laois.
The significant find has been described as “very exciting” by the National Museum of Ireland.
Initial examinations indicate it could be a woman’s body.
Things that are true:
The most important part of an intern breakfast.
Bat-art of the day: The Dark T-Rex Rises
In honor of The Dark Knight Rises, the Art Institute of Pittsburgh dressed up their beloved T-rex in a bat-cape and cowl. Surprise movie villain? SH*T YEAH.
A little bit of light-heartedness this morning, as I catch up on much grimmer news from around the country. More museums should be willing to play with pop culture like this (cf. the faux-Smithsonian ‘Historically Hardcore’ spoofs, which they totally should have adopted on the spot).
I want to understand the reality of the impact that having interactive interpretation can have within a museum – it’s all very well saying that it is useful for engaging audiences but what I want to know is how does it do this and are all museums and visitors a fan? When I talk about ‘new media’, my mind is mainly focusing on, touch screens, videos, computer generated games – things that focus on a screen, I know that ‘new media’ can contribute to many factors of a museum and is a much wider scope than what I have described, but for now I shall focus on those. […] —
Museum Diaries: Interactive Interpretation
Thought-provoking post. I’m certainly against incorporating interactives and technology in museum galleries Just Because (excepting, of course, trials and pilot programmes where sometimes the entire point is simply to see what happens). However, I think it’s also important to remember that not every interactive has to do everything. To take the example of the ‘God’s Top Trumps’ game, whether or not it’s effective depends on what you expect it to accomplish. If you want it to give visitors a nuanced and contextualised introduction to ancient religions, then no, it definitely fails on that count. But if all you want is for younger visitors to come away knowing a little more about the variety of different gods worshipped in the ancient Mediterranean, and how those gods were adopted and reinvented by different civilisations? Then it probably does a pretty decent job.
Likewise, not only do interactives not have to do everything, they don’t even necessarily have to do the same thing for the same people. For example, while a visual learner might be perfectly happy to wander through an exhibit, look at the displays and read the labels and learn plenty, and might find interactives intrusive, a kinesthetic learner or problem-solver might get a lot more from being able to engage with the same content through a game-based setting.
There are always going to be issues around integrating ‘new media’, and balancing the tension between showcasing your objects and trying to make sure everyone gets the most out of what you have to offer in the way that works best for them. To my mind, the key to interactives is the same as for any of the shiny new toys of the digital age - social media, virtual content, et cetera. It’s about knowing exactly what it is you want to accomplish by using them, and why. If you’re not scrupulous in asking those questions and clear about your answers, you run the risk of winding up with something sitting in the gallery (or on the website, or etc. etc.), serving no real purpose or even distracting from your exhibit, simply because someone thought it would be cool.
Government guidelines say interns should be paid -
New guidelines aimed at creating fairer access to the workplace recommend that internships should be paid if they are not a compulsory part of a university course. […]
According to the code, organisations running internship programmes should pay candidates at least the statutory minimum wage – unless they are volunteers or students undertaking work placements as part of their studies.
Hear, hear. I don’t subscribe to the notion that unpaid internships are necessarily exploitative, so long as they are rigorously structured and of genuine educational benefit to the intern. However, this is often not the case - and as someone lucky enough to have been able to live at home for a year while interning between degrees, I am acutely aware that even those genuinely equitable internships are out of reach for those who simply can’t afford to work without pay.
With so many museums buying into the culture of unpaid internships, this can be - and for my money, is - incredibly harmful to the sector. Not only does it close the door on a broad swathe of young museum professionals, it has in many cases helped to effectively eliminate paid entry-level positions. When your lowest-tier jobs require X years of experience, and the only people who have that experience are those who could afford to work for free to accrue it, you’re fast looking at reifying that homogeneous, upper-middle class workforce and set of values that museums have worked so hard in recent years to break down.
I do wonder what effect this will have on smaller museums, that may rely on volunteers and unpaid interns simply to keep their doors open. I’d like to say that a happy middle ground would be a government stipulation on the maximum amount of hours allowable for unpaid internships - but to be honest, all I see that leading to is a situation where interns are disposable as well as free. In this economy, there are always going to be students clawing at the door for opportunities; when an institution has a choice between offering an outgoing intern a living wage or simply exchanging them for the next free candidate, what incentive do they have to do the right thing?
These guidelines are certainly a step in the right direction; hopefully it won’t be long before we see some actual (and actually enforced) regulations on the issue.
The pharmaceutical museum, New Orleans LA, July 2011
Oh, wow. I could spend days in here.
Rules of the British Museum, 1759
Okay, this is fantastic. Everyone go and see the full scans RIGHT NOW.
Vintage Air Hostesses: when flying was romantic, sexy and fun.
Vintage Air Hostesses: when flying was romantic,
sexy sexist and fun.
Fixed that for you.
Yeah, this is getting printed out and tacked up by my desk at work.