abstract: Since the initial impetus to collect, preserve, and interpret history with the intent of safeguarding American heritage for posterity, historical societies have made substantial contributions to the preservation of historical records. Historical societies have tended to originate in socially exclusive groups and found history museums, celebratory in nature. In contemporary society, this exclusivity raises issues and concerns for contemporary institutions seeking to "serve the public." Tempe History Museum, Chandler Museum, and Scottsdale Historical Museum are examples of local history museums, initially formed by historical societies, which are currently at different stages of developing exhibits and collections more representative of their diverse communities. The three museums have different approaches to not only defining their local community but also to what it means to serve and represent their city by being the local history museum. In recent years, the Tempe History Museum has undergone a renovation of its facility and exhibits, the Chandler Museum is in the midst of transferring its collection to the City of Chandler and planning for a new facility, and the Scottsdale Historical Museum has remained largely the same since the early 1990s. The decisions made by the historical societies that found these museums have shaped and directed the museums' paths to becoming, or failing to become, relevant to their local communities. The Tempe, Chandler, and Scottsdale historical societies came from the Anglo-community within each city, so did the collections they acquired and the objects they displayed. At a time of rising social history, the historical societies presented socially exclusive museums. Becoming incorporated within the city government, would prove to be the point of change, the tipping point when the history museums moved from particularism to pluralism. The change, however, did not come overnight. It was change over time. The city governments had an obligation to equally represent its taxpayers and constituency, meaning that the newly incorporated museums had to eventually follow the same mission. In the case of Tempe, Chandler, and Scottsdale museums, incorporation within city governments has led to a stable funding source, professional staff, and a move towards representation of diverse communities within museum exhibits and programming. / Dissertation/Thesis / M.A. History 2012
Forist, Brian Edward
16 August 2018
<p> This is a study about the effectiveness of natural and cultural resource-based communication or “interpretation” as practiced in national parks of the United States. Specifically, it focuses on informal interpretation, extemporaneous or unplanned encounters between park officials and visitors, in five units of the National Park System. The stated aim of interpretation is to build connections between visitors and park resources. This study asked questions about the effectiveness of informal efforts enhance the experience of park natural and cultural resources for visitors, from their perspective as opposed to that of the park officials. </p><p> This study, based in dialogue theory, tested an approach to park communication referred to here as two-way, dialogic interpretation. Qualities of two-way, dialogic communication were identified and then observed in informal encounters between park officials and visitors. Visitors were interviewed between three and thirty-six months after their visit. An assessment of interview data, specifically visitor recall of the experience, compared against ethnographic records of the encounters were used as a measure of the power or effectiveness of the qualities of two-way, dialogic interpretation in enhancing recall. In addition, an assessment of the priority given to informal interpretation was performed through content analysis of various planning and management documents from the parks studied. </p><p> Results indicated that employment of the identified qualities of two-way, dialogic interpretation had little effect on visitor recall of their park experience. It appears, according to this study, that the place itself and the natural and cultural resources protected in the parks are at the very center of the visitors’ recall. In essence, the study’s results indicate that what an interpreter says or how they say it is far less important than the actual resource-based experience that the visitor has. This phenomenon is discussed and recommendations for further study are made.</p><p>
Hopkins, Michele L.
06 September 2018
<p> The creation of national identity through the printed publication was historically important in developing French economic and cultural dominance. Luxury periodical publications such as <i>Gazette du Bon Ton</i> followed in the footsteps of historic predecessors in promoting French fashion and standards of taste to elite audiences at home and abroad, and editors such as Lucien Vogel, who positioned <i>Gazette du Bon Ton</i> alongside the exquisitely produced, influential fine art, decorative art, and design guides of the time, became powerful voices reporting on fashion and appropriate social etiquette during a time of profound social change. </p><p> The separation and cataloguing of individual pochoir from <i>Gazette du Bon Ton</i> has, over time, shifted the publication from rare book libraries to print, photography, and drawing collections and the classification of <i>Gazette du Bon Ton</i> pochoir as ephemera. This shift has limited our understanding of the complete publication. Prior research of <i> Gazette du Bon Ton</i> has focused primarily on the visual merits of fashion pochoir. This thesis attempts to redress that imbalance by analyzing the material components of <i>Gazette du Bon Ton</i> and reconsidering the vision of powerful editors such as Lucien Vogel in directing social narratives reflective of their time.</p><p>
Enthusiastic Educators and Interested Visitors| Investigating the Relationships between Museum Educators' Enthusiasm and Visitors' Situational InterestLiu, ChangChia James 26 September 2018 (has links)
<p> Informal education environments like museums have become some of the most important educational resources. Although much attention has been paid to museum settings and programs, little is known about how museum educators support visitors’ learning and intrinsic motivation. In particular, there is a need to investigate museum educators’ enthusiasm, considering that enthusiasm is a powerful way of creating an engaging learning experience across various subjects and environments. In this study, I investigate museum educators’ enthusiasm as perceived by adult visitors through the lens of interest development. The results I found (<i>N</i> = 209) indicate a strong positive relationship between museum educators’ enthusiasm and visitors’ situational interest. Visitors’ reports of educators’ enthusiasm were directly related to catch interest (β = .74) and indirectly to hold interest (β = .46). In addition, educators’ enthusiasm mediated the connection between prior individual interest and catch interest. Visitors’ prior individual interest was also moderately related to both their catch (β = .28) and hold interest (β = .37). Limitations and directions for future studies are discussed. </p><p>
abstract: In the 1960s, Minimal Art introduced a radical insistence on the bodily immediacy of the experience. Since then, artists have increasingly focused on the creation of immersive experiences, resulting in spectacular installations that fill museums, galleries, and public spaces. In this thesis, I argue that the artistic shift toward experience-based work stems from an overall revaluation of the experience as a central component of contemporary life in Western societies. Referencing sociological and economic theories, I investigate the evolving role of the art museum in the twenty-first century, as well as the introduction of new technologies that allow for unique sensorial encounters. Finally, I situate this development in both art historical and theoretical context, examining the relationship between critical distance and immersion and challenging the notion that art must become spectacle to compete with the demands of a capitalist culture. / Dissertation/Thesis / Masters Thesis Art History 2015
Bennett, Hunter Alane
05 June 2018
<p>Lincoln County, Arkansas, is a small county in the southeastern sector of Arkansas that lacks a museum dedicated to its history. With Lincoln County lacking the funds to purchase/build a physical space that is on-par with current museum standards, a museum building is an impossibility at this point. Yet, the older generations that are full of knowledge about the history of the county are fading away. To preserve past and future history, a new spin on a museum had to be accomplished. The spin was creating a digital museum. This study goes in-depth on the creation of a digital database and museum for Lincoln County using Omeka.net and WordPress.com according to Dublin Core and museum standards. The websites showcase a broad and general history of Lincoln County that will hopefully become a foundation for the creation of a physical museum.
These Ways of Working| Reflections on the Collaborative Nature of Staff Roles in Creating Space in Art MuseumsMedill, Kathryn Nellis 18 May 2018 (has links)
<p> This dissertation is a case study, written from my perspective as a new museum professional and museum educator. The work explores the museum as an institutional and community space and demonstrates how museum educators may understanding their role and the roles of their peers in a relational way with the aim of increased productivity.</p><p> Using a contemporary university art museum as the setting, I and 14 of my museum colleagues, at least one from each department at the museum, discuss our understandings of: co-creation, collaboration, physical mental and social space individually and as a group. The questions that guide this study are: </p><p> • What do art museum staff members communicate about their understanding of their roles in co-creative and collaborative education programming and museum exhibition design in contexts of relational space in the museum? </p><p> • What indicators of internal dialogue are revealed in this exploration? </p><p> • What do these conversations uncover about staff understanding(s) of the spaces that they work in as relational? </p><p> • What ideas arise regarding possible change for the museum’s approach to collaborative and co-creative education programming and museum exhibition design?</p><p> I utilize two methodologies, case study and auto ethnography, to create a relational accounting of my experience and how my understandings and perspective changed during this process.</p><p> I also incorporate a theoretical frame grounded in theories of relational space from Martina Löw and Henri Lefebvre to guide my research. To highlight my methodological frame, I collected observations and reflections about the one-on-one interviews and two large focus groups I facilitated in my research journal. I captured photographs of my colleagues’ work spaces to serve as visual aids for the readers regarding my process and interest in space. </p><p> Themes include those guided by the methods that focused on understandings of: co-creation, collaboration, physical space, mental space and social space. Participants also discussed additional properties that shape their understanding of these terms. They include: age, untapped staff talent, the impact of hierarchy in the museums’ internal structure, staffs' varied understanding of the museum visitor and power in different spaces.</p><p> From my perspective, these findings represent opportunities for new museum professionals and educators to strategically approach their transition from in-classroom learning to the workforce. These findings also present opportunities for museum educators to reimagine the formal and informal learning opportunities museums can offer those interested in a career in the museum sector and museum education.</p><p>
Examining Commodity, Agency, and Value| Prehistoric French Replicas, Casts, and "Frauds" within the National Museum of Natural History's CollectionKamph, Molly 30 June 2017 (has links)
<p> From approximately 1850 to the beginning of World War II, archaeological collaboration between the United States and France was at its peak in terms of the study of human prehistory. This span of time will be referred to as a “golden age” of exchange, which resulted in thousands of objects being sent from France to be housed in museums and institutions of higher education in the United States. Within these collections, the presence of replicas, casts, and even objects questionably catalogued by the museum as “frauds” highlight the underlying value of the broader collecting ideologies. Through a statistical analysis of the French prehistoric collections at the National Museum of Natural History that includes replicas, casts, and “frauds” as well as case studies into specific objects, I hope to explore the patterns of motivations and range of perspectives of the various actors within the process of creating, collecting, and distributing these objects. More in-depth, biographical case studies will also allow for a glimpse into the complex and often ambiguous social lives of certain objects within these collections (Kopytoff 1986). Overall, the presence of replicas, casts, and “frauds” becomes a lens into which commodity, agency, and value of the prehistoric French collections can be examined and analyzed. </p>
Narratives of Elsewhere and In-Between| Refugee Audiences, Edu-Curators, and the Boundary Event in Art MuseumsPegno, Marianna 03 January 2018 (has links)
<p> This dissertation explores narratives that emerge from a community-museum collaboration while working with refugees in relation to Trinh T. Minh-ha’s (2011) concept of the boundary event. Within this study the boundary event is explored as moments of overlap where identity, experiences, knowledge, and processes are continuously being negotiated; by embracing or leaning into these moments, community-museum programs can develop multivocal narratives—where no single voice is heard as distinctly clear or separate. These co-created museum narratives stand in contrast to educational and engagement strategies that aim to instill knowledge and elevate community with the museum as the expert. In this dissertation 16 participant voices– of 15 refugees and one museum educator– mingle, coalesce, and complicate museum narratives. These narratives are participant-created (data presentation) as well as researcher-constructed (analysis and interpretation). Using the methodological lens of narrative inquiry and decolonization I investigated data collected from over a two-year period (summer 2013-summer 2015) including: content and wall labels collected from two exhibitions, one marks the beginning of the study in 2013 and the second in 2015 concludes the study; gallery activities collected over the course of the two-year study; and educator field notes from the 28 individual sessions. Ultimately, I argue that multivocal narratives, and embracing moments defined as the boundary event, complicate traditional hierarchy and expected stories of refugees and new migrants illustrating how difference can positively disrupt linear, static, and authoritative institutional narratives.</p><p>
Olmsted, Chelsea Dawn
Commemorative programming for historic anniversaries reveals an interpretive and narrative evolution between public memory and history. The divisiveness of the war and the public’s ambivalence about its meaning allowed for broader interpretive perspectives compared to earlier war commemorations. Research on the evolving narratives considers how public memory informs identity and affects historical interpretations. Recent museum exhibits, historic sites, and films about the Vietnam War bring into focus the changing narrative of the Vietnam War. Case studies for this research are the Washington, D.C. National Archives and Records Administration Remembering Vietnam exhibit, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s plans for an education center, and Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s documentary The Vietnam War. The soldier’s experience narrative still dominates interpretations, but interpretations have expanded to include the Vietnamese and the protest perspective. The passage of time and the conflict’s complexity has opened the way for new perspectives in commemorative programming.
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