On the Hudson Valley Ruins at the New York State Museum

An exhibition based on Robert Yasinsac and Thomas Rinaldi’s  Hudson Valley Ruins: Forgotten Landmarks of an American Landscape opened at the New York State Museum on August 20. It’s a photographic exhibition on the decaying — but still interestingly beautiful — industrial, commercial, residential and medical buildings (among others) that have been abandoned and left to time and the elements in the Hudson Valley region. The … Continue reading On the Hudson Valley Ruins at the New York State Museum

On Books on Display: Queens Museum Edition

As a good library school graduate, I try to look for books everywhere I go: stores, other people’s homes, museums. Especially museums. There’s no better place for books to be available for browsing and display than at a museum. My recent trip to the Queens Museum for their exhibition on the Ramones was no exception. (Seriously, if you’re in Queens go and see it. And … Continue reading On Books on Display: Queens Museum Edition

On Mounting the World: Museum Mount Makers

Just a quickie today. I’ve mentioned before that I appreciate a nicely mounted display. Heck, I’ll often spend more time looking at how an artifact is mounted in a vitrine than the artifact itself. I also love it when workers behind the scenes — the folks who get to open those glass cases and touch stuff — get their moment in the spotlight. An article I … Continue reading On Mounting the World: Museum Mount Makers

On the Queens Museum’s Ramones Exhibition

I hated the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was too cluttered. There were speakers everywhere blasting disjoint sounds that prohibited me from fully enjoying and engaging with whatever I was standing in front of at the time. Plus, the space seemed too confined. I visited a few months ago (in the days before the Hall’s class of 2016 was to be inducted, actually) and … Continue reading On the Queens Museum’s Ramones Exhibition

On the Trail of Wonder at the U-M Museum of Natural History

I was in Ann Arbor visiting relatives last week and took the kids for a quick spin around the University of Michigan’s Museum of Natural History. It’s your typical natural history museum. There are displays that look just slightly outdated but well maintained… … as well as dioramas-a-plenty on life and landscapes from long ago. Aside from the massive skeletons streaming through the air, it looked … Continue reading On the Trail of Wonder at the U-M Museum of Natural History

On Pugilist Parodies, or Boxing in Political Cartoons

In my online wanderings, I like to look through the OPACs (Online Public Access Catalogs) of libraries, museums, and archives far and wide to see what they have on the squared circle. Boxing has been a major part of the fabric of cultural life for so long that most repositories have a little something featuring the sweet science. My favorite boxing finds aren’t of actual fights or fighters. … Continue reading On Pugilist Parodies, or Boxing in Political Cartoons

On Reading in Museums, or Books on Display

Books in museums are usually like this: On display, in a case, glare obscuring certain parts, unable to be explored further than the page the curator chose. Sometimes, though, there are displays that encourage visitors to get a feel for the book. Maybe even add a few lines for other guests to enjoy. Museums that do double duty as research institutions sometimes have conservation labs on exhibit that provide reading materials for … Continue reading On Reading in Museums, or Books on Display

On Museum Displays, or Geeking Out Over Pins, Stands, and a Gantry

Most people go to museums and galleries to see art and artifacts, learn about the history of people and places, or just be entertained by interesting things. I go to see how those things are displayed and see how they were mounted. I am a total exhibits geek. My second day as a collections intern at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum was spent organizing and reorganizing … Continue reading On Museum Displays, or Geeking Out Over Pins, Stands, and a Gantry

On Potty Possibilities, or Underutilized Exhibit Spaces

Touring the many fine museums in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, I came across two exhibits that struck me as utterly unique and quite brilliant: Displays in the restroom. Yes, yes, I know what you’re thinking. Potty time is both sacred and profane, and hanging anything on the walls other than TP dispensers or hand driers is squicky and gross. But think of the potential. … Continue reading On Potty Possibilities, or Underutilized Exhibit Spaces

On an Unpopular Opinion, or Break It So No One Buys It

The Islamic State tweeted video (not linked because I don’t approve of snuff films) of pieces from the Mosul Museum being shattered, smashed, destroyed.  My undergraduate education was capped off with research on an early Old Babylonian site that was looted and destroyed in the events surrounding the second Iraq War. I find this wanton destruction terribly heartbreaking. Heartbreaking for the people of Iraq who love their … Continue reading On an Unpopular Opinion, or Break It So No One Buys It