Museums & Galleries Qld

Posts Tagged ‘Fellowship

The Chicago History Museum covers the eclectic story of Chicago in many ways from its fur trade beginnings to its diverse immigrant stories. One thing I am learning here is the many ways these stories can be told. Here history is not just about what happened 50 or 100 years ago but it’s also about what happened yesterday. The Museum embraces the hard to tell story and the celebratory one.

Some of the pioneering story is told through dioramas.  I love the exquisite detail in the figures and the expansive vistas inside. Like big doll houses they have a charm that people are really attracted to, if the long lines in front of them are anything to go by.

Another great installation is photography based Read the rest of this entry »

These delightful photos were taken at the Swedish American Museum and they feature the opportunities children have to explore being a pioneering Swedish child about to become an immigrant and resident in America. Children prepare for this big event by dressing up as immigrant children, buying a ticket in a child’s size ticket booth and going up one side of a big boat ready for departure. They leave from Sweden and arrive on the other side of the boat in America. Read the rest of this entry »

ACCESS ALL AREAS: Chicago History Museum

Let’s get this out of the way, Chicago isn’t cold and windy.  It’s very, very cold and windy!  But at least now I can blame my crazy hair on the wind and no-one here has to know that it looks like this most of the time.

My Fellowship at the Chicago History Museum (CHM) is exceeding expectations, with staff from all areas of expertise taking time out to discuss their role here including achievements and issues they face.  It’s reassuring to know that many of these issues are faced by museums big and small around the world.

So far I have met with executive staff as well as curatorial, conservation, exhibitions, social media and the education team, and been initiated into the world of Chicago by trying a Chicago-style hotdog.  Which, by the way, are delicious.

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Highlights so far

Dioramas are popular!  Who would have thought?  One gallery in the museum has a number of dioramas featuring Chicago.  During recent renovations they were fitted out in a specially-designed gallery with new interpretation and every time I pass this space it is packed with visitors.

Audio tours aren’t supposed to be funny, are they?  I’ll admit it, I’ve never been a fan of the audio tour, having found most boring and monotonous, but at CHM two amazing audio tours are on offer. One has been produced by local high school students who also provide the narration and the other by comedians from a local comedy club which had me laughing like a crazy person as I walked around the Chicago Crossroads exhibition.

Excitement is building.  Staff are preparing for a new exhibition called Shalom Chicago and every department is involved in some way, so I am able to see the progress from different viewpoints.

The collections, exhibitions and programs reflect different Chicago communities.  CHM are following a very logical, but often skipped, process of working with their various communities.  They do not mount an exhibition and invite the community to come and see it, but instead consult and engage from the outset.  This process has led to different cultures being introduced to the museum environment and the donation of more important objects which will help shape and increase the significance of the collection.

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BRONWYN ROPER is the Queensland Museum’s Museum Development Officer for Central Queensland.

M&GSQ’s 2012 Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program is funded by Arts Queensland through the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF). RADF is a joint Queensland Government and Local Government partnership to support local arts and culture.

See M&GSQ’s website, http://www.magsq.com.au for more information about the Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program.

Big Things

Railway carriages, wagons and locomotives are big things. And with big things come some big challenges, not least of which is the responsibility to take care of these museum accessioned objects. The locos in the US are, on the whole, really BIG.  The diesel locos are amongst my favourite things – they are big, shiny, imposing and evocative of a place and time when railroads were important.

Added to the size of these objects is the sheer volume of wagons carriages and locos that a lot of railway museums hold in their collections.  Storage and display for rolling stock (as with any large transport items – buses, planes, boats) is therefore particularly challenging. Many museums have an enormous array of heritage rolling stock sitting on rail lines in yards, open to the elements and largely un-interpreted. And herein lies the challenge. How do you store, restore and interpret so that your responsibility to an accessioned object is met when there are so many and they are so big?

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For museums such as the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, the B&O Railroad Museum and the Altoona Railroaders Memorial, there have all been variations on the theme of undercover storage. Large railway-styled buildings such as the climate controlled rail hall at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania or the new Roundhouse being built at Altoona offer a mechanism by which care for the objects is enhanced by storage inside at the same time as visitor access is improved. But can and should you put all of your rolling stock inside?

With desirable space up for grabs, railroad museums here are beginning to look at their rolling stock collections with a critical eye. Many report that collection in the past has been ad hoc and consequently their holdings are variable, with some highly significant objects side by side with yet another (insert relevant wagon / carriage depending on context!). They simply have more rolling stock than inside space can fit. The opportunity to get items on display has meant that a more rigorous view of significance is being brought to focus on these items. This has also aided in assigning priorities on conservation and restoration and given rise to strategic decisions about what themes, pairings, eras and foci for display are to be used. In some cases, curators have gone a step further and are selectively de-accessioning a small number of locomotives and carriages not considered significant under their collection policies. These are generally donated to other organisations, thus maintaining heritage while slightly lessening the burden in a big collection. With the pressure of finances and the premium cost of storage and display of Big things, this critical eye is a step we could all learn from.

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GERALDINE MATE is the Senior Curator, Transport and Energy at The Workshops Rail Museum, Ipswich, a campus of the Queensland Museum.

M&GSQ’s 2012 Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program is funded by Arts Queensland through the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF). RADF is a joint Queensland Government and Local Government partnership to support local arts and culture.

See M&GSQ’s website, http://www.magsq.com.au for more information about the Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program.

Virginia Rigney blogs from LA

To follow Virginia Rigney’s blog from her M&GSQ International Fellowship, go to http://gccurator.tumblr.com/

M&GSQ’s 2012 Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program is funded by Arts Queensland through the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF). RADF is a joint Queensland Government and Local Government partnership to support local arts and culture.

See the M&GSQ website, www.magsq.com.au for an announcement about the recipients of the 2012 Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program.

Vicki says:

I sincerely want to thank my Umbrella staff for taking such great care of everything while I was away. I am so appreciative of this opportunity and send my sincere thanks to the staff of Museum and Gallery Services Queensland. Also a huge thank you to the new friends at Aberystwyth Art Centre and others there for hosting me and looking after us so well.

Many great initiatives will result from Alison and my experiences, including artist exchanges for the next two years, as well as traveling exhibitions to and from Umbrella. I hope I can convey the ethos of Wales to Umbrella artists to apply for the residency opportunities.

Alison Mc Donald and I will present a talk at Umbrella about our experiences in Abber sometime in June, the date will be announced when she returns to Townsville.

You can follow Vicki on her own blog at http://vickisalisbury.wordpress.com/

M&GSQ’s 2012 Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program is funded by Arts Queensland through the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF). RADF is a joint Queensland Government and Local Government partnership to support local arts and culture.

Go to the M&GSQ website, www.magsq.com.au for an announcement about all the recipients of the 2012 Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program.

Vicki announces some good news! Umbrella has been a invited to exhibit Compact Prints 2012 in one of the Aberystwyth School of Art galleries. So I will include Aberystwyth in its International touring schedule.

You can follow Vicki on her own blog at http://vickisalisbury.wordpress.com/

M&GSQ’s 2012 Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program is funded by Arts Queensland through the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF). RADF is a joint Queensland Government and Local Government partnership to support local arts and culture.

Go to the M&GSQ website, www.magsq.com.au for an announcement about all the recipients of the 2012 Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program.

Vicki Salisbury, Director, Umbrella Studio Contemporary Art, Townsville, is undertaking a M&GSQ International Fellowship with the Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Wales, UK. You can follow Vicki on her own blog at http://vickisalisbury.wordpress.com/

Vicki was fortunate to arrive in time for Artists in Residents, Alison McDonald, from Townsville and London Based artist Natasha Rosling to open their studios to present the works they created during their three month residency at the Arts Centre.

Vicki says “Natasha created a large scale installations from fabric, plaster, egg cartons, and paint. Her space was filled with colorful works and a real sense of fun. Alison’s work was created from plastic bottles, and inspired from sea kelp. Alison’s studio looked so elegant with artworks cleverly installed to make use of the unusual shape of the studio and light from a bank of low windows. Dozens of locals visited, including students, art centre lecturers, international and local creatives.”

Vicki says “So I look forward to making the most of my time here, building relationships for future Umbrella and international collaborations and opportunities for Queensland artists”.

M&GSQ’s 2012 Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program is funded by Arts Queensland through the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF). RADF is a joint Queensland Government and Local Government partnership to support local arts and culture.

Go to the M&GSQ website, www.magsq.com.au for an announcement about all the recipients of the 2012 Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program.

Karike Ashworth, Volunteer, Redcliffe City Art Gallery

Karike Ashworth, a volunteer at the Redcliffe City Art Gallery, had the opportunity to examine schools outreach programs during an Internship with the Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery. Karike is a successful applicant to M&GSQ’s pilot 2011 Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program.

Karike talks about the skills and knowledge she gained in dealing with schools and with other public programs during her Internship:

Read the rest of this entry »

Emma Bain, Director, Redland Art Gallery

Emma Bain, a successful recipient of M&GSQ’s pilot 2011 Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program, has been increasing her knowledge of travelling exhibitions at a national level during her Mentorship at the National Gallery of Australia, ACT. Emma is Director of the Redland Art Gallery.

Emma shares her experiences of her Gallery Mentorship:

Read the rest of this entry »


Museums & Galleries Queensland

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Museums & Galleries Queensland is the peak professional body for the public museum and gallery sector in Queensland.

Museums & Galleries Queensland promotes, supports and provides services to foster excellence in museums, galleries and keeping places. We strive to ensure a future where museums, galleries and keeping places are relevant, accessible and valued by their communities.

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