Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Judge rules in the never-ending Fisk University/O'Keefe case

Ruling by Tennessee Judge that allows the sale to go forward but says that $20 million must go into an endowment, leaving only $10 million to the university.  Neither the university nor the attorney general are happy with the outcome. I imagine that they are already getting started on appealing the ruling.

Summary of Fisk University/O'Keefe Case:
"In 1949, painter Georgia O'Keeffe facilitated the exchange of 99 paintings from the estate of her husband, Alfred Stieglitz. She made an outright gift of two of her own paintings to the school. These are on permanent display at the University's Carl Van Vechten Galleries.
"In 2005, mounting financial difficulties led the University trustees to vote to sell two of the paintings, O'Keeffe's "Radiator Building" and Marsden Hartley's "Painting No. 3". (Together these were estimated to be worth up to 45 million U.S. dollars.) However, the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, the legal guardians of her estate, sued to stop the sale on the basis that the original bequest did not allow the art to be sold. At the end of 2007 a plan to share the collection with the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art to earn money was being fought in court by the O'Keeffe Museum." - Wikipedia

This case drives home three issues that are critical to many museums: sustainability, donor's intents and deaccessioning. So, I ask, was this the correct decision, and if not, what is? What sort of effect might this have on other museums (or will it only affect those in Tennessee)? In other words, what do you think?

As a reminder, here are the stances of some of the major museum organizations on deaccessioning:

Deaccession stance by AAM: (from the 2000 Code of Ethics)

The disposal of collections through sale, trade, or research activities is solely for the advancement of the museum's mission. Proceeds from the sale of nonliving collections are to be used consistent with the established standards of the museum's discipline, but in no event shall they be used for anything other than acquisition or direct care of collections.

Deaccession stance by AASLH: (from their Statement of Professional Standards and Ethics)

"Collections shall not be deaccessioned or disposed of in order to provide financial support for institutional operations, facilities maintenance or any reason other than preservation or acquisition of collections, as defined by institutional policy."

Deaccession stance by AAMD: (from their 2010 AAMD Policy on Deaccessioning)

"Funds received from the disposal of a deaccessioned work shall not be used for operations or capital expenses. Such funds, including any earnings and appreciation thereon, may be used only for the acquisition of works in a manner consistent with the museum’s policy on the use of restricted acquisition funds."

Monday, November 8, 2010

Employment Opportunity with Purdue University

Site Name and Address: Purdue University – Department of Agricultural Communication – West Lafayette, IN
Position Title: Exhibit Specialist
Educational Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology, Industrial Design, Visual Design, or related field.
Experience Required: Two years experience in exhibit design, fabrication, and installation.     
Position Description: The exhibit specialist is instrumental in all aspects of the department's traveling exhibit program. The exhibit specialist, working as part of a team, is responsible for design, fabrication and installation of museum quality exhibits for the Ag Comm Exhibit Design Center at various locations locally, across the state, and nationally. Develop, design, fabricate and install two and three dimensional educational exhibits from small portable tabletop displays to very large museum exhibits.
Other pertinent information: A check of criminal conviction records will be made for employment in this position.
Application Requirements (resume, cover letter, salary requirements, writing sample?): Purdue application and resume required.
Contact Name: Christine Strawsma
Title: Administrative Assistant
Where to send application packet (e-mail address, street address, fax?):  For consideration, submit resume and apply online at: www.purdue.edu/jobs and reference Job Number: 1001010
Is there a closing date? When should this listing be deleted from the site? 12/10/10

Do you have an employment opportunity? Please email it conference@smallmuseum.org. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Big Ideas for Small Museums

Earlier this week, AASLH rolled out their quarterly newsletter, Big Ideas for Small Museums, which can be found at http://www.aaslh.org/SmallMuseums.htm. Their first issue focuses on... drumroll please... blogging!
They say, "Through this publication, the AASLH Small Museums Committee shares resources that are pretested and approved by actual small museum professionals. The articles are brief and practical – giving you the shortcuts you need when you don’t have enough time, money, or people. The newsletter is sent directly to the Small Museums Affinity Group. Sign up to receive Big Ideas for Small Museums automatically by joining the AASLH Small Museums Affinity Group. The Affinity Group is not a membership organization and there is no fee to join. However, you will need to create a username and password and share your contact information. Go to www.aaslh.org/SmallMuseums.htm and click on “Join the Small Museums Affinity Group” link at the top of the page and then on “Don’t have a Login? Click here.”


Monday, November 1, 2010

Small Museum of the Month: Nebraska Firefighters Museum & Education Center

The Nebraska Firefighters Museum & Education Center was just a dream to Nebraska firefighters until it opened its doors on August 15, 2009! Since then, this beautiful new facility has been utilized by kids (and kids-at-heart!) as a place to engage with the proud history of Nebraska’s approximately 500 volunteer or career fire departments, and to learn hands-on about the importance of fire prevention!
Located just off Interstate-80 in the heart of the nation, the shiny restored trucks & apparatus, historic antique equipment & tools, detailed 40-foot timeline of Nebraska’s firefighting heritage since 1856, and bold educational fire prevention exhibits have been seen by thousands of visitors from literally around the world!

Each day, we strive to live out our purpose of preserving Nebraska’s tangible and intangible firefighting heritage, of educating our visitors about the importance of fire prevention and fire safety, and of memorializing Nebraska's firefighters & EMTs.
Phase One of the three planned phases of construction was the facility itself, which includes the Don & Ardath Smeal Family Gallery - named for the founders of the Smeal Fire Apparatus factory in Snyder, Neb., our $1,000,000 donors - a community birthday party room and a community conference room. Phase One was completed on August 14, 2009.

In order to showcase as many of Nebraska's fire departments as possible in the current available amount of space, we feature a rotating exhibit system, through which we annually exchange trucks on the floor, bring in new displays, and enhance the more permanent exhibits of the Gallery, including the fire prevention Hazard House.
Phase Two of construction was a stately Nebraska Firefighters Memorial Garden. After raising the funds for this project from private and corporate donors, we proudly broke ground in April 2010, and dedicated the completed landmark granite garden on 10.10.2010 at 10:00AM at the Nebraska Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service! The Memorial Garden is a permanent way to pay respectful homage to the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifices made by Nebraska’s past, present and future firefighters and EMTs by showcasing granite monuments engraved with the names of Nebraska’s line of duty deaths, and the sponsored names of many of our state’s past and present firefighters & EMTs.  May they never be forgotten.

Phase Three will be the expansion of the exhibit gallery by 12,000 square feet, which will more than double our current exhibit space, distributed by 6,000 square feet to the east and to the west of the current gallery building. We will strive to raise the needed dollars to complete these additions, and complete the construction and exhibit installation process in the next few years.

- Summer Hours (Memorial Day-Labor Day)                 
 Open Daily:     9:00AM-6:00PM
 - Off-Season Hours (Labor Day-Memorial Day)                  
Friday – Sunday:   10:00AM-5:00PM                  
Weekdays by Appointment:     Call 308-338-FIRE(3473)

 - Admission:                
 Ages 5 & Under:    FREE!                  
Youth (ages 6-17):          $3                 
 Adult (ages 18-64):        $6                 
 Senior (ages 65+):          $4

Want to be a Small Museum of the Month? Learn more here!

Photo of Museum of the Month will be added to the front page of the SMA website shortly. All photos courtesy of the Nebraska Firefighters Museum.