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Visual Representation Of Black Individuals At The Forefront Of Underground Railroad Interpretation, Alison Spongr May 2023

Visual Representation Of Black Individuals At The Forefront Of Underground Railroad Interpretation, Alison Spongr

Museum Studies Theses

This thesis is grounded in a reflection and analysis of the building of an institution whose foundation and visuals position the narratives of Black individuals at the forefront of Underground Railroad interpretation. In 2018, the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center opened to the public after decades in the making. Its permanent exhibition, One More River to Cross, set in motion a shift in power – of whose stories are represented and shared – generated by visual activism.

“Between the American Revolution in 1776 and the end of the Civil War in 1865, thousands of freedom seekers escaped slavery …


Creating The Experience: Engaging Millennials In Museums With A Focus On Jewish Millennials And Museums, Sarah G. Drozda Dec 2021

Creating The Experience: Engaging Millennials In Museums With A Focus On Jewish Millennials And Museums, Sarah G. Drozda

Museum Studies Theses

In this research, I explore two main ideas: The relationship that millennials have with museums and what programming excites them into coming back to the museum. To do this, I did a background review of the motivations and passions of the millennial generation, as well as various programming that have engaged millennials in museums. As someone who is a millennial and passionate about Jewish museums and Jewish engagement, I focused my research on how museums can help to bring Jewish millennials closer to their heritage, culture, and Jewish identity. A good segment of Jewish millennials is not drawn to traditional …


Remembering Why: Finding Direction In The Face Of Unsustainable Collections Practices, Megan Barr May 2021

Remembering Why: Finding Direction In The Face Of Unsustainable Collections Practices, Megan Barr

Museum Studies Theses

Shifts in the philosophy and practices that guide museums have changed the way we collect and what we collect. However, professional standards and expectations related to the management and use of those collections have largely remained unaltered. Museum professionals are repeatedly confronted by the impracticality and near impossibility of achieving accepted professional standards when managing collections. It is clear that the profession needs to rethink the practices and policies that shape our daily work assumptions, but where do we begin? Using Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle as a guide, we will rearticulate our purpose and reexamine the practices that get in …


Dinosaur Representation In Museums: How The Struggle Between Scientific Accuracy And Pop Culture Affects The Public Perception Of Mesozoic Non-Avian Dinosaurs In Museums, Carla A. Feller Dec 2020

Dinosaur Representation In Museums: How The Struggle Between Scientific Accuracy And Pop Culture Affects The Public Perception Of Mesozoic Non-Avian Dinosaurs In Museums, Carla A. Feller

Museum Studies Theses

This thesis examines the struggle of museums to keep up with swiftly advancing scientific discoveries relating to the study and display of Mesozoic (approximately 250 million years to 65 million years ago) non-avian dinosaurs. The paper will explore the history of dinosaur discoveries, their display methodologies in museums, and how pop culture, including movies and video games, have influenced museum displays and public perception over time. The lack of updated dinosaur exhibits in smaller local museums leads to disbelief, or an outright denial, of new information such as feathered dinosaurs. Entertainment, such as movies and video games that have non-avian …


Exhibiting Prejudice: How Twentieth-Century Museums Promoted The Eugenics Movement, Anna Wachtel May 2020

Exhibiting Prejudice: How Twentieth-Century Museums Promoted The Eugenics Movement, Anna Wachtel

Museum Studies Theses

This research illustrates the impact museums have on social, political, and educational systems through the exploration of the eugenics movement in American museums. Museum professionals promoted racial hierarchies and eugenic ideologies at World’s Fairs through the exploitation of “exotic” peoples and contests designed to judge and categorize racial differences based on an individual’s physical and mental characteristics.

Following World’s Fairs, museums began displaying eugenic themed exhibits. Prominent museum professionals and government officials of the early twentieth century used their position of authority to promote the eugenics movement in National and regional American museums through educational exhibits using approachable science-based exhibit …


Portraits With A Posthumous Voice: Reinforcing And Contesting Social Norms In The Heterotopic Museum And Cemetery, Matthew J. Crissey Dec 2018

Portraits With A Posthumous Voice: Reinforcing And Contesting Social Norms In The Heterotopic Museum And Cemetery, Matthew J. Crissey

Museum Studies Theses

Abstract

The following paper qualitatively analyzes and documents over 500 memorial-photographs/etched portraits on tombstones in ten Western New York cemeteries. This paper covers fourteen topics, ranging from religion to gang-violence. A juxtaposition of portraits exhibited within the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery with memorial-portraits on tombstones revealed heterotopic environments creating a public forum enabling the reinforcing or contestation of social ideologies. In other words, the author observed the similarities of identities and social norms publicly expressed on tombstones and gallery portraits.

A Social Constructionist approach enabled the study to examine how one social phenomenon contributes to the shaping of a culture. …


Aura Of Authenticity: The Impact Of Original Objects In The Museum Guest Experience, Alyssa Frijey May 2017

Aura Of Authenticity: The Impact Of Original Objects In The Museum Guest Experience, Alyssa Frijey

Museum Studies Theses

The purpose of this thesis is to defend the maintenance of original object-based collections in museums with the argument that they provide profound, unique, and irreplaceable experiences for museum guests. Authenticity of an artifact carries with it an aura of importance which is a highly valuable means of connection within museums. Such meaning is the direct result of the manner in which human beings interpret material culture. Keeping in mind that this value can only be fully experienced through that which is original, it is crucial that original objects should be maintained in these institutions.


Museological Cinema: An Ideal Approach To A Modern Art Form, Steven Groff May 2017

Museological Cinema: An Ideal Approach To A Modern Art Form, Steven Groff

Museum Studies Theses

Abstract:

This paper is dedicated to finding a way to better incorporate cinema into museums. The answer as to how came through a number of ways that some museums currently operate that could be adopted by others, a few new ideas, as well as an expansion in the number of museum theatres. A key theme of this is to expand the limited selection of films typically found in museums and galleries to include more popular fare, which would better attract visitors with frequency. I also endorse the idea of constructing new theatres for museums that do not already possess one, …


Northwest Coast Native American Art: The Relationship Between Museums, Native Americans And Artists, Karrie E. Myers Aug 2016

Northwest Coast Native American Art: The Relationship Between Museums, Native Americans And Artists, Karrie E. Myers

Museum Studies Theses

Museums today have many responsibilities, including protecting and understanding objects in their care. Many also have relationships with groups of people whose items or artworks are housed within their institutions. This paper explores the relationship between museums and Northwest Coast Native Americans and their artists. Participating museums include those in and out of the Northwest Coast region, such as the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, the Burke Museum, the Royal British Columbia Museum, the American Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Museum. Museum professionals who conducted research for some of these museums included Franz Boas, …