Museum Topics

OPINION PIECE: Can Feng Shui be Applied to Exhibit Design?

For those that aren’t New Age Hippies like me, Feng Shui is a Chinese philosophy of harmonizing with your environment. Calculations and formulas balance the invisible force of the universe (or qi). Feng Shui has been used to orient buildings and design homes. Even the Skeptic Encyclopedia concedes it is rational to wish to harmonize with your environment. And my philosophy is: what could it hurt?

OPINION PIECE: Genocide, Colonialism, and Museums

As archaeologists we dug up African countrysides and left nothing but holes in the ground as we carted off their greatest treasures to our museums. As anthropologists we used human samples to make determinations about racial differences (which, to the surprise of no one, suggested that whites were the superior race). As curators, we put those relics from other nations behind glass and profited off them while those nations suffered.

OPINION PIECE: Museum Minimalism

Minimalism. It’s a concept often used in interior and lifestyle design. Minimalism frees your space. It is intended to help you live a life without physical and emotional clutter.

It seems like a concept diametrically opposed to the purpose of museums. After all, the purpose of museums is to hold items in the public trust. Our purpose is to preserve and display history through artifacts. But is our current practice the best way to do so? Is there a better way to approach museum collections?

OPINION PIECE: Experiencing History

One of the most difficult problems educators in the history field face is getting people interested in history. History, like math, is known as a boring school subject. Even in the Harry Potter books, the most boring class is History of Magic. It’s taught by a ghost and most students sleep through it. It seems a fitting metaphor. So how do we get people interested?