Visitors with Alzheimer’s

Reflections: The Nasher Museum Alzheimer’s Program at Duke University began in 2014. As the museum states in its website, the program “provides engaging and interactive museum tours to visitors with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia, their families, and their care partners. Reflections tours include guided discussions through the galleries, as well as live musical performances or hands-on art experiences. These special tours offer people who live with memory loss and their families the opportunity to enjoy art in the moment and to engage with the current exhibitions using multiple senses.”

What happened when the museum had to close because of the health crisis of COVID 19? Read about this in Colony Little’s June 1, 2020 article for Hyperallergic.

Case Study: Returning works of cultural heritage to their homelands

How will this develop at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris? Read more in Fayah Nayeri’s New York Times article of June 5, 2020.

On the museum’s website you can link to a variety of tours to explore their collections.

You can also explore collections from places around the globe from the map.

Collecting COVID-19

What object(s) would you contribute to a museum to represents your experience of the COVID-19 pandemic? Read Adam Popescu’s article from the New York Times (May 25, 2020) to see what museums are collecting and the questions that arise from the act of collecting and deciding what is collected.

Ruben Natal-San Miguel’s “Toilet Paper Hoarder, Manhattan NYC” was submitted to the Museum of the City of New York‘s #CovidStoriesNYC project.
Credit: Ruben Natal-San Migue, via Museum of the City of New York
How Will We Remember the Pandemic? Museums Are Already Deciding

Fire devastates museum in Brazil

Guardian graphic. Image: Google Earth. Source: Museu Nacional

A fire has completely destroyed the 200-year old National Museum in Rio de Janeiro. Once the home of Brazil’s monarch, the palace became the largest history museum in Latin America. Its collections included art and artifacts of indigenous peoples, as well as Egyptian and Greco-Roman works, fossils, and so much more.

Canada: repatriating cultural heritage

“People Across the Globe Want Their Cultural Heritage Back. Canada May Offer a Blueprint for How to Get There”

“A proposed law would mobilize a national strategy to help Indigenous communities reclaim cultural heritage objects at home and abroad.”

A mask of the Kwakiutl, a native American clan on the West coast of Canada on display in the Humboldt Box museum in Berlin. Photo: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images.

An additional article on the Cranmer Potlatch of 1921 from the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, June 8, 2018. That article closes with the following important questions:

Ask yourself:

Question 1:

What would you want to pass down to future generations?

Question 2:

What kind of cultural heritage is important to you and your community?

Question 3:

What role can museums play to help preserve and protect heritage?


What is “relevant” in the 21st c.?

Two articles about how museums can make, and are making, exhibitions meaningful today.

“How art museums can remain relevant in the 21st century.” Alina Cohen, Artsy, June 15, 2018.

“The Mississippi Museum of Art Confronts the State’s Painful History”

The institution recently opened Picturing Mississippi, which presents a journey through the state’s charged history sprinkled with salient contemporary art.

Seph Rodney, Hyperallergic, June 18, 2018

Installation view of Picturing Mississippi, 1817–2017: Land of Plenty, Pain, and Promise at the Mississippi Museum of Art (all images by Julian Rankin and courtesy Mississippi Museum of Art unless otherwise noted)

Slavery Identified in Art Museums

What do we see when we look at a painted or sculpted portrait? Do we see personality? Clothing? Fashion? Setting? Do we read wall labels? If When we do, we generally learn who the artist is (if the artist is known), when she or he made the work, and what the work is made of. And if the museum is doing its job, we might learn more about object in an illuminating text panel that often directs what we make of what wen see. But what do we see in that work of art when the museum contextualizes it within a picture of its time and place of origin — an America when a significant population of Americans were enslaved Africans? The Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts is rewriting its labels.

John Singleton Copley, “Lucretia Chandler” (1763), oil on canvas, Copley was one of the Boston area’s most prominent painters and painted this portrait of the daughter of a wealthy New England judge named Lucretia. The new signage at the Worcester Art Museum now notes that Chandler’s father, Judge John Chandler II (1683-1762), owned two slaves that he left to family members upon his death (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)