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Museum Studies in Motion

Museum Studies Volume 2, Issue 2

at the

December 2009

University of Delaware

be at the center of things

Field Trip Report

Visiting Cultural Sites in the City of Brotherly Love Current students in the Museum Studies Program spent Saturday, October 24, 2009, in Philadelphia. The group visited the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Masonic Temple of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, and the Mütter Museum at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

The trip to Philadelphia was not only an educational opportunity but also a chance to get to know the fellow students in the museum studies program. I enjoyed speaking with Anna Marley, Curator of Historical American Art at PAFA, visiting the Masonic Temple in an attempt to uncover its hidden “secrets,” examining the architecture of the PAFA building and the temple, and seeing the exhibits at PAFA. Any opportunity to network with museum curators, visit new museums and exhibits, and explore the city of Philadelphia is a valuable one. Stephanie Lampkin, History

I love visiting museums, of course, and I love hearing from museum professionals about their career paths and interests. My favorite part was listening to Anna Marley at PAFA speak about how various elements in her professional and personal past came together in a unique way to help her succeed in her new position as Curator of Historical American Art. Theresa Handwerk, Art History

Inside this issue

Field Trip Report Director’s Message Internship Report Alumni News Meet our Faculty Living History Introduction to Museums Stay Connected

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I’d like to build a career in the Mid-Atlantic region, and I think that it’s important for me to visit as many museums as possible in order to see what’s out there. The best part of the trip was the opportunity we had to speak with staff members at the museums. The guided tours were very interesting, especially at the Masonic temple. Its impressive rooms made it my favorite stop on our tour. Kyle Cantarera, History 1

Director’s Message The fall semester is always busy! Here in the Museum Studies office, Tracy Jentzsch, our graduate assistant Hillary Mohaupt, and I have been working on a number of projects simultaneously. Hillary produces the weekly e-postcard, which now reaches 1083 e-mail addresses, shepherds the newsletter, and tackles other tasks that Tracy and I direct her way. She also organized a workshop on resume writing on December 4. Along with myriad other daily tasks, Tracy continues to oversee the reconstitution of our alumni records. We have now identified over 600 individuals who received the Museum Studies certificate since its inception, and we know we have more to find. (If you know alumni who have not yet been contacted by us, encourage them to get in touch!) I am beginning to prepare for the annual meeting of the Small Museums Association, where I will lead a workshop on interpretation of collections, and where we will be conducting a written questionnaire and a round-table discussion

As 2009 ends, I hope that you will consider the Museum Studies Program in your charitable giving plans. All gifts go directly into the Edward Alexander Endowment, where the income will support internships and professional development opportunities for our students. When you donate, be sure to specify the Museum Studies Program as the recipient of your gift.

on the training needs of volunteer and professional staff in small museums. This is a first step in a longrange project where the Museum Studies Program will develop low-cost and accessible workshops to help meet basic training needs. Our students will work with me in planning these workshops and will serve as teacher-mentors to the participants. This is a way for them to extend their own learning, and to get valuable direct experience with the challenges and opportunities facing small, community-based cultural organizations. As this project develops, I will post updates on our website. As always, I welcome your feedback and involvement. Kasey Grier, Director Museum Studies Program

Summer Internship Report

Surveying Virginia’s History Elizabeth Peebles, Urban Affairs and Public Policy, Historic Preservation

This summer I was the Historic Preservation Intern for the Cultural Resource Management and Protection Section of the Fairfax County Park Authority in northern Virginia, outside of Washington, D.C. Working for the Fairfax County Park Authority, I collaborated with both professional and volunteer historic preservationists and archaeologists. I had the opportunity to write an archaeological trail brochure and interpretive panels for a number of historic properties within the park system. My primary task, however, was to research and write nominations for Park Authority-owned sites to be added to the Fairfax County Inventory of Historic Sites. My research included a broad spectrum of property types from Cold War observatories to Civil 2

War battlefields to Colonial Revival houses. The Fairfax County History Commission will review the nominations I wrote. If the properties are added to the inventory they will join over 340 historic sites officially recognized as the physical representation of thousands of years of human history within the County.

Meet Our Faculty Karie Diethorn teaches Historic Properties and is an alumna of the Museum Studies Program. What is your current position? I am Senior Curator and Chief of the Museum Branch, overseeing work at Independence National Historical Park, Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site, and Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial. Where else have you worked? After graduate school, I served as the curatorial intern at Independence National Historical Park and then as curator of collections at Old Economy Village, part of the

Visiting Museum Experts Rosemary Krill

Mary Alexander (seated second from left) and Lindsey Baker (seated second from right) visited Introduction to Museums: History and Challenges on November 19, 2009. Their visit symbolizes the distinguished history of the Museum Studies Program at the University of Delaware. Mary, director of the Museum Advancement Program for the Maryland Historical Trust, authored the revised edition of Museums in Motion. The first edition, published in 1979, was written by her father, Edward P. Alexander, who founded the Museum Studies Program at UD. Mary generously shares with the students her connections to museums across the country, forged through her decades-long career in the museum field and its professional organizations. Lindsey (History, 2008) is executive director of the Laurel (MD) Historical Society. She shared with the students her insights on building resumes, interviewing, and using professional conferences to network.

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Then I joined the National Park Service as curator of the Longfellow National Historic Site and the John F. Kennedy National Historic Site near Boston. In 1989, I rejoined the staff at Independence National Historical Park as a staff curator. What is your favorite part of your job? That it’s different every day, which presents lots of problem-solving challenges and satisfies my curiosity! What has surprised you most in your work? That history really does matter to a lot of people. It’s one of the things that grounds them in their own lives. What are you most looking forward to in the course this spring? I hope the course will give students insight into the interdisciplinary nature of historic site management. What do you see as critical skills for emerging museum professionals? The ability to speak and write precisely, the ability to listen, and a commitment to building consensus.


Exciting Alumni News? Share your achievements, research, new developments, and adventures with the Museum Studies Program.

Keith Minsinger (History, 2009) was recently named curator of the Arden Craft Shop Museum in Arden, Delaware. Kevin Brown (History, 2009) was recently named archivist for W. L. Gore and Associates in Newark, Delaware.

Baking Bread and History

Anna Rusk, History Outdoor breadbaking was not a skill I thought I would acquire at graduate school, but just a month into my history M.A., I was doing just that. After visiting Greenbank Mill and Philip’s Farm during my Hagley Fellow orientation last fall, I began volunteering with their historic foodways program. Over the past year, I’ve learned to fire the clay oven and whipped up cookies, breads and cakes to sell at the museum’s special events. In a way, I have come full circle. I started reenacting the Civil War when I was in elementary school, a hobby I credit with sending me down my current academic path. My love of the 1860s led me to study “abroad” with the Gettysburg Semester, an intensive Civil War history program at Gettysburg College. It was that experience, in turn, that prompted me to declare a history major and museum studies minor at Beloit College, and that ultimately made me want to pursue those studies further at the University of Delaware. It has been great, then, to combine academics with what got me here in the first place—living history, the opportunity to experience the past in a tangible way and to help others do the same. 4

Stay Connected About Us The name we have chosen, Museum Studies in Motion, is a tribute to the energy, enthusiasm, and groundbreaking scholarship of Edward P. Alexander, the first director of the Museum Studies Program at the University of Delaware. Alexander’s book Museums in Motion became a foundational text for museum studies courses throughout the United States. It is still in print, in a new edition revised and expanded by his daughter, Mary Alexander. About the Office The Museum Studies Program maintains an office in Kirkbride Hall, co-existing with UD’s History Media Center. Within the office there is a library, an internship and announcements board, and computers for use by MSST students and alumni. The office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.4:30 p.m. About Connections The Museum Studies at the University of Delaware also publishes a weekly email with announcements about conferences, internships and job opportunities. To subscribe, email Follow us on Twitter. We are UDMuseumStudies. Become part of our Facebook group, Museum Studies at the University of Delaware Students and Alumni. Link up with our Linkedin group, Museum Studies at UD Students & Alumni. The Museum Studies Program at the University of Delaware 201 Kirkbride Hall 114 S. College Avenue Newark, DE 19716 302-831-1251 museumstudies/ Kasey Grier, director, Tracy Jentzsch, staff assistant, Hillary Mohaupt, graduate assistant,

Museum Studies in Motion: Winter 2009-10  

The December 2009 edition.

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