Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Elgin Marbles Legal Action Ruled Out by Greece

BBC UK, 14 May 2015

Greece has ruled out taking legal action against the UK to reclaim the Elgin Marbles from the British Museum.

In an unexpected move, Greece's culture minister said the country would pursue a "diplomatic and political" approach to retrieving the sculptures instead.

In doing so, the country has rejected the advice of barrister Amal Clooney, who had urged Greece to take Britain to the International Court of Justice.

Lord Elgin acquired the Marbles from the Ottoman Empire 200 years ago. 

Greece insists the Parthenon Sculptures - as they are properly known - were taken illegally and has pursued a high-profile campaign in recent years for their return, latterly with the help of Mrs Clooney.

Mrs Clooney reportedly submitted a 150-page report to the Greek government this week urging it to formally request the repatriation of the marbles and take Britain to the International Court of Justice if it refused.

But Greece's culture minister Nikos Xydakis told the country's Mega TV: "One cannot go to court over whatever issue. Besides, in international courts the outcome is uncertain".

He said he believed attitudes to the future of the Marbles were slowly changing and would favour Greece in a diplomatic approach.

More here.

Friday, May 15, 2015

New Address and Design for Online Archive of Ivan Karp’s Publications

The online archive of Ivan Karp’s published papers has moved and gotten a new look! Emory University launched the popular online archive in 2012 in order to keep Karp’s (1943–2011) work widely available. Karp was a social anthropologist and a leading scholar of social theory, museum and heritage studies, and African studies. He began his long-term research with Iteso communities in western Kenya in 1969. Karp wrote extensively about power, personhood and agency, about African societies and systems of thought, and he published groundbreaking work about museums and exhibitions.

The updated Ivan Karp Archive includes new photos and links and a new homepage design. The archive organizes Karp’s papers thematically, with sections devoted to Social Theory and African Systems of Thought; Museums, Exhibitions and Public Scholarship; African Philosophy; and the Iteso People of Kenya. Important features include: a) downloadable links to Karp’s published papers; b) video clips from his presentations, including one on writing successful grant proposals; c) links to the finding guide for the Ivan Karp Collection at the National Anthropological Archives, where Karp’s fieldnotes and unpublished papers have been deposited; d) an In Memoriam section with a praise poem written about Karp in Kenya and audio from the memorial in his honor held at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art in November 2011. The archive also includes complete lists of Karp’s books and of the works published in the two book series for which he served as editor: the African Systems of Thought series at Indiana University Press and the Smithsonian Series in Ethnographic Inquiry at Smithsonian Institution Press. The archive can be found online at http://halleinstitute.emory.edu/karp/index.html.

Karp was the National Endowment for the Humanities Professor at Emory University before his death in September 2011. He served previously as the Curator of African Ethnology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and as a professor at Indiana University and Colgate University. He founded the Center for the Study of Public Scholarship at Emory and for over a decade co-directed it with Corinne Kratz, fostering ongoing collaboration with colleagues in universities, museums, and other cultural institutions in South Africa through the Institutions of Public Culture program. The redesigned archive also features information about efforts to honor and continue Karp’s collaborative work in South Africa through the African Critical Inquiry Program, supported by gifts to the Ivan Karp and Corinne Kratz Fund.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Citing lack of funding, New York’s Museum of Biblical Art to close

RNS, David Van Biema
April 28, 2015
On the heels of what seemed like its greatest triumph — a magnificent display of sculptures by the Renaissance pioneer Donatello — a small but important museum in midtown Manhattan that specialized in religious art regarded with a neutrally secular eye announced Tuesday (April 28) that it was going out of business.

A press release from the Museum of Biblical Art, known as MOBIA, explained that after learning in February that the American Bible Society, which had housed it for a decade, was selling its building and moving to Philadelphia, the museum explored multiple options but could not raise the funds needed to keep going at a new location.

The museum will close to the general public on June 14 and cease operations on the 30th, although an exhibit it co-organized on Spanish colonial religious art will open in Palm Beach, Fla., in March next year.

More here.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Stolen Artifacts from Roman Museum Recovered

The Cairo Post
Apr. 28, 2015

All stolen artifacts from the the Greco-Roman Museum’s store in Alexandria were recovered Monday, head of the central administration for antiquities Youssef Khalefa announced.

Some 47 artifacts were stolen on Saturday, including a granite statute for a man and a woman, 31 metal coins of the Greco-Roman era and 15 pots and bottles used to store perfume, Khaleefa told Youm7.

The pieces have been placed in temporary storage until the re-inauguration of the museum after restoration work is completed. The store contains some 2,500 pieces.

Earlier on Monday, eight people allegedly involved in the theft were arrested and referred to prosecution. They will be detained for four days pending investigations.

Preliminary investigations into the incident showed damages to door locks of the store as well as other artifacts were broken.

Work at the museum was halted for five years due to political circumstances following the January 25 Revolution in 2011. The Minister of Antiquities recently stated that the total repairs at the museum will cost 10 million EGP ($1.3 million.)

More here.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Workshop: Native Language Documentation: Partnering with Museums

Native Language Documentation: Partnering with Museums
Dates: June 4 & 5, 2015
Location: Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona, Tucson
Registration fee: $200 ($100 for enrolled AILDI students)

Join Rosalyn LaPier (Blackfeet/M├ętis) as she shares her experience using museum collections to document language and create new learning materials. The hands-on workshop will show you how to develop a partnership with museums to increase your resources to engage language learners. Target audience: tribal language program directors; language teachers; tribal museum, library and archive personnel. 

To apply click here

Monday, May 04, 2015

Position Announcement: Curator of Latino Curator for Digital and Emerging Media, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (CFCH), Smithsonian Institution

This position is located in the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (CFCH), Smithsonian Institution (SI) and serves as the Latino Curator for Digital and Emerging Media. The purpose of the position is to curate digital and emerging media relating to Latino culture and to deepen the Smithsonian’s commitment to cultural diversity in scholarship, public programming, educational outreach, and the workplace.

Conducts in-depth research of considerable scope concerning Latino music and/or culture and presents and publishes significant research within the Latino Studies field.
Develops collaborations with Latino communities.
Publishes original research about Latino culture and/or music for a scholarly audience and makes presentations on Latino cultural and/or music for the general public.
Develops and implements educational programs on Latino music and/or culture for online audiences and within other public programs for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.
Conceptualizes, writes, and edits bilingual publications relating to Latino culture and/or music in various media (print, digital video, podcasts, social media).

Basic Requirements:
All applicants must meet the following education requirements:
A. Degree: museum work; or work in an applicable subject-matter field (Latino studies, cultural anthropology, folklore, ethnomusicology or cultural studies).
B. Combination of education and experience - courses equivalent to a major, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education or
C. Four years of experience that provided knowledge comparable to that normally acquired through the successful completion of the 4 year course of study as shown in A above.
For a full explanation of this option please see the Qualification Standards.

Special Instructions for Foreign Education: If you are qualifying by education and/or you have education completed in a foreign college/university described above, it is your responsibility to provide transcripts and proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study. For instructions on where to fax these documents, see the "Required Documents" section of this announcement.

In addition to meeting the basic requirements above, applicants must also meet the following criteria:
Experience: You qualify for this position if you possess one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-12 level in the Federal Service or comparable pay band system. For this position Specialized experience is defined as conducting in-depth original curatorial research in Latino culture or music in a museum-related or other cultural organization and developing online educational programming in Latino culture or music in a museum-related or other cultural organization.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Part-time and/or unpaid experience related to this position will be considered to determine the total number of years and months of experience. Be sure to note the number of paid or unpaid hours worked each week.

Click here for more information. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mathers Museum to Host New Summer Institute on 'Museums at the Crossroads'

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A new international summer institute focused on museums and the changing world will be hosted by the Mathers Museum of World Cultures. "Museums at the Crossroads: Local Encounters, Global Knowledge," May 14 to 21, will bring together leading museum professionals; scholars of social and cultural theory and museum practice; and Indiana University Bloomington scholars, graduate students and staff.

Funded by IU's College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Global and International Studies, "Museums at the Crossroads" is the first institute of its kind to explore three key issues facing 21st-century museums: cultural crossroads -- the challenge of understanding interconnected, global cultures; disciplinary crossroads -- the challenge of adapting institutions steeped in disciplinary tradition to interdisciplinary studies; and artifactual crossroads -- the challenge of adapting to the blurred lines defining categories of "virtual" and "real."

This institute was organized and is facilitated by Eric Sandweiss, professor and Carmony Chair of History and editor of Indiana Magazine of History, and Jason Baird Jackson, associate professor of folklore and director of the Mathers Museum of World Cultures.
"This project leverages Indiana University's resources in both humanities scholarship and museum practice," Sandweiss said. "It marries global theorists and scholars with practitioners and students and asks what each can teach the other."

The Bloomington campus is an ideal place from which to explore common challenges and bring those professional realms together, Jackson said. "'Museums at the Crossroads,' along with the Mathers Museum's developing partnerships with other domestic and international museums, promises to make IU a key locus in an evolving global discussion of museums as tangible, concrete sites in which to understand and interpret the otherwise overwhelming scale of global social change."

"Museums at the Crossroads" attendees will participate in an eight-day program of workshops, charrettes and tours of museums, including the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, the T.C. Steele State Historic Site and the Indiana State Museum. The Mathers Museum and its unique collections will serve as a source of workshop case studies as participants explore cultural transmission and global change within specific spaces and with particular artifacts.
The institute includes four public lectures by scholars with expertise in the "crossroads" challenges:
  • 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. May 14, "Museums at the Crossroads" -- Steven Lubar, former curator at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History and professor in the departments of American studies and history at Brown University, will discuss the modes of thought, practice and reception that distinguish the museum from other venues of cultural research and transmission.
  • 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. May 15, "Cultural Crossroads: World Cultures in Transition" -- Michael Brown, the president of the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, N.M., explores globalization and localization, and their implications for understanding the relation and movement of states, people and cultures across space. Brown is the author of many scholarly essays as well as six books, including "Who Owns Native Culture?" (Harvard University Press, 2003) and "Upriver: The Turbulent Life and Times of an Amazonian People" (Harvard University Press, 2014).
  • 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. May 16, "Disciplinary Crossroads: Scholarly Method and the Evolving Sociology of Knowledge" -- Stephan Fuchs, professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, will examine the evolution, interrelation and current state of history, anthropology, folklore, natural science and art -- disciplines that helped to define museums and that today offer both benefits and drawbacks to our efforts to arrive at a fresh understanding of global cultures.
  • 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. May 17, "Artifactual Crossroads: Real Meets Virtual" -- Haidy Geismar, director of the digital anthropology program at England's University College London, will address the revolution in information, from its origins in print and the early electronic age through today's hypermedia, as well as the effect of changing modes of display and dissemination upon learning and teaching.
In addition to the keynote speakers, four international fellows have been selected to participate in the institute, based on their innovative work and its impact on cultural understanding: Jennifer Kramer, University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, Canada; Jette Sandahl, formerly of the Museum of Copenhagen, Denmark; Antonia Ferreira Soares, Museu de Favela, Rio de Janeiro; and Wang Wei, Guangxi Museum of Nationalities, Nanning, Guangxi, China.

Individuals working in museums from the United States and abroad were also chosen to participate in the institute as professional partners: Carrie Hertz, Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe, N.M.; Mathilde Leduc-Grimaldi, Royal Museum for Central Africa, Brussels; Stephanie Lile, Washington State Historical Society, Gig Harbor, Wash.; Malgorzata Rymsza-Pawlowska, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Ill.; Jennifer Shannon, University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, Boulder; Candessa Tehee, Cherokee Heritage Center, Tahlequah, Okla.; and Brittany Wheeler, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago.

IU Bloomington faculty and staff participating in "Museums at the Crossroads" include Heather Akou, associate professor and chair of the Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design; Beth Buggenhagen, associate professor of anthropology; Susan Ferentinos, Department of History; Jennifer Goodlander, assistant professor of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance; Jon Kay, professor of practice of folklore; Susan Seizer, associate professor of communication and culture; and Mathers Museum staff. Graduate students attending the institute include Meredith McGriff and Kelly Totten, Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology; Emily Buhrow Rogers, Departments of Anthropology and Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology; and Sara Clark, School of Education.
The free public lectures will take place at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, 416 N. Indiana Ave. in Bloomington. For more information, email mathers@indiana.edu or call 812-855-6873.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Greece to Launch E-ticket System for Museums, Sites

Ansa Med, April 20, 2015

In efforts to tap into the benefits of the country's archaeological offerings, Greece' deputy Culture Minister Nikos Xydakis told a press conference that the ministry had decided to introduce e-tickets for access to archaeological sites and to enrich art and museum items sold in museum shops. The e-ticket, which is expected to allow access initially to the seven archaeological sites surrounding the Acropolis (Ancient Agora, Roman Agora, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Keramikos, Theater of Dionysus and Hadrian's Library) is set to launch in mid-June, just ahead of the summer tourist season. The e-ticket program, to later include 13 additional sites throughout the country including Knossos, Lindos, Delphi, Olympia, Mycenae and Epidavros, is scheduled to be fully operational by March 2016 and applicable at all archaeological sites and museums in Greece. In the meantime, the minister added that admission fees to museums and archaeological sites will increase, adding however that free access days had been planned throughout the year. The main goal of the Greek Archaeological Receipts Fund (TAP) is to ensure the best commercial utilisation of the country's museums and archaeological sites

More here.