What makes something "real" or fundamental to an object's authenticity?
On Tuesday, October 20, Melissa Porter, Museum Program Manager,
Brucemore will pose this question during her presentation for the 2020
IMA Conference entitled: But What is the Ship of Theseus? And other Preservation Ponderings from a Disrupted Organization.
Explaining her thesis, Melissa said, "There is an old philosophical
question inspired by the ship of the ancient Greek warrior, Theseus. If,
over the years, the Greek people had kept his ship, replacing each
decaying board with a new one, keeping the ship in good repair but
replacing original material so that eventually none of the boards
Theseus had sailed with remained, is it still his ship?
This is a question that Brucemore, a National Trust Historic Site in
Cedar Rapids, has considered recently as we embarked on large projects
and entered period of change. Yet, throughout this extreme disruption we
have looked for ways to maintain those components that are at the heart
of the museum experience. This presentation will explore creative
solutions to maintaining authenticity during periods of disruption, and
invite museum professionals to look critically at the core elements of
their organizations to see if we can determine what really makes a ship,
How do museums manage and use their collections? How do collections
engage through exhibits and programming? What types of partnerships
may enhance and extend use of collections?
During the October IMA Conference we will hear from multiple speakers regarding the management and use of collections.
Bill Kreuger, Assistant Librarian and Curator, Iowa Masonic Library and
Museums, will share details of a little-known portion of their
collection called The Great War Collection.
Veronica Guyader, Communications Coordinator and Dr. Michael
Luick-Thrams, Executive Director of the TRACES Center for History and
Culture, will share how they use artifacts in TRACES' mobile bus-eum.
Kenneth Bé, Ford Conservation Center, will share the basics of conservation and advice on budgeting for ongoing conservation.
Melanie Alexander, Director, Muscatine Art Center and Katy Loos, Program
Coordinator, Muscatine Art Center, will share how they paired a local
exhibit with a National Endowment for the Humanities exhibition to
create an exhibit whose story stretches from the local to the national.
The IMA team will explore the Teaching Iowa History project and
the opportunity it provides for all Iowa collecting organizations to
enhance accessibility to their collections and the stories they share.
See you at the conference!
Education is a core mission component of every museum. During the
October IMA Conference we will learn about education and outreach
programs from multiple perspectives and types of museums.
Jaycie Vos, Dr. Wendy Miller and Jessica Cruz, University of Northern
Iowa, will present on a primary source literacy initiative being
developed to engage PK-16 students in the Cedar Valley. They will share
examples of teaching models with a variety of age groups that attendees
can implement at their own institutions, and explore the power of
integrating real objects into lessons, whether physically in the
classroom or online.
Dr. Kimberly Datchuck and Dr. Anna Flaming, University of Iowa, will
share how examining real objects with others can be used as a tool to
catalyze relationships. They will share the benefits and challenges of a
semester long workshop and offer suggestions for developing similar
Melanie Alexander and Katy Loos, Muscatine Art Center, will explore the
outreach program, "Muscatine and the Civil War" for middle school
students. They will describe the project and discuss lessons learned.
Cindy Hall, Iowa Ag Literacy Foundation, will share resources produced
by Iowa Ag Literacy Foundation that are available to museums to assist
with ag education programs.
Rachael Mullins and Christina Kastell, Putnam Museum, with guest Michael
Guster will explore their process, challenges and opportunities in
updating a local history exhibit in order to engage the full community
and assure diverse representation and a more inclusive approach.
Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum Folk Art School will discuss the
role of the Folk Art School in supporting the Vesterheim's mission and
education and outreach goals.
Lindsey Marolt, Education Coordinator at the Union Pacific Railroad Museum will discuss “Legacy of the transcontinental railroad,” a two hour gallery program for K-12 students at the Union Pacific Railroad Museum. This program asks students to use critical thinking skills to interrogate the history of the transcontinental railroad from multiple perspectives and to use primary sources to draw conclusions about the railroad’s legacy.
Don't reinvent the wheel - this is a great opportunity to learn from peers!
Organizational culture. Industry trends. Community needs. Visitor
experiences. Budget and forecasting. Community partnerships. These
are only a few of the factors that organizational leaders balance every
During the October IMA Conference we will hear thought provoking sessions on a variety of issues related to leadership.
Eric Anderson, Blanden Art Museum, will share his experience making
international cultural connections that he has incorporated into an art
and culture exchange between Fort Dodge, Iowa and Kosovo.
Emily Ott, Oskaloosa Art Center, and Julia Franklin, Anderson Gallery,
Drake University, will present the process and outcomes of a
collaborative project that encompassed exhibition, live performance,
community partnerships, and ultimately made art the catalyst to address
community needs and promote awareness and change.
Nathan Arndt, UNI Museum and Dr. Joshua Sebree, UNI Department of
Chemistry will address non-typical museum partnerships and how these can
result in unique educational opportunities for museum staff, students,
and the general public.
Dr. Heidi Lung, University of Iowa and President, Iowa Museum
Association, will discuss how the field of museums has evolved into one
of many “pink-collar” professions and how gender equity issues in
museums are amplified in a Covid-19 world. Informed by the 2019 Gender
Equity in Museums Movement white paper “Museums as a Pink-Collar
Profession,” Dr. Lung will present strategies museums can employ to
address gender equity issues and in turn support all.
Lyndi Kiple, University of Iowa graduate student (Dr. Heidi Lung,
faculty advisor), will present her research findings on Iowa museum
Rouleen Gartner, LaunchPad Children’s Museum and Kim Kidwell, Family
Museum, will will share policies and procedures as well as lessons
learned since reopening. This presentation will cover how their
organizations had to adapt to meet safety and community needs during the
COVID-19 pandemic, and how their financial planning changed and adapted
as well. This pre-recorded session will have a live follow up for
questions and interaction.
See you at the conference!
The Iowa Museum Association Rising Star Award is
intended to recognize individuals who have worked or volunteered in the
Iowa museum field for 3-8 years and have helped their museum broaden
its audience through engagement activities. Nominees may be employed or
volunteer in an Iowa museum of any type.
The 2020 Rising Star award recipient is Sheryl Davis, Everly Brothers Childhood Home, Shenandoah, Iowa.
2020 New Museum Recognition
The Jane Young House is being recognized as a new Iowa museum.
The Jane Young House is an historic home built in 1873 by Kendall and Jane Young. For
almost 100 years, members of the Webster City Womans Club donated
clothing, hats, furniture, and other items to build a collection for the
Jane Young House. In 2018 it was decided to create exhibits and open the house to the public and to school groups. To
create the exhibit space, the electrical system was updated,
mini-splits were added to regulate the temperature and humidity of each
of the seven exhibit rooms, hard wood floors were refinished, new window
coverings were acquired, and dress forms were found. A marketing plan was developed and the organization joined the Iowa Museum Association.
The Jane Young House opened to the public in February 2019 with exhibits including historic clothing, hats, and furniture. Costumed
docents share educational information about the home’s original
occupants, Kendall and Jane Young, as well as the exhibits.
For more information: https://janeyounghouse.com/
2020 Anniversary Recognition
The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art is being recognized on its 125th anniversary.
Inspired by the extraordinary art gathered at the 1893 World’s Colombian Exposition in Chicago, community leaders from Cedar Rapids formed an art club in 1895. Ten years later, when they were offered a specially designed gallery in the new Carnegie Library, the club incorporated as the Cedar Rapids Art Association. The first painting was acquired for the collection in 1906. Local artists were often important members, helping arrange exhibitions, lectures, and special events. Among the most active members in the early 1920s were artists Grant Wood and his close friend Marvin Cone. Receiving Federal support from 1930 to 1935, the Association also ran the highly regarded Little Gallery, directed by Ed Rowan, who later helped run the Public Works of Art Project.
The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art's mission is to excite, engage, and education through the arts.
To read more: https://www.crma.org/about-us