Saturday, March 22, 2008

Quilt Fun!

Yesterday we installed the quilt exhibit.

This is what the museum looked like before.

Chris and I installing the quilts.

And here's what it looks like now.

Author Marcia Kaylakie gave a special presentation on the care, conservation, and documentation of quilts.

We had a nice crowd, and it was a great presentation. We were so happy to have Marcia with us.

Next week, I'll be out of the office-- the Texas Association of Museums annual conference is in Galveston. Oh, I love Galveston!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Making Collections Available

I like learning about ways that Museums make their collections available to the public. Some museums only allow researchers (and members of the general public) access to the collection by making appointments with the Curator. That's fine. That's good. We should allow people access to the collection, especially because we are (at least according to our collections policy) holding the collection in the public's trust.

But, some museums go beyond this making available their entire collections database online. I love this. People can browse through the museum's collection-- they can see all those things that we can't fit on exhibit.

Today, I was reading one of my normal "museum" blogs and I ran across something that I hadn't seen before. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston makes images of their artwork available for use as cell phone wallpapers. Brilliant!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I like pretty things.

And, really, who doesn't?

We're gearing up for our quilt exhibit. I chose six quilts from our collection-- ranging from 1871 to 1998. We've got a crazy quilt, a commemorative quilt, and some others...can you feel the anticipation?

Marcia Kaylakie, author of Texas Quilts and Quilters: A Lone Star Legacy, is going to give a special presentation on the care, conservation and documentation of quilts. She's also going to set up a table at the Museum after the presentation (held in the District Courtroom of the newly-renovated Courthouse) for signing copies of her book. The presentation and the opening of the exhibit are on March 22 @ 10:30 am.

The week after the opening, Mickie, Chris and I will be heading to Galveston for the Texas Assn. of Museums annual meeting. I love Galveston. Love. I love Guido's. I love the beach. I love the Mosquito Cafe (oh that watermelon gazpacho was to die for). That Mexican restaurant in the historic house...the Tremont...the oyster bar. Serious love going on here. I can't wait for Galveston.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Something New...Something Different

I'm trying something a little different...I hate to say revolutionary, because I'll bet others are doing it...somewhere. But, I'm redefining our Acquisitions Committee. I'm building a group of professionals from around the county (our people...our public) to serve on the committee that initially discusses and approves (or doesn't) donations to the Museums various collections. (All final decisions are made by the Board of Directors.)

I've done a little bit of asking around, and most institutions' acquisitions committees seem to be comprised of staff and/or board members. Ours will be a little different. Oh, we'll still have staff-- the director and the curator serve on the committee. But, we're branching beyond this. I've contacted directors of libraries who have local history rooms and I've contacted the head of special collections at the local university.

I think that this will be a dynamic group of people who know collections and know local history. We already work together on an informal basis. When certain items come through our door and I know they would be better served at another institution, I check with them (and, of course, the donor). We're all here for the same purpose-- to collect, preserve, and present our history. We're all here to serve and be a resource to the public. Let's work together in a true and open way. Let's really work to provide what the public needs.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it all works out the way I image it. Then, again, I'm horribly idealistic...and optimistic.