Curatorial Research Centre a year on

I just wanted to mark the anniversary of founding the Curatorial Research Centre. Technically that happened on 22 October. I created the idea out of a desire to take action on a set of broad but related systemic issues I had experienced and observed during my career so far–hierarchy, reputation, diversity, anti-intellectualism, shifts in values… Continue reading Curatorial Research Centre a year on

Citizen Curators programme launched

Citizen Curators competencies

Last Thursday at Cornwall Museums Partnership’s annual Share and Learn day in Helston, I launched the Citizen Curators Programme and introduced its prospective pilot at Royal Cornwall Museum. Citizen Curators is basically museum studies in the workplace and takes the place between attending one-off training and a full-on course at a university such as an… Continue reading Citizen Curators programme launched

Curator’s Advent. Day 22. Conservation supplies

In need of conservation supplies. Serious condensation inside a showcase

Purchasing conservation supplies is retail therapy for the curator. Solander boxes. Unbleached cotton tape. Melanex sleeves. Acid free tissue. Goat hair brush. Distilled water. Tyvek. Humidity control cassettes. Nitrile gloves (S, M, L, XL). Solid brass paperclips. Book sofa. Light meter. Thermohygrometer. Plastazote. Museum gel.

Curator’s Advent. Day 21. Art hang

Nothing is straight

Simple, yet fiendish, the art hang requires a different set of skills to the mounting of objects in showcases or for open display. What happens when: The ceiling isn’t straight The tops of the walls aren’t straight The floor slopes The frames aren’t straight Throw out the spirit level and trust thine eyes.

Curator’s Advent. Day 20. Documentation backlog

Documentation at the Museo Nazionale Archeologico di Napoli, Italy

The documentation backlog was the bees-knees museum trend of the late 1990s/early 2000s. It sailed forth amongst the arguments over access vs preservation and rose above the fights for and against perpetuity. Any curator who has the luxury today of dealing with a documentation backlog will no doubt relish the task ahead. It’s probably the… Continue reading Curator’s Advent. Day 20. Documentation backlog

Curator’s Advent. Day 18. Archives

Photographic postcards displayed as museum objects in the Isles of Scilly Museum.

Is an archive (series of documents) just another type of museum collection? No it is not. Archival and documentary collections are organised differently and the information they contain is (mostly) read rather than gleaned through observation, measurements and other forms of object research. However, sometimes you’re going to walk straight into Dilemma Avenue. Is a collection… Continue reading Curator’s Advent. Day 18. Archives