I do sometimes get on my soapbox here, but it's not often that things make me sad or angry enough to draw them out, rather than just add a link to a news story and rant. 2012 has been a year in which I have heard quite a few things I sadly feel unable to share, despite their laugh out loud shock nature. Council run organisations and bodies who rely on government funding are increasingly suffering, and the often hardworking and passionate staff are being put in increasingly difficult situations, those who still have secure work anyway. The cartoon shows the joke made when I left council employment - I was the first rat to leave the perceived sinking ship -and the difference in opinion regarding my job within only a few years.
I doubt that there will be significant changes for good in 2013, but will take solace in the knowledge that there are still enough people dedicated and clever enough to carry on through the cuts, losses, struggles, dissolution of knowledge, dissipation of experience and lack of resources and support. Fingers crossed eh?
We have some great people maintaining our fantastic local galleries, museums and houses, let's support them and hope they can make the best of 2013!
The security guards often get a very different view to the attendants, not least of which is night duty. The ten minute rule for erm, frisky, visitors is a way to ensure they are approached at a moment just embarrassing enough to not try it again.
The University of Chicago College Admissions department have some odd mail.... a package for Indiana Jones containing detailed and lovingly crafted images, postcards, replica money and "an incredibly detailed replica of “University of Chicago Professor” Abner Ravenwood’s journal from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.
They have no idea why, who or what to do with it. Check it out!
A painting auctioned without the owner's consent. (c) Christie's
Oh dear, oh dear.... Not a museum being stolen from, but further news from the BBC on a museum selling items loaned to it, without the owners' consent. Massive Whoops.
The British and Empire Commonwealth Museum in Bristol closed in 2008, and Bristol City Council now plans to use the collection in redeveloping it's museum and art gallery. However, 144 items loaned to the museum are currently still unaccounted for, items having been sold to a London-based art dealer (who says he was assured it was all ok), and some pieces having appeared without provenance at auction. This may not be the full story, as no full audit has been previously carried out, so it's impossible to fully track losses.
The director was questioned by police, claimed everything he sold was fully audited, and in a beautiful spat then pointed the finger at the museum's trust for failing to provide a public benefit or cope with financial pressures. The trust have (quite honestly and rightly) explained that they didn't know about all the sales, and that when they delegated responsibilities to him they thought him sensible enough to well, you know, act like a professional, so he has no right to blame them for his own choices or failures to manage.
There is a long standing relationship between museums and benefactors, fostered carefully through the years as venues have developed. Hopefully this won't deter others from allowing their objects to help inform, entertain and enlighten others.
See the story as it was on the beeb a few days ago: Items 'missing' from British and Empire Commonwealth Museum
and more here at the Museums Journal
As part of a review about the national curriculum, once again history lessons are under the spotlight as their value to educating children in a much broader sense than dates and names is recognised, and their current provision for understanding history itself is being analysed.
I direct you to the BBC's article about this....
Hmmm, it sounds like there is some good common sense going on, although it could sound like a drive to teach children about how glorious a nation we were/are.
I agree that the way history is taught can be a bit bewildering, as periods are covered in a way which often feels disjointed, and it gives the appearance of about 5 brief periods of interest which you study again, and again, and.... (The Reformation: Studied the Tudors in Junior School. Studied the Tudors and the Reformation in high school. Studied the Tudors and the wider Renaissance at A-Level. One of the first year options at University? THE REFORMATION AND RELIGIOUS CHANGE IN RENAISSANCE EUROPE! for pity's sake...)
Sometimes it can be hard to engage students as they can't see the relevance of studying medicine through the ages, or the Tudors, in their current lives. Learning to analyse information, and make sense of the often conflicting accounts was a key benefit I picked up from the excellent Mr Martin (my long suffering history teacher) and something that can be applied in many situations, as is the ability to weigh evidence and provide a reasoned judgement with references.
May be worth watching as this develops.
Webcomic and occasional blog about the heritage sector.
Follow The Attendant:
All text and images are produced by and copyright of the artist, holder of the domain name of attendantsview.com