Articles and Presentations
Over the years, I've published a number of articles in various trade journals, and made presentations at various museum conferences. I've managed to dig up most of them. Here, for the first time, they are collected all in one place, and presented for your edification and/or amusement. (If the link doesn't work, that means I haven't found the file yet.) It may be worth pointing out that these files represent the articles as written, and not necessarily the bowlderized versions that finally saw print. Ditto for the presentations -- this is what I meant to say, not necessarily what I actually said.
"We Don't Need No Education: The struggle for museum training, a response to a 1997 essay by David Whitemeyer on what sort of training and background are necessary to work in exhibition. The article focuses on the role of Museum Studies programs in training exhibit professionals. Originally appeared in the Exhibitionist 25th Anniversary issue, Spring 2006.
"Museum Professionals at the Crossroads: Personal Defining Moments," a compendium of first-person accounts of museum workers' career decisions -- originally intended as a conference presentation (which never materialized), it turned into an article for the Exhibitionist, Vol. 24, No. 1, Spring 2005.
Dramatize a Proposition to a Receiver: A discourse on exhibit semiotics, a hopelessly pretentious title for what is, essentially, a fast re-working of a lecture I've given a dozen times at MSU. This one, however, I sold to the folks at JFK University, Berkeley, California, November 2004. (And me wearing my "W" hat the whole time, like the little stinker I am!)
Exhibit Development 101: From Idea to Plan, the notes from a workshop presentation at the Midwest Museums Conference annual meetings in Grand Rapids, Michigan, October 2004. (Typed up at the request of a couple of attendees whose plane had been delayed, forcing them to miss all but the last 15 minutes of my riveting performance.)
"Sailing Into the Known," a review of the new Cranbrook Institute of Science, first published in the Exhibitionist, Vol. 21, No. 2, Fall 2002.
"The Topical Museum of Natural History: A Walking Paper," a modest proposal for totally rethinking the way we do museum exhibits, first published in Curator, vol. 43, No. 4, October 2000 (printed April 2002).
Excellence in Exhibition, a presentation as part of AAM's National Interpretation Project workshop, Portland, Summer 2001, and largely a rehash of the article below (and various MSU lectures as well).
"Excellence in Exhibition: A Report to the NAME Board," (co-authored with Lynne Friman and James Sims), a rambling discourse disguised as a strategic planning document, first published in the Exhibitionist, Vol. 20, No. 1, Spring 2001.
Getting Started: Involving Your Community in Exhibit Development, a cautionary tale presented at the opening remarks to a panel session at the American Association of Museums annual meetings, St. Louis, Spring 2001.
Never Let Your Job Get In The Way of Your Career, a hand-out for a hopelessly optimistic mid-career mentoring session conducted at the American Association of Museums annual meetings, Spring 2001.
Eye Spy, an exhibit critique presented at the Midwest Museums Conference annual meetings in Columbus, Ohio, Fall 2000.
"The Poetry of the Bizarre: Measuring Visitor Understanding of Coral," a case study of a formative evaluation, published in Current Trends in Visitor Research, vol. 13, May 2000. (Adapted from a presentation made at the Visitor Studies Association annual meetings, Summer 1999.)
" 'The sound must seem an echo to the sense': Meaning Making in Poetry and Exhibits," a tortured extended metaphor, first published in the Exhibitionist, Vol. 18, No. 2, Fall 1999.
"Butterflies Alive!", an exhibit review, first published in Curator, vol. 40 No. 2, April 1997. (I actually caught some grief on this one for not being "critical" enough. What can I say? It was a great exhibit!)
"Turning Multiculturalism on Its Head," an essay on museums in Australia, first published in the Exhibitionist, Vol. 14, No. 2, Fall 1995
The Family That Plays Together, a brief intro to a funny video on the Museum Softball League, presented at the Midwest Museums Conference annual meetings in I believe Cincinatti, Fall 1995.
Keep Those Cards and Letters Coming: Responding to Visitor Comments, my very first conference presentation, at the Midwest Museums Conference, Chicago, 1994.
"The $1.98 Fix-Up: Quick Cures for Tired Exhibits," my very
first published article (at the insistence of my then-boss, who was guest editor for the
issue and apparently in desperate need of filler), originally published in Hand to Hand,
sometime in 1992.