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Museum Photo Visit Essay

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BC: Sources: Glaser, J. & Zenetou, A. (1996). Museums: A Place to Work. London: Routledge Olson, J. (Interviewee). (2008). Interview with Joan Grathwold Olson. Retrieved from JHU/601/interviews/JoanOlson.mp3 Schlatter, N.E. (2008). Museum Careers: A Practical Guide for Students and Novices. California: Left Coast Press, Inc.

FC: Museum Professions at the National Museum of Natural History | Museum Visit Photo Essay Katie Overmyer

1: I live right outside of Washington, D.C. therefore, I chose to visit the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). I learned something that I never knew - that the museum was once known as the National Museum of Natural History and National Museum of Man!

2: The Marketing Department does a great job showing the public what awaits them inside by hanging these large banners outside of the main entrance. They face the National Mall and are very visible to the thousands of visitors who walk the Mall - they're huge!

3: The Security Department is also represented at the entrance of the building. They also do a great job of displaying important visitor information. Visitors should expect a bag check and what items are not allowed inside the building.

4: VIARC (Visitors Information and Associates Reception Center) Volunteers staff the Information desk located to the right of the main entrance. As a former VIARC volunteer, I know that assisting visitors is a top priority at the Smithsonian!

5: "Yes sir, the Gem Hall is up on the second floor...I'm sure you can find your wife there."

6: The Chief Financial Officer and their staff may have a lot of dollars and cents to keep track of, including those in the donation box located by the main entrance.

7: I wonder if any of those dollars are used for the printing of the special event poster or the current exhibition flier located in the atrium?

9: Joan Olson (2008), Director of Development for the Minneapolis Institute of Art really values the relationship between donors and the museum. | Donors and other supporters generous gifts are what make the building and its exhibitions possible. The NMNH Development Office would like to make sure that the major donors and supporters are well represented throughout the building.

10: NMNH photographers not only provide beautiful photographs for the support plaque in the atrium... (check out that gorgeous rock crystal in the middle!)

11: Photographers also provide visitors a glimpse in what goes on behind the scenes, such as anthropologists X-raying a mummy (right) and completing necessary paperwork (above).

12: " The museum conservator protects, repairs, restores, cleans, and preserves objects in the museum's collection (Schlatter, 2008, p. 55).

13: It take a lot of prep work to get the dinosaur bones and fossils ready for display at NMNH. That's what the FossiLab is for! The lab helps the conservators and curators prepare and care for objects. (I'm sure the Education Department had something to do with having the lab behind windows so visitors can watch.)

15: Conservationists, Curators, Exhibit Designers, and Facilities staff have a big job on their hands preserving and housing this 330-pound squid in the Sant Ocean Hall (NMNH website).

17: Where did these fossils go? I'm sure the Collections staff knows. Jackie Mullins, a collections manager, shares that she is responsible for the conservation, storage and inventory of objects (Schlatter, 2008, p. 71).

18: The Museum Shop Manager did a good job at providing merchandise related to the museum's exhibitions (Glaser & Zenetou, 1996, p. 117). Check out this $700 stuffed tiger!!

19: Finally, the Facilities staff knows how to make sure that I can get out of the building!!

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  • By: Katie O.
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  • Title: Museum Photo Visit Essay
  • A visual representation of various museum professions.
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  • Published: almost 6 years ago