S: U.S. Army Quartermaster Museum
FC: U.S. Army Quartermaster Museum | Fort Lee, Virginia
1: THE MOUNTAIN TEMPLE, WAT ARAT | November 7th | The U.S. Army Quartermaster Museum is located in Fort Lee, Virginia, home of the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps. It strives to tell the story of the branch of the U.S. Army which provides all logistical support including subsistence, clothing, mortuary affairs and aerial delivery, among many other duties.
2: Collections Management |
3: THE MOUNTAIN TEMPLE, WAT ARAT | November 8 | Her | According to Schlatter, "proper collections management ensures that objects are securely stored and exhibited in a manner that does not adversely affect their conditions" (2008, p. 36). Here you can see the work of the collections management team reflected in the exhibits. Responsibilities of the team can range from cataloging and labeling (see top left) to environmental monitoring (see right and bottom). To maintain intellectual control of the collection, objects are usually labeled in some way, in this case using acryloid and India ink. There are various methods of ensuring environmentally stability withing exhibits. The photo on the top right shows an access point to a Hoboware datalogger which records conditions digitally and the bottom photo shows a blue wool fade card in the center of an exhibit case used to measure the effect of light.
4: Museum Educators
5: As museums transformed from private cabinets of curiosity to public institutions committed to access to and interpretation of collections, museum educators became more important than ever. The Quartermaster Museum has a very robust education program with regular school tours and a very successful "Night at the Museum" annual program for children. In the pictures are two recent efforts to expand education efforts into the 21st century. They have developed a interactive game to be used on Smartphones and Androids and have also incorporated QR codes into exhibit paneling. To implement these new programs, educators would have been required to work with information technology professionals. The digital components must be kept up to date and usable by all visitors.
7: Conservator | With the small size of this museum's staff, conservation is probably contracted out. Here you can see an example of an object on display which should be treated to prevent further deterioration. In this case it would be the responsibility of the curator to monitor the condition of artifacts but it should be understood that the safety of the collection is the responsibility of all museum staff. If another staff member or even a volunteer notices the deterioration of this belt they should feel comfortable enough to notify the appropriate staff. Once attention is brought to the item, a conservator can work to treat the item in a "reversible and detectable" manner (Gorman, 2008)
8: As with the digital education program mentioned earlier, the museum staff has incorporated technology into the exhibits. Throughout the museum are listening pods through which visitors can listen to interviews and stories. Projectors are also used throughout the exhibits to project slideshows and videos. The QM Museum is known for its access to research archives and this can be seen in the exhibits where computers like the one pictured to the right allow visitors to access information on various QM information databases. With the rise of the use of technology in museums, "demand for new skills, responsibilities and collaborations among museum staff becomes more urgent" (Din and Hecht, 2007, p. 11). All of these technological components surely require the expertise of an information technology specialist. And this specialist will have to work with other staff members like curators and educators.
10: Exhibit Planner and Preparator | Without exhibit planners and preparators museum collections would not be displayed in such pleasing and innovative ways. Here are two exhibit mounts at the QM Museum which demonstrate their professional ability to beautifully display objects while ensuring the safety of the object. The picture on the left shows the mount for a horse saddle made of metal and padded with ethafoam. The picture on the right shows guns displayed in a plexi-glass case, suspended by plexi-glass rods inserted into the gun barrels and attached to side of the case, giving the appearance of floating. Before the construction of display cases and mounts, the curator and perhaps a conservator were consulted to ensure the objects could sustain exhibition and be properly secured.
11: "You could easily say this position is where the really hard work in producing an exhibition takes place" Glaser, 1996, p. 97
12: Event Planning | Today a large part of many museums is event planning. The QM Museum is no different. This is an aspect of the job which all staff members but be cognizant of as high ranking military officers and their guests often frequent the museum. A full time administrative assistant handles all requests to use the facility. Photographed here is the large auditorium in which various events are held. Also pictured are plaques honoring donors to the Quartermaster Museum Foundation and other honors given by the museum. In these tough economic times the federal government is cutting back in all corners, making fundraising for the museum particularly important. All of the programs, events and exhibits there help to draw in more benefactors to support the museum's mission.
14: References | Din, H., & Hecht, P. (2007). Preparing the next generation of museum professional. In H. Din & P. Hecht (Eds.), The digital museum: A think guide (pp. 9-17). Washington, DC: American Association of Museums (e-reserves) Glaser, J. R., & Zenetou, A. A. (1996). Museums: A place to work, planning museum careers. New York, NY: Routledge. Gorman, Joan. (2008 Dec 8). Interview with Joan Gorman Retrieved from http://www.sandboxstudios.org/clientfilemanager/JHU/601/interviews/JoanGorman.mp3 Schlatter, N. E. (2008). Museum careers: A practical guide for students and novices. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.