S: James A. Michener Art Museum, Photo Essay
FC: Photo Essay Michele Ryan
1: Information Desk & Museum Shop This area of the museum demonstrates the work of many individuals. In addition to the volunteers working at the desk and in the store, the efforts of the Marketing and Development departments are reflected in the organization and selections of items available to customers. "Museum goers expect the unique experiences offered by exhibitions and programs to be continued in the store" (Schlatter, 2008, p. 90)
2: Preserving the Collections | One of the most critical roles within the museum is protecting the collections. This responsibility falls upon all museum employees and volunteers at some level. In particular, the collections manager, conservator, registrar, and exhibitions manager are intimately involved in this process. On a day to day basis many of these policies are implemented by the safety and security staff. Considerations include, temperature, humidity, exposure to light, and potential hazards presented by the visiting public, among others.
3: Exhibition managers "constantly educate themselves on trends and development in exhibition design, fabrication, interactive technology, visitor behavior, educational models, and exhibition assessment..." (Schlatter, 2008, p. 63) | Lighting and exhibition design are two aspects of museum work that visitors truly depend on to fully experience the collections. | The Exhibition Process
4: In addition to overseeing the requirements for in house exhibitions, it may be necessary for members of the exhibition team to travel with with certain objects or collections. Similarly, traveling staff from other institutions may augment a museum's existing staff from time to time, as seen here. Some museum professionals who may travel with an exhibition are curators, registrars, collections managers, and art handlers.
5: At the Michener Museum the curator is responsible for educating the public about its collections. The registrar is charged with providing information such as the artist's name, materials used, and the year in which the work was created.
6: "The media manager may propose the creative use of media in exhibitions and programs, and direct slide-tape, videotape, and film productions. The manager may also be responsible for introducing innovative techniques such as interactive computers..." (Glaser & Zenetou, 1996, p. 107).
7: Planning or hosting exhibitions is a primary activity of museums. Involvement of museum personnel takes place in nearly every department. From the use of integrated technology, to the sale of relevant goods in the museum store, exhibitions boost visitor attendance and generate income for the organization. Moreover, museums may use this opportunity to accession new objects into its collection. The Michener's recent purchase of a Paul Evans fireplace surround and furniture set required the expertise of the curator, the guidance of the collections manager, and the approval of the Board of Trustees.
8: Other Resources In order to organize collections and exhibitions, resources such as the Fine Arts Elevator are vital. The safe handling and transportation of museum objects is an essential component of the collection management policy. This aspect of museum work is typically governed by the registration and exhibition staff.
9: "The Responsibilities of a contemporary librarian and archivist encompass a range of tasks focused on providing access to information and the preservation of the sources of this information" (Schlatter, 2008, p. 65).
11: Like most museums, the Michener places great emphasis on educational programming. A variety of programs are available to both children and adults and are run by the professional education staff. "Educators instigate, facilitate, and expand the museum's educational mission by creating and evaluating opportunities for informal learning" (Schlatter, 2008, p. 80).
12: Emergency preparedness is another essential element of museum work. Plans should be in place to protect collections, visitors, and staff. | "The security chief is responsible for the protection of the building, its collections, and its visitors and staff from theft, fire, injury, and other damage" (Glaser & Zenetou, 1996, p.115) | Safety & Security
13: Fundraising & Membership | "The membership officer works closely with the development and public relations officers and with the museum educator to attract and retain a broad and diverse public" (Glaser & Zenetou, 1996, p. 108).
14: Oil cloth from the Children's Education Gallery
15: Gallery Door
16: The Michener Museum was founded in 1988, in historic Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Named after Pulitzer Prize winning author, James A. Michener, the museum seeks to preserves his life-long dedication to the arts. The Museum is perhaps best known for its collection of American Impressionist paintings, created in the early 20th century. Bucks County was both inspiration and home to many of the artists whose work is now part of the Michener Collection.
17: References | Glaser, J. R. & Zenetou, A. A. (1996). Museums: A place to work, planning museum careers. New York, NY. Routledge. Schlatter, N. E. (2008). Museum careers: A practical guide for students and novices. Walnut Creek, CA. Left Coast Press.