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Putnam Museum and IMAX Theatre

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BC: References Glaser, J. R., & Zenetou, A. A. (1996). Museums: A place to work, planning museum careers. New York, NY: Routledge Interview with Joan Gorman, Senior Paintings Conservator at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (2008). Schlatter, N. E. (2008). Museum careers: A practical guide for students and novices. Walnut Creek, CA: Leftcoast Press.

FC: Museum Visit Photo Essay: Putnam Museum and IMAX Theatre

1: The Putnam Museum and IMAX Theatre is located in Davenport, Iowa and is the largest cultural center in the Quad Cities area. The museum contains seven permanent exhibits, a theater, and science lab. It provides many workshops and programs for kids and educators as well as regular special events.

3: The information desk at the Putnam Museum incorporates the work of many different museum professionals. The desk itself is staffed most likely by a member of visitor services. The publications on the various exhibits are a collaboration between curators and educators who write the text, visitor services who provide information to visitors, and publications staff who edit and print the pamphlets. | The clear box with the green sign is a comment box. This may be managed by visitor services, who survey the public and record data (Schlatter, 2008, p. 94). Educators and exhibit designers probably use these visitor suggestions to help them build exhibits that will meet the visitors' needs. The information desk also provides audio tour devices, which are also the purvue of visitor services. Their content may have been developed by curators and educators, while their setup was probably undertaken by media specialists.

4: Ticketing is also part of visitor services. One aspect of their job is crowd control, which is provided for by the partitioned guides for those waiting in line. The computers used by the ticket sellers are maintained by facilities staff, which may include a technology officer.

5: Wayfinding is an important element in museums that is the responsibility of facilities staff and exhibit designers. | The gentleman on the right is a museum worker, probably from visitor services, who tells visitors where the galleries are and provides them with a map (center). The map is an essential part of wayfinding, probably printed by the publications department.

6: On the day of my visit, a table was set up in the lobby staffed by a member of development, which is in charge of fundraising and membership, to try to enlist visitors as museum members. Publications throughout the museum, likely designed by development and marketing, encouraged museum membership and extolled its benefits. Having a development member present allowed the museum to build a relationship between potential donors and the museum, which Joan Olson in her interview noted as very important to development efforts.

7: Also on the day of my visit was a special event for museum members and some members of the public called Field Trip for Grown-Ups, an in depth guided tour. I was told that this event was a collaboration between development, education, the CEO, and a dedicated volunteer.

8: The Putnam is also currently hosting a traveling exhibit on the Titanic. Decorations like the one at left were probably done by exhibit designers, while the poster in the bottom middle was likely done by marketing and publications. Museum shop staff may have helped pick out the Titanic souvenirs for sale (bottom left). Volunteers (bottom right) help staff the exhibit. The registrar, responsible for loans, borrowing, shipping, and the like probably played a large role in bringing this exhibit to the Putnam (Glaser and Zenetou, 1996, p. 114).

9: Technological installations in the exhibits like the mini theater, computer, and video gallery at left are installed by exhibition staff and media specialists. Their content was likely developed by curators and educators. At right are several hands on learning activities: using hieroglyphics to write in a cartouche, the Spark! Learning Lab, and a playroom for kids. The content and design was probably developed by educators and installed by exhibition staff.

10: Curators, who develop themes, choose objects for display, and write text for signs, likely played a large role in these artifact-based exhibits about the history of the local area (Schlatter, 2008, p. 57). Registrars keep records of each item, while conservators undertake any necessary restoration.

11: The IMAX theater may be managed by the Chief Financial Officer, who coordinates museum infrastructure (Schlatter, 2008, p. 97). Curators and educators may help choose educational films that go along with the exhibits. The promotional movie posters are the work of marketing and publications. Visitor services staffs the theater during films and also sells theater tickets.

12: The museum store is operated by museum shop staff. The retail manager stocks the store, and may also assist in developing products. Marketing helps promote the shop goods, and facilities staff make sure the cash registers function. The Chief Financial Officer also oversees the museum shop.

13: The concessions area is run by visitor services staff. Marketing likely designed the signs. The Chief Financial Officer manages this area as well.

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  • By: Laura D.
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  • Title: Putnam Museum and IMAX Theatre
  • Museum Visit Photo Essay
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  • Published: over 8 years ago