CAM FELLOWS PROGRAM
2012 CAM Fellows case studies documenting the conferences will be uploaded here as they are published in CAM e-News in no particular order.
Bringing the Museum into the Library
Many museum archivists struggle against the popular opinion that research libraries are not public spaces, but rather places for scholars and the elite. This was the case for Margaret Dykens, Director of the Research Library at the San Diego Natural History Museum. This case study examines Dykens’ plan to overcome this misconception: a large-scale renovation that will convert some of the Library’s research space into a permanent exhibit. This strategy of bringing the Museum into the Library will effectively integrate research space with public space. To read this case study, CLICK HERE. By Patricia Sazani, CAM Fellow
Bringing Your Archive to Flickr
Many museum librarians feel their archives are under-utilized and under-recognized by the public. In April of last year, after a decade of reaching out to the public through other media, Katrina Pescador, Head Archivist at the Library at the San Diego Air and Space Museum, opened an account on Flickr—a website for hosting and sharing images—and saw her Library transformed. After she and her staff uploaded over 140,000 photographic images, research requests shot up twenty-fold, and the Library became a talking point within the Balboa Park museum community. CLICK HERE to read this case study. By: Patricia Sazani, CAM Fellow
The Transformative Power of Experiments
At the 2012 CAM Conference, Nina Simon led Session 4D: “Making the Case for Experimental Projects,” during which she walked the audience through her first eight months as Executive Director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, and through her experimental hands-off approach that drastically turned the museum around financially and transformed the institution into a center for the community. CLICK HERE to read this case study.
By: Patricia Sazani, CAM Fellow
Exploding Boundaries for Deep Impact: Innovation in Experience at The Tinkering Studio™ at the Exploratorium
The Exploratorium’s Tinkering Studio embodies a new and innovative style of experience design in museums. Derived from the Maker Movement, the Studio’s creators believe fervently that making things stimulates and enriches the learning process. By discussing the Tinkering Studio’s guiding belief in the power of free exploration and shared experience to create meaning in museums, this case study provides museums with inspiring design principles for public programs, centered on deepening, prolonging, and activating museum learning. These principles, related to valuing experience over outcomes, creating safe spaces and personalized experiences, and valuing staff and visitor learning, provide important and innovative opportunities for deepened impact in California’s museums. To read this case study, CLICK HERE. By: Leah Reisman, CAM Fellow
Craft Bar at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art: A Transformational Partnership
Museums everywhere are searching for ways to refresh their audiences and bring younger populations to their programs and exhibitions. At San Francisco’s Museum of Craft and Folk Art, Craft Bar does just this—it brings new audiences to MOCFA for nights of crafting, drink, and socializing. However, Craft Bar has also served another, greater purpose for MOCFA—it has helped the museum transform its perspective and better fulfill its mission. The event is an exemplary case in which a museum, by stepping out of its comfort zone, was transported to the cutting edge of its field. CLICK HERE to read this case study. By: Leah Reisman, CAM Fellow
Manifesting Museum Personalities: Hand-Crafted Exhibitions at the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo
Museums are naturally creative entities, filled with passionate people and unique content. However, these one-of-a-kind perspectives aren’t always expressed in exhibitions, instead replaced by sleek, streamlined designs that while certainly successful, often lack local color. At the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo (JM&Z), Tina Keegan responds to this concern by filling her exhibitions with handcrafted elements that highlight the JM&Z’s personality. Through these creative collaborations, the JM&Z enriches its exhibitions, builds community, forges local connections, and reframes museums as creators of content, not just facilitators of it. CLICK HERE to read this case study.
By: Leah Reisman, CAM Fellow
Community Engagement Through Curatorial Practice: A Case Study of Torrance Art Museum’s Curatorial Process and Programming
The Torrance Art Museum (TAM) is a small, non-collecting museum unable to compete with the larger institutions of Los Angeles. Read about how TAM plays an alternative role of a museum through “crowd-sourcing” exhibitions and utilizes its resources through empowering programs for community. Innovative curating and programming allows TAM to respond to and engage to its community of art lovers. By: Kaileena Flores-Emnace, CAM Fellow The To read this case study, CLICK HERE. By: Kaileena Flores-Emnace, CAM Fellow
Engaging Today’s Audience Through Engaging Docents: Case Study of Orange County Museum of Art’s Docent Program
The museum visitor is changing and museum education programs are finding new ways to adapt. Some programs are shifting towards discussion-based gallery experiences to meet the needs of the new museum visitors, which presents a challenging change from the lecture style tours historically provided by museum volunteer docents. The Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) explained how OCMA has made such a shift at the 2012 CAM Annual Conference session titled “Training Docents to Lose Control.” OCMA offered descriptions of the recently reconstructed docent program at OCMA and successful strategies of engagement and modeling of dialogued-based touring to prepare docents for today’s changing museum visitor. CLICK HERE to read this case study.
By: Kaileena Flores-Emnace, CAM Fellow
Can Mobile Technology Fulfill Your Museum’s Mission? Case Study of the Children’s Creativity Museum’s Use of Mobile Technology
The Children’s Creativity Museum’s successes and challenges in implementing mobile technology offers insight into the questions museums must ask themselves before embarking on mobile terrain. What resources are needed to integrate new technology? Is mobile technology accessible to all visitors? Is it technology for technology sake or does mobile technology truly fulfill the mission of the museum? This case study will explore these questions and the use of mobile technology in visitor experience at the Children’s Creativity Museum. CLICK HERE to read this case study.
By: Kaileena Flores-Emnace, CAM Fellow
Making The Case for Experimental Design
A question that museums around the world have been asking themselves recently is how they can engage communities that are outside of their comfort zone and become a more dynamic space for education and social experimentation. As a result, there has been a movement of artists and exhibit developers challenging both viewers and museums to think about exhibits that engage the public in new fascinating ways all the while being cost efficient and challenging us all to think about how the museum space functions. The following case study gives us some hints to how this can be achieved. CLICK HERE to read this case study. By: Plinio Hernandez, CAM Fellow
Phantoms of Asia: Contemporary Awakens the Past, The Rebirth of the Asian Art Museum
In recent years, many museums and institutions dedicated to the arts have experienced financial setbacks that have made them rethink and restructure their programing. In 2010, the Asian Art Museum (AAM) confronted this very challenge. Faced with a $120 million dollar debt and imminent bankruptcy, the AAM was able to save itself through an multi-party agreement. Seven months after being clear of bankruptcy, the AAM unveiled one of it first major changes: a rebranding campaign that has introduced a new logo, a restructuring to include more contemporary art and has a new focus, to “Awaken the past, inspire the next”. To this end, this case study will focus on steps and challenges faced by the AAM in putting together Phantoms of Asia: Contemporary Awakens the Past, the AAM’s first large scale contemporary art exhibition that opened on May, 2012. CLICK HERE to read this case study. By: Plinio Hernandez, CAM Fellow
Maker Station: DIY Accordion-Style Sketch Books, Presented by San Francisco’s Museum of Craft and Design
In mid-July of 2010, the small staff at the Museum of Craft and Design received notice that they would have to move out of their location within days due to safety issues and conflicts with the building’s landlord. Though motions were set in place by the executive director and the board to begin looking for a space, there was uncertainty as to when this would happen. Instead of showing a passive acceptance toward the lack of having a physical space, the staff at MCD became proactive and agreed to curate, develop programming, and run a museum store through a “pop-up” model. In the end, the Museum of Craft and Design, through the creative and selfless efforts of their staff, was able to put on three strong exhibits that included educational programming and community partnerships in three different locations throughout San Francisco. CLICK HERE to read this case study.
By: Plinio Hernandez, CAM Fellow
Gallery Interpreters: A Relational Approach toward Creating a Meaningful Museum Experience
As public institutions, museums have the mission and responsibility to create meaningful and educational experiences for its visitors. With diverse visitors and different learning styles, museums can use in-gallery staff to help facilitate connections between visitors and the museum beyond the gallery experience. At the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Gallery Interpreters are full-time, paid staff members who are certified by the National Association for Interpretation. This case study will take a closer look on why gallery interpreters play a critical role in creating meaningful museum connections and the Natural History Museum's philosophy and professional approach toward in-gallery staff and the role they play. CLICK HERE to read this case study. By: Joanna Chen, CAM Fellow
Overcoming Obstacles to Library Engagement: Using What You Have
Libraries and archives within museums often hold a wealth of information within their collections. Yet museum libraries and archives often face obstacles to visitor engagement because of limited staffing, budget constraints, and lack of visibility. At the Museum of Photographic Art's Dubois Library, Librarian Holland Kessinger adopted a strategy of using what she had to create simple, cost-effective, and reproducible solutions to increase visitor engagement, incorporating library items into the museum space and experimenting with social media channels Pinterest and Youtube to highlight rare books. CLICK HERE to read this case study. By: Joanna Chen, CAM Fellow
Exploring Exhibit Development: Letting Values Inform Your Exhibit Design
Letting Values Inform your Exhibit Design: With so much information and materials available through museum collections, exhibition developers and designers must make the call on what information to include and exclude. The Huntington Library’s Senior Exhibition Developer, Karina White, believes that the key to successful exhibit design is to let values inform the design and serve as the guide in deciding what content to include and exclude in order to better communicate the big idea and theme of an exhibition. CLICK HERE to read this case study.
By: Joanna Chen, CAM Fellow
The Repatriation of Nazi-Looted Art in the Hearst Collection
Hoyt Fields, Director of Hearst Castle, addresses the 2007-2009 repatriation process of two 16th Century paintings to the Oppenheimer Family, one of many recent repatriation cases that resulted from the Nazi-lootings of Jewish people during their persecution in WWII. This article provides a brief history of repatriation, examines the ethical underpinnings of repatriation, how repatriation relates to AAM’s code of ethics, and emphasizes the importance of sustained provenance research by all museums as new repatriation cases emerge out of recent historical events and foreign occupations. CLICK HERE to read this case study. By: Orlando Tirado, CAM Fellow
Machine Projects Case Study: The Experimental Impulse Today
This case study explores different collaborations between Machine Project, a non-profit organization that runs an exhibition space, and two major LA art museums: LACMA and the Hammer Museum. Machine Project, established in 2003 by Mark Allen, continues to produce events and curated exhibitions, in an experimental, process-oriented form that is a mix of institutional critique and community building. Their proven longevity is a testament to the promise of the experimental impulse. CLICK HERE to read this case study.
By: Orlando Tirado, CAM Fellow
Latino Audience Engagement Initiative Case Study: The Exploratorium Faces A Changing Demographic
Museums today must address a change in demographics indicating that the growing number of Latinos in California and much of the Southwest US is creating a new generation of museum visitors. This article explores the philosophical and practical challenges of promoting “Latino Engagement Initiatives” and putting these into practice in various kinds of institutions. Stemming from the presentation “Beyond Outreach: Engaging Latino Communities,” Dr. Isabel Hawkins, Astronomer and Project Director of Mediated Experiences at the Exploratorium, San Francisco Bay Area, provides guidance and ideas as a “Latino Audience Engagement Initiative” is currently implemented at her institution. CLICK HERE to read this case study.
By: Orlando Tirado, CAM Fellow