When considering this prompt, I definitely took a lot of time to really think about what I would enjoy doing in a museum. I know that I love people, I love being able to share history and stories with visitors, but I also love caring for and restoring pieces of art. I especially love fixing broken pieces of things like clocks, watches, sculptures, ceramics, etc. Conservator or Cultural Heritage Management are what I would really lean towards after considering the materials in this module as well as the zoom recording.

Conservators handle, preserve, treat, and keep records of artifacts, specimens, and works of art. They may perform substantial historical, scientific, and archeological research. They document their findings and treat items in order to minimize deterioration or restore them to their original state. Conservators usually specialize in a particular material or group of objects, such as documents and books, paintings, or textiles. This all sounds like a very interesting skillset to develop and Something that would hold my interest.

Cultural heritage management is about striking a balance between developing the tourism industry, generate revenue while still conserving the physical integrity of sites, promoting and celebrating their educational, historic and cultural values. it also offers many job opportunities: from local historic sites and museums to national monuments, preservation agencies to research organizations, and visitors’ bureaus to community organizations, as well as national, state, and local parks.

The World Tourism Organization defines sustainable tourism as “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities”. I would want to be a driver in sustainable tourism, whatever I do in life, I want to be mindful of the world and cultures around me. Never straying from the idea that we should be giving back more than what me are getting from the earth and people around us. I also think that being able to preserve history and celebrate diversity would be an extremely rewarding profession.

When you enter a museum, do you think about the different people that had to work in order to create a certain display, or do you just enjoy the display itself?

4 Thoughts to “Ideal Museum Job”

  1. Rose Thao

    Hello Kai! Thank you for sharing what your ideal museum jobs would be. I agree with your remark about being able to give back more than what we take from the earth and people around us. When entering a museum I always find myself enjoying a display because of my admiration in the hard work that has been poured into making the display mesmerizing for visitors to see.

  2. Maxine Laberge

    Hi Kai,
    I love your input on sustainable tourism. I recently learned about “regenerative tourism” which is kind of another level up from sustainable tourism. From what I understand, sustainable tourism is leaving a place as you found it. Regenerative tourism is about making a place better when you visit. It’s very interesting!

    Prior to working in a museum I did not think about exhibit designers. However, now I find myself paying attention to really tiny details at museums – like where they put their benches, or how they hide electronic cords. I have a much different view now that I work at a museum.

  3. Korovin Ellis

    when going to a museum as a anthropologist my mind doesn’t go to the people who designed the exhibit itself, but the content of the exhibit and what makes that exhibit engaging to people. With that in mind, I do think their is a lot that can be improved in how we experience museums by looking at how the construction of the museum itself, and the organization and creation of its displays shapes are views of the materials and the places they come from.

  4. Angela Linn

    Thanks for bringing up the idea of sustainability in museums Kai – this is a major topic for a lot of people now because museums, as an industry, have HUGE carbon footprints in general. Our HVAC systems take a lot of energy to maintain our stable temperatures and humidity levels. Exhibit departments create a lot of waste in the process of creating and building exhibits – all of those custom exhibit mounts and backdrops and interpretive panels… unless you can re-install them in a more permanent location or only take traveling shows and never build anything in-house, we use a lot of resources. If you’re interested in seeing more about the way museum professionals are thinking about this, check out AAM’s resources: https://www.aam-us.org/category/environmental-sustainability/.

    And in answer to your question, I’m a total collections geek so instead of reading labels when I go to other museums, I spend half of my time looking at how their preparators and mount-makers supported the objects throughout the exhibit space!

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