Curator's Corner Blog

Monthly Archives: October 2010

Curator’s Corner | October 2010

The world of the collections professional can be a dark and mysterious enterprise.  Ask virtually anyone what exactly a curator or a collections manager does for a living and responses are likely to involve musty basements, lab coats, valuable, long-lost antiques, and the occasional (and sadly inaccurate) Indiana Jones reference.

But for these oft-misunderstood (and at times maligned) museum servants, public exhibitions provide just the opportunity to change these perceptions.  In short, they directly connect a museum’s constituency to the material remnants of that community’s shared cultural heritage.  And it is in this vein that we examine the Historical Museum’s remarkably varied and far-flung recent exhibitions schedule in this edition of the Curator’s Corner.

Jason R. Bain, Curator of Collections, jrbain@montana.com

HM@FM On The Move
Article by Jason R. Bain, Curator of Collections

The year 2010 has been unprecedented for collections staff at the Historical Museum. Never before has the Museum opened so many exhibitions in so many different venues in a single year. We are undoubtedly, and in many respects, a museum on the move. The 2010 exhibition schedule features displays as broadly divergent in scope and context as the blockbuster Fire Of 1910, selections of which have opened as far away as Seeley Lake and Murray, ID, and the far more literary Echoes Of The Maltese Falcon at the Missoula Public Library. Furthermore, public access to these outstanding shows has been greatly expanded through the launching of a new website and the Museum’s first foray into the world of social media. Continue reading

Eye On Exhibits

With the snow falling in the higher elevations, the leaves all but turned in color, and the temperatures plummeting wintertime has returned to the Missoula Valley with a vengeance. But the change in season means more than just frostbite and blisters acquired raking copious quantities of fallen leaves. It also means the time has come for the new annual holiday exhibit at the Historical Museum!

This year, the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula presents a one-of-a-kind, music-themed holiday exhibition entitled, Snowflake Sonata. The exhibition boasts the display of several loaned musical instruments, including: a guitar, xylophone, drums, harpsichord, recorder, accordion, and trombone, to name but a few. Drawing from the Museum’s permanent collections, the exhibition will also feature: musical Christmas ornaments, musical miniatures, figurines, sheet music, a rare photograph of the Italian ADC detainee orchestra, a roll-up music case, piano rolls for a player piano, a t-shirt from the International Chorale Festival, and much, much more!

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