Session Title

"Can These Bones Come To Life?" II: From Collector to Curator to Craftsperson (In Memory of the Higgins Armory Museum)

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Societas Johannis Higginsis

Organizer Name

Kenneth Mondschein

Organizer Affiliation

Westfield State Univ./American International College

Presider Name

Kenneth Mondschein

Paper Title 1

Boardwalk Emprise: John Woodman Higgins and the Atlantic City Tournament of 1935

Presenter 1 Name

Michael A. Cramer

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY

Paper Title 2

Erasing the Ladies: Issues in Curating the Legacy of Female Collectors

Presenter 2 Name

Lisa Evans

Presenter 2 Affiliation

DISTAFF

Paper Title 3

A Curator's Challenge: Arms and Armor Collections in France

Presenter 3 Name

Marie-Anne Michaux

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Independent Scholar

Start Date

16-5-2015 3:30 PM

Session Location

Bernhard 210

Description

Reconstructing material culture requires close cooperation between would-be reconstructors and the curators of surviving artifacts. Interpretation, both material and academic, also requires an appreciation for how an object comes to be chosen for inclusion and display in a museum; issues of connoisseurship, curatorship, and conservation; and how a designation of historical significance is either assigned or withheld. Added to this are issues of reconstruction in a museum setting, from repairing damaged stonework at an archaeological site, to using modern replicas to interpret objects, to the use of reenactment to reach the public in living-history museums. Furthermore, the collector is not the curator; certainly, Henry Clay Frick and J.P. Morgan's motivations were not the same as those who now have charge of their collections. We therefore propose a session examining in a critical light how objects come to be collected and curated in museums and the effects of this process on their interpretation, both academic or material. Topics include how attitudes towards female connoisseur-collectors has affected the curation of their contributions to museum collections, the challenges of curating French arms and armor collections, and John Woodman Higgins' apparently allowing parts of his collection to be used in a jousting tournament in the 1930s.

Kenneth C. Mondschein

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May 16th, 3:30 PM

"Can These Bones Come To Life?" II: From Collector to Curator to Craftsperson (In Memory of the Higgins Armory Museum)

Bernhard 210

Reconstructing material culture requires close cooperation between would-be reconstructors and the curators of surviving artifacts. Interpretation, both material and academic, also requires an appreciation for how an object comes to be chosen for inclusion and display in a museum; issues of connoisseurship, curatorship, and conservation; and how a designation of historical significance is either assigned or withheld. Added to this are issues of reconstruction in a museum setting, from repairing damaged stonework at an archaeological site, to using modern replicas to interpret objects, to the use of reenactment to reach the public in living-history museums. Furthermore, the collector is not the curator; certainly, Henry Clay Frick and J.P. Morgan's motivations were not the same as those who now have charge of their collections. We therefore propose a session examining in a critical light how objects come to be collected and curated in museums and the effects of this process on their interpretation, both academic or material. Topics include how attitudes towards female connoisseur-collectors has affected the curation of their contributions to museum collections, the challenges of curating French arms and armor collections, and John Woodman Higgins' apparently allowing parts of his collection to be used in a jousting tournament in the 1930s.

Kenneth C. Mondschein