Mark your calendars & join us for #AskACurator on Wednesday, Sept. 16.

Next week, you’ll have the opportunity to chat with a few of the experts who care for many of Pennsylvania’s most-prized artifacts and you won't have to leave your house or office.

On Wednesday, curators from three historic sites along the Pennsylvania Trails of History will participate in #AskACurator Day, a Twitter-based event that connects curators with the public.  Everyone is invited, so remember to create a Twitter account if you haven’t already. 

Launched in 2010, #AskACurator is coordinated by Mar Dixon, a social media consultant.  Essentially, #AskACurator is a way for visitors and other professionals to engage with curators, often receiving immediate answers to questions about collections, education…just about anything. 

This year, more than 900 museums from 47 countries have signed on to participate, including Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum, the Anthracite Heritage Museum and The Historic Ephrata Cloister.

How do I participate? 

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, start by tweeting your questions to @LandisValley using the #AskACurator hashtag.  For the next hour, curator Jennifer Royer will pull herself away from her daily tasks to field your questions on everything Landis Valley. And, don’t be afraid to throw a few hardballs.  Royer works primarily with Pennsylvania German decorative arts, but has also dealt with farm equipment, tools, rifles and an array of other artifacts.  She is responsible for the research library at Landis Valley and is currently working on a weathervane exhibit to be installed next year. 

Kerry Mohn will pull double duty from 11 a.m. to noon Wednesday as he juggles answering your questions while handling the collections management at the Ephrata Cloister. Tweet Mohn @EphrataCloister using #AskACurator.  A graduate of Pennsylvania State University and the former Kutztown State College, Mohn has a special interest in Commonwealth history and Pennsylvania German studies. Other interests  include immigration, labor and baseball history. A resident of Berks County, Kerry served as a trustee of the Historical Society of Berks County and as president of the Governor Mifflin Area Historical Society.

Between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Wednesday, remember to clear out a good block of time to chat with John Fielding, the curator for the Anthracite Museum Complex, which includes the Anthracite Heritage Museum, Scranton Iron Furnaces and Eckley Miners’ Village.  Tweet Fielding @AnthraciteMuse using #AskACurator.  During his tenure at the complex, Fielding has served as the lead worker for eight exhibits at the Anthracite Heritage Museum and Eckley Miners’ Village. His interests range from the 19th-and 20th-century anthracite mining processes to the cultural significance of the many ethnic groups who moved to the anthracite region of Pennsylvania.

What should I ask? 

Well…that’s entirely up to you.  Last year, #AskACurator questions ranged from "Which artifacts require the most attention?" to "What's the story behind the green tiles around the fireplaces at Pennsbury Manor?".  See our Storify of the conservations had between the public and curators at Pennsbury Manor, Old Economy Village and Drake Well Museum andPark.

Still not sure what to ask?  Here's a short list of questions visitors often ask curators: 
-- What is it like to be a curator?
-- What is your favorite artifact?
-- What is the oldest piece in your collection?
-- Which artifact has the best story?
-- Which artifact makes you laugh and/or cry?
-- How do you know when to wear gloves?
-- How do you decide which artifacts go on display. 
*Please refrain from asking for item appraisals or artifact identification. 


Post a Comment