18 January 2017

Call for new MEG Executive Committee Members

Chair, Secretary and Events Officer, to be elected at MEG Glasgow Conference AGM, 7 April 2017 The current MEG Chair, Antonia Lovelace, is coming to the end of the three years this role is limited to, so we are looking for nominations for a new Chair, to begin from April 7 2017. The current MEG Secretary, Andy Mills, has also been in post for three years, and wishes to hand-over rather than stand for re-election, given his current work commitments. The Events Officer, Tony Eccles, has also served more than three years and now wishes to hand-over too. MEG’s constitution sets the framework for the periods which committee officers serve, please view the pdf of the constitution for further details.  

The MEG committee meets three times a year aside from the AGM, usually in June, September and December. We often meet in London, but try and meet elsewhere in the UK as well. The Chair chairs these meetings and the Secretary writes up the minutes and helps archive them. Both these posts work with other committee members to debate and plan the forward strategy for MEG and its liaison with other museum SSN groups in the UK, and with other world culture museums abroad.  The Events Officer organises two or more MEG events a year, responding to invitations from member and outside institutions and working with other SSNs. As a charity MEG does not have the funds to pay travel costs for all committee members to attend meetings, so it is vital that applicants seek the support of their own institutions to recognise the importance of the work of this SSN and make this part of their current job role, and undertake to help with the travel costs, and time commitment. We can pay for the travel of a few committee members however, if you are on a low salary and your institution has no travel funding available.   

If you are interested in any of these roles please contact the current holder for an informal discussion of what is involved.  Then please let the Chair and Secretary have confirmation of your interest by Friday 31 March 2017, so we can undertake your nomination and put this before the MEG AGM for the process of election on 7 April.


11 January 2017

Booking now open: From Malacca to Manchester: Curating Islamic Collections Worldwide

Registration for the upcoming conference From Malacca to Manchester: Curating Islamic Collections Worldwide (Manchester Museum, UK, 22-24 February 2017) is now open. 
For more information and to book please follow this link: http://www.whitworth.manchester.ac.uk/whats-on/events/malaccatomanchester/.
Attendance will be charged at £20 per day for the two days of the full conference programme (£10 per day for students).
The workshops and visits are free but may only be attended by paying conference attendees, with the exception of the SSN workshop which anyone can attend (preferential booking will be given to UK museum professionals engaged with Islamic art and material culture).
Enquiries should be sent to: malaccatomanchester@gmail.com.

9 January 2017

Post Vacant: Electronic Reviews Editor for the Journal of Museum Ethnography

This voluntary post requires the successful candidate to work closely with the Editor and Deputy Editor of the Journal of Museum Ethnography (JME) to ensure a high standard of reviews of electronic content are covered in the Journal.

The post holder will be required to solicit reviews and to edit those reviews in the first instance. They will then work with the Editor and Deputy Editor to prepare the content for publication. The Electronic Reviews Editor is expected to supply two or three articles to the
journal each year. Past reviews of electronic content have included online exhibitions and research projects, and social media related to museums.

To express interest in this position please contact JME Editor Ali Clark via email. For more information about JME visit the JME pages of the MEG website. 

3 January 2017

Transformers 2017 - 18 applications now open

The programme, run by the Museums Association, which promotes radical change in 
museums, will see in the region of 170 mid-career professionals participate across 3 
different strands. Each strand is designed to help participants develop innovative ways of 
working, influence more effectively and create change for themselves, their colleagues and 
their organisations. 

If you are a mid-career professional, looking to be an agent for change in museums then you
should consider applying for Transformers.

Previous Transformers have self-defined ‘mid-career’ broadly, and their roles have ranged 
from project officers to more senior leaders. As some general guidance, you will have at least 
three years of working in museums, and most importantly have a desire to generate change 
and a commitment to professional and sector development.
Do you have a radical idea for change?
Transformers: Innovate will give 19 people the opportunity to test out a new or risky 
idea or change, through an intensive programme of events, coaching, assessments and 
access to micro-funding for a project or professional development.
Application deadline: 27 January 2017

Do you believe in the social power of museums?
Transformers: Influence is a less intensive programme for a cohort of 130 people, who
will attend two learning days, and will culminate in a festival of change. This strand has a
fee of £100 to participate, which includes attendance at events and MA membership for 
one year.
Application deadline: 28 February 2017

Do you believe museums should be more inclusive and encourage diversity?
Transformers: Diversify is for people who believe that museums cannot achieve their
objectives unless they are founded on equality, diversity and inclusion. 24 mid-career
practitioners will attend events and coaching sessions and have access to micro-funding.
Application deadline: 28 February 2017

Applications are to be submitted online. You will find lots of information about the three 
strands on the Museums Association website, as well as case studies and films from the 
previous Transformers. 

Please ensure that you read all the supporting materials before submitting your application,
and if you would like to talk to someone about your suitability for any of the programme 
strands,please contact us on 020 7566 7862, or email Katy Swift. 
“My ‘kit bag’ is brimming with tools I can use to bring others up with me to make our
museums the best they can possibly be." Participant, 2015

15 December 2016

Jobs Vacancies: Project Assistant - Pitt Rivers Museum Reserve Collections Move Project (6 posts)

Grade 4: £21,220 - £24,565 p.a.

The Pitt Rivers Museum is seeking six Project Assistants for a fixed period to work as part of a team to document, pack and move objects in a significant reserve collection currently housed in a large split-level off-site museum store.
The Project Assistants, coordinated by the Team Leader, will be required to participate in the documentation, packing and storage of objects in a safe manner and within the project deadline. The project team will be responsible to the Museum’s senior staff, including the heads of collections and conservation sections, working ultimately to the Museum’s Director and Head of Administration and Finance. The post will be based in a museum store and requires standing, regularly using stairs, and lifting objects and packed boxes.
Full details of the post are available in the job description. The essential requirements include experience of working in a museum or equivalent heritage site; understanding, knowledge and experience of handling and packing complex and delicate organic artefacts and familiarity with the principles of museum security, museum storage of objects, museum conservation and handling of museum objects; ability to use critical thinking and independent judgement to interpret objects and information about them against standardised guidelines; and a proven ability to work effectively as part of a team.
Currently, there are six posts available. The six posts are fixed-term until 31 December 2017.
The closing date for applications is 12.00 noon on Friday 6 January 2017. Interviews are likely to take place in the week commencing 23 January 2017 with a preferred start date of 13 February 2017.
Visit the website for further particulars and to apply 

14 December 2016

Exhibition: South Africa – Art of a Nation

‘South Africa – Art of a Nation’ runs until 26 February 2017 at the British Museum. It is an exhibition that took more than two years to develop and involved partnerships with 12 institutions in South Africa and 20 contemporary artists. Chris Spring took 9 MEG members round on a curator’s tour on Thursday 8 December. We began in the Great Court standing beside the BMW car painted by the artist Esther Mahlangu in 1991. She was invited to paint BMW’s 12th art car to celebrate the end of apartheid, and BMW paid for its transport to the exhibition. Esther herself came over to see her work on show, and appears in one of the films of visiting artists made by the British Museum. Another short film shows the car being installed. 

The exhibition home-page has film of artist Lionel Davies with his piece that includes a street map of District 6, and a self-portrait. Mary Sibande’s film interview is also here, describing her ‘Reversed Retrogress’ work in which two women face each other, one representing her grandmother, and another in purple, herself. Purple was the colour of the dye that the apartheid police laced their water cannon with, which was later turned against them. 

The earliest item in the exhibition is a found pebble from Makapansgat with three circular indentations – two eyes and a mouth – collected 3 million years ago.  The exhibition contrasts ancient and new art in really interesting juxtapositions throughout. We loved it…

Thank you to Chris for taking the time to show us round.

6 December 2016

Free Workshop: Religion and Heritage on Display

Saturday 4th February 2017, 10.30am – 4.30pm

More and more exhibitions and displays are addressing religion and heritage. These projects are sometimes in museums and sometimes in places of worship, but they all seek to present religion (however defined) to a general public audience. This informal workshop will bring together reports on some of the more recent. The aim will be to enable people involved in new projects to exchange information and ideas.
Venue: Institute of Archaeology, Gordon Square, London, Room 612.
Nearest tubes: Euston / Euston Square.
Format: twenty-minute presentations, with an introduction and time for discussion.
Catering: teas/coffees will be provided, and participants invited to contribute to the cost. Packed lunches can be eaten in the Common Room or lunch obtained locally.

Chairs: Crispin Paine IoA UCL and John Reeve IoE UCL.
Speakers:  the following are confirmed:

·      Keynote: Marion Bowman OU    
       Marius Felderhof: Museum of World Religions project in Birmingham 
       Lucy Trench: Religion in the V&A European galleries.   
      Christopher Ferguson: '5000 Years of Faith' at Auckland Castle  
      Sarah Turner Canterbury Cathedral 
      Rebecca Bridgman Curator of Islamic & South Asian Art and Curatorial Team Leader     Birmingham Museums Trust 'Faith in Birmingham' gallery 
      Gemma Papineau Panacea Museum, Bedford  

Booking and Enquiries: to avoid overcrowding, please let Crispin know if you would like to come. First come, first served!   crispinpaine1@gmail.com

Sponsored by the Heritage Section of the Institute of Archaeology, UCL