Online Museum Classes
Every museum object is unique, but items made of similar materials share characteristics. Museum Artifacts gives participants an understanding of the materials and processes used to make objects - knowledge that better prepares them to decide how to care for their collections. Participants study two objects that represent all materials found in our museums. Through an in-depth analysis of their components, participants explore all possible objects found in any museum.
2. Organic Object: Aleut Hunting Regalia
3. Plant Materials
4. Animal Materials
5. Modified Organics
6. Inorganic Object: Art Deco Fireplace
11. Mixed Media
Required Text Books
Demeroukas, Marie, ed. Basic Condition Reporting: A Handbook. Southeastern Registrars Association, 1998.
Participants in Museum Artifacts work through 12 sections on their own. Instructor Helen Alten is available for scheduled email support. Materials and resources include online literature, slide lectures and dialog between students and online chats led by the instructor. The course is limited to 20 participants.
Museum Artifacts runs six weeks. To reserve a spot in the course, please pay at http://www.collectioncare.org/tas/tas.html If you have trouble please contact Helen Alten at email@example.com
Student Comments for MS213: Museum Artifacts: How they were made and how they deteriorate:
All created and selected materials were very informative and flowed together. I like the power point slides. It's like note taking for me, summarizing the lecture. After the course I always go back and read various sections again. They are excellent reference materials.
Classmates from all over the world made it interesting for our assignments.
Always enjoy instructor involvement for the professional input and advice.
The downloadable manual and materials were excellent. The course content was very thorough. The syllabus set up access online was very good, listed clearly. The chats were great, and the calls/prompts to participate were very much appreciated.
I liked the readings a lot because I knew they were hand selected by the instructor and therefore were the most accurate and relevant materials for the course.
The interaction with other participants, sharing their experiences and their knowledge was eye opening. As we have different collections, different problems we might come across and different areas of experience, we can definitely learn from each other.
Helen Alten, is the Director of Northern States Conservation Center and its chief Objects Conservator. For nearly 30 years she has been involved in objects conservation, starting as a pre-program intern at the Oriental Institute in Chicago and the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania. She completed a degree in Archaeological Conservation and Materials Science from the Institute of Archaeology at the University of London in England. She has built and run conservation laboratories in Bulgaria, Montana, Greece, Alaska and Minnesota. She has a broad understanding of three-dimensional materials and their deterioration, wrote and edited the quarterly Collections Caretaker, maintains the popular www.collectioncare.org web site, lectures throughout the United States on collection care topics, was instrumental in developing a state-wide protocol for disaster response in small Minnesota museums, has written, received and reviewed grants for NEH and IMLS, worked with local foundations funding one of her pilot programs, and is always in search of the perfect museum mannequin. She has published chapters on conservation and deterioration of archeological glass with the Materials Research Society and the York Archaeological Trust, four chapters on different mannequin construction techniques in Museum Mannequins: A Guide for Creating the Perfect Fit (2002), preservation planning, policies, forms and procedures needed for a small museum in The Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums' Collection Initiative Manual, and is co-editor of the penultimate book on numbering museum collections (still in process) by the Gilcrease Museum in Oklahoma. Helen Alten has been a Field Education Director, Conservator, and staff trainer. She began working with people from small, rural, and tribal museums while as the state conservator for Montana and Alaska. Helen currently conducts conservation treatments and operates a conservation center in Charleston, WV and St. Paul, MN.