FINAL NOTE (SINCE WE ARE BACK TO THE PRESENT): I was recently contacted by a couple of college students who aspire to be museologists and asked what I thought about a career in the field and what their prospects for future might be.
WHAT TURNS YOU ON (?)
Oh the joy! Oh the joy of being in a profession that not only allows but encourages you to explore diverse and wondrous worlds…
I have had the opportunity over the past 50 years to become knowledgeable in so many fields that it astounds the senses sometimes!
The natural history of almost every continent and ocean; the geology from the “Creation” to the Ocular Stimulated Luminesce; the archaeology from human existence to the connections from the American Paleo to Archaic and Archaic to the Transitional Period and from that to Pre-Columbian and Spanish Contact and Conquest and maybe especially another creation in American History, that of the Puebloian rise and fall…almost.
You can't ignore Geoiogy and Paleontology, from looking at what is found in a meteorite to the first identifiable organisms in fossiliferous limestone and then there is all of human history, of course, from the first spoken word to the usage of animals for "our" benefit and the associated production of plants to the demise of riverfront communities along navigable waterways in 19th century Texas.
Naturally, there are numerous examples of the concentrated efforts necessary to build each and every exhibit case to the all-encompassing major exhibitions like the “History of the Dravidians, Branch Dravidians and the Koreshians” or the “Sesquicentennial of Baylor University”. And then there are the personal interests and desires of an old museologist…including a couple of planned blockbusters, “The Divine Mosaic: Crossroads of Faith”, as well as, "Who Were the First Americans", another 5,000 sq. ft. traveling exhibition involving all of the Paleo archaeolgists in the Americas.
Even though, "times are tough", for the non-profit sector there are still major foundations, established patrons and individual donors of interpretive programs and exhibitions who, when presented with the right "script" are more than willing, often excited, to be the benefactors that contributes to the educational porcess for our time and place.
During my tenure as a professor and chair of the Dept. of Musuem Studies at Baylor I had the honor and distinct priviledge of having 150 students graduate from our program and during the latter part of my 20 years there we were placing over 90% in museum or related careers. So be studious, be dedicated and become diverse in your intersts. The future is bright for your generation.
Be thinking about how I can use my experiences and my contacts to help you achieve your goals and what/any questions that you might have about the profession and/or what particular subject matter you would like to know more about and/or my thoughts of who, what, when, where, why or how to make the most of your opportunities.