Recommendation | E-J Scott and the Museum of Transology

E-J Scott, dress historian, curator, academic and queer cultural producer, holds up the logo for Museum of Transology. The sign is shaped like a paper tag that can be tied to things. On it is written the name of the collection in bold letters.

As you might know, if you’ve read my post on blogging and life from back in May, I’ve struggled with finishing posts for this blog of mine since its inception. That however doesn’t mean I didn’t try to write any… The entry below is from february 2019, I found it among my unfinished posts and decided to go through it and finish editing it as its contents felt as relevant now as then. Possibly even more relevant now than then seeing as the collection mentioned in the post is without a publicly available home after the exhibition at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery closed on January 5th 2020.

Just over a week ago dress historian, curator, academic and queer cultural producer E-J Scott visited the University of Leicester to give a talk at the School of Museum Studies about his important project the Museum of Transology. The talk, titled ‘Museums and the Transgender Tipping Point,’ can be found here. Scott created the project originally in response to realising that the stories of transgender individuals were not being collected or prioritised in museums. Throughout 2017 items collected on the transgender experience went from being a “hidden” collection in E-J Scot’s care to exhibitions marking 50 years since the Sexual Offences Act of 1967 and the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality. The collection was shown at the London College of Fashion and subsequently at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery [where I was fortunate enought to get to see it in March 2019]. A hugely important story was beginning to be told and represented… But, as Scott could attest to in the talk it was not all rosy. The collection currently has no long term home, and it would appear that many of the great projects that took place in 2017 marking the aniverssary have vanished since. In 2018 Scott wrote a piece for the British Museum Association about the situation, a short but very poignant text that I believe all museum professionals would benefit from reading!

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Recommendation | Sharing the Love: Community Engagement in the 21st Century

Photograph of the World Gallery at the Horniman Museum and Garden in London. It holds over 3000 objects from around the world exploring the question of what it means to be human.

“21st century museums must look back to the best of the founding impulses of Victorian liberalism, acknowledge and be honest about their problematic colonial history, and re-avow the vital importance of appealing to all and engaging their communities. At a time of increasing intolerance, “fake news” and a coming generation which will be worse off than the current one in many ways, museums provide rare spaces where people from all backgrounds can come together to share what it means to be human and to try to work out how to shape a better future for the planet we all share.”

I recently came across an interesting article by the Chief Executive and Director of Horniman Museum and Garden Nick Merriman that I thought I would share. In recent years museums have become increasingly more aware of their engagement of their surrounding communities, and rightly so. The argument behind this interest is in part an acknowledgement of their responsibility towards the public that supply funding, but also an awareness that museums are a space for coming together and gaining perspective on life and issues we might be dealing with both privately and societally.

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