Wednesday, March 11, 2009

IMA ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2009, Derry/Londonderry, February 27th - March 1st ~The Museum: A Dialogue in Shared Histories and Common Heritage~

The central event in the IMA calendar is the Annual Conference. Held in February each year the conference is eagerly awaited by our members as an opportunity to meet, network and get to know each other. Of course, it is also an occasion for debate and this years conference titled 'The Museum: A Dialogue In Shared Histories and Common Heritage' proved just that.

Over the course of two days the conference explored how the common ground of heritage and history has the potential to encourage museums to break from tradition and embrace new ways of thinking, working and developing ideas.Through a series of workshops and presentations, the panel of sixteen speakers addressed this notion through topics such as new ways of engaging visitors, heritage in landscape, material and intangible culture and representations of repression in museums. At the end of each day discussions were held and delegates were given the chance to reflect to the presentations of the day and respond by posing questions to the panel of speakers. Over the course of the weekend it can be said that these presentations and discussions added depth and further challenged the subject of 'The Museum' as a 'Dialogue in Shared Histories and Common Heritage'.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Walking Tour (01/03/09)

Walking Tour of the Walls of Derry and departure.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Discussion Day II (28/02/09)

With Dr. Margaret O Callaghan acting as chair along with a panel of the days speakers, the delegates were encouraged to interact and respond to the days presentations. As on Friday, many valuable comments were made. In this section of the blog, delegates are invited to re-address the comments of the day and discuss them with our blog readers.

Civic Reception at Guildhall and Conference Dinner (28/02/09)

Welcome to Derry by the Mayor of Derry/Londonderry, Councillor Gerard Diver
Civic Reception, The Guildhall

Irish Museums Association announces 6 New Honorary Members at Annual Conference 2009

At the conference dinner the Board of the Irish Museums Association announced 6 new Honorary Members. As it is 1985 since this designation was awarded, the intervening years have been taken into account, and the Board now has pleasure in awarding Honorary Membership to 6 distinguished figures in the Irish museum world:

Dr. Michael Ryan, Director of the Chester Beatty Library, Roger Weatherup, former Curator of Armagh County Museum and a founder committee member of the Irish Museums Association,
Raymond Keaveney, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland,
Sean Nolan, former Director of the Ulster Museum,
Maighread McParland, Conservator and a founder member of the Irish Professional Conservators’ and Restorers’ Association/IPCRA (1982) and of the Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works in Ireland/ ICHAWI (1991),
Dr. Patrick Wallace, Director of the National Museum of Ireland.

The designation is awarded in recognition of the considerable service and significant contribution that these figures have made to the development of Irish museums, and to the practice of museum and cultural heritage work in Ireland. The Chairperson of the Association, Dr Marie Bourke states: “At the IMA, we felt that it was time to applaud the contribution that these figures have made over a considerable period of time to Irish museums and to the museum profession. It is an honour for the Association to be in a position to recognise and acknowledge their achievements.”

Saturday Afternoon Speakers (28/02/09)

Does the collection and display of public sculpture reflect a shared heritage and commonality?
Speaker: Dr Paula Murphy (School of Art History and Cultural Studies, Univeristy College Dublin) 

This paper examined the collection and display of Irish public sculpture in the north and south of the country from a historic point of view. Murphy explored this subject through different examples of the practice of sculpture such as:  copies from the antique, monumental commemorative sculpture and the careers of two nineteenth-century sculptors (Patrick MacDowell from Belfast and John Henry Foley from Dublin)

Representing repression in museums; challenges, pressures, methodologies
Speaker: Suzanne Bardgett (Director of the Holocaust Exhibitions, Imperial War Museum, London)

This paper focused on a number of projects including the Holocaust Exhibition at the Imperial War Museum in order to highlight the challenges, pressures and lessons which arose through each project. An appropriate subject for these difficult times, Bardgett's presentation analised each project and further offered thoughts on how curators can prepare themselves and their teams for the specificissues arising from depictions of oppression.

Keynote Presentations I :Shared Histories (28/02/09)

What is this notion of Shared Histories?

Professor Nigel Rolfe, Artist and Lecturer, Royal College of Art London.

The first keynote presentation by Artist and lecturer Professor Nigel Rolfe, questioned and challenged the notion of 'shared histories', the focal subject of the day. Rolfe's presentation could have almost been called an art performance through its utilisation of sound, text, photography and video and ensured that all the delegates were fully awake for the long day ahead.