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African American Museum photos

The below photo is an example of art displayed in the African American museum 

Example of art displayed in the African American Museum

 

Original questionnaire created to interview museum visitors

Questionnaire created to assist in interviewing visitors

 

Event taken place after hours

"Growing Up Daddy" event

 

Museum offered this event free unlike the Schomburg Research Center

Cultural events will sometimes charge a small fee

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Depression Family – by Walter Evans

I arrived at the African American Museum at approximately 11:45 am on Saturday April 24, 2010. 

African American Museum located in Hempstead, New York

There were beautiful paintings of various art pieces from several African American artist. Unfortunately in order to protect the artist paintings I was not allowed to photograph in the art gallery.  The art paintings were absolutely beautiful! There were plenty of paintings that depicted regular people.  Some of the art were 3D made of painted wood. There was one painting of a grandmother with her grandchild sitting at a table just spending quality time together. The art pieces were so natural and full of life.  Most of the art pieces were related to family, whether it was “Sisters in the Kitchen” (which was the name of one piece by Jennifer Ivey) or groups of family members. The art pieces looked so real yet something seem mystical about them. I only took pictures where I knew there wouldn’t be any paintings in order to respect the restrictions of the museum. The paintings show cased in the museum are by husband and wife artist. Each of the artist displays a unique talent that is evident when viewing the pieces. Emmett & Sheilah Wigglesworth’s paintings are full of a variety of colors, shapes and styles. Emmet’s work of art looks like a fusion that kind of meshes together while inter-twining in a variety of colors and shapes. Sheilah’s work has beautiful colors but her paintings are actual people that she painted mostly from photographs.  

The picture shown below is inside the museum’s cafe right above the counter space. The cafe area was not opened for business and if it wasn’t for the director  reclassifying the museum as I believe an education center it would of closed. Now it receives government funding so it has been able to sustain itself.

Inside the closed cafe area

I was disappointed that it wasn’t any visitors to interview so I decided to get information from Monica who works at the museum and also the director. To my surprise however, as I was walking and viewing paintings, in walked Emmett and Sheilah Wigglesworth! We talked for about 2o minutes about some of the paintings and what motivated each of them to paint the pieces that were displayed. Emmett was part of the civil rights movement so his motivation is solely for preserving the African culture. He feels that the youth today have no idea who they are. He mentioned how they wear their pants down low thinking its part of who they are and its not.  Sheilah’s work is very natural. There is a painting of two elderly women sitting on a bench. Much of her work is painted from actual pictures or sometimes people on the street. She has a beautiful painting of her mother when she was a little girl. There is a porcelain doll that her mother is holding and unfortunately Sheilah stated that her brother broke the doll so she doesn’t have it any more. She is currently taking care of her mother on a daily basis. The pictures painted by Mrs. Wigglesworth were from black and white photos, its amazing what the different colors have bought into the pictures. I wonder how the same paintings would look if she had kept it black and white. Both Emmett and Sheilah visit the museum often and invited me to attend a function happening in Brooklyn tomorrow. We had a great time together.

 Below you will see a picture of both Emmett and Sheilah Wigglesworth, I was given their permission to post their picture on this blog.

Taken at the African American Museum

The below painting is called “On the Carpet” by Emmett Wigglesworth. I obtained the picture from the below link:

   
Emmett_wigglesworth_--_on_the_carpet
Below is an art piece from another artist named Jennifer Ivey that I was able to obtain from the below site:

Colorful frame sitting on the counter top in the museum cafe

Artwork on outside of the building

Hours of Operation

Interviews:

I interviewed several neighbors and other African Americans and asked if they knew about the African American museum, a couple of them heard about it and others didn’t. Two of the individuals I interviewed express their love and appreciation for black art. I interviewed a young lady name Rachel who owns very expensive art pieces and actually knows prominent black artist. One of the artist who is displayed in the African American museum she knows very well and actually been to his house! She stated, “African American artist’s work is very valuable, sometimes it will range between $1,000 – $30,000 for one painting”. “People don’t understand that owning black art is an investment”. One of my neighbors wants to visit the museum as soon as possible while the current art pieces are on display. Rachel attends many art shows and events and has an aunt who is wealthy and owns very expensive paintings. Another African American I interviewed stated that she had no idea the museum was there and would like to at some point visit and possibly bring her sons.

Interviewing my neighbor...picture taken by Jordan Knoxx

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Paper Tiger

The main goal of Paper Tiger Television is to give a platform (via video) to different organizations especially activist groups whose desire is to express their thoughts  on various topics not normally heard about in the media. Paper Tiger is a non-profit organization who is against mainstream media because of the control they have of what is televised and what isn’t. Paper Tiger  reminds me of Public Access Television which allow individuals at no cost to use the station’s television camera to broadcast a variety of issues or events. Paper Tiger is open mostly to media makers who are creative and are skilled in media production. There is also a training workshop to help those needing to learn more about video production, importing music, images and much more. 

I would definitely make a mental note of what Paper Tiger has to offer because you never know when you may want to publicize some injustice that may be going on that you want viewers to be aware of. So I would definitely keep in mind the type of service Paper Tiger has to offer.

I watched the video clip on Health Care reform because I happen to agree that the public is not getting all the information and it is very unclear what “health care” for all really means.

http://papertigertv.blogspot.com/2009/07/prescription-for-real-debate-on.html

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Readings

I thought the article was interesting because a group of my friends flew down to New Orleans to places where the disaster took place to help rebuild houses. The article mentioned the issues around the graffiti efforts and the tensions involved.

Sideris-Loukaitou, Anastasia and Carl Grodach. “Displaying and Celebrating the “Other””: A study of the Mission, Scope, and Roles of Ethnic Museums in Los Angeles”. The Public Historian: University of California Press Vol. 26, No. 4 (Autumn, 2004), pp. 49-71

This article discusses the roles of ethnic museums in Los Angeles. The author researches three museums and how they vary in terms of their role in the community. The authors also discuss the tensions which exist and how new funding sources had to be sought after in order to attract a “paying audience”. In my research I am also researching how the black museums play a role in their community and hopefully do a comparison with the ethnic museum in L. A. versus the ethnic museum in Queens and Long Island. I would also like to know what challenges the New York museums are faced with and see if there is a correlation.

Kusimba, M. Chapurukha. “Archaeology in African Museums”. The African Archaeological Review: Springer Vol. 13, No. 3 (Sep., 1996), pp. 165-170

This article reviews the roles and responsibilities of African museums in regards to protecting the cultural heritage. Because of underfunding many museum professionals have left and gone to teach at universities or changed professions.   We are also experiencing a decline in the economy and I would like to research how the decline in our economy effect the sustainability of the Black Museums that exist today in our own backyards.

King W., Edith. “Using Museums for More Effective Teaching of Ethnic Relations“. Teaching Sociology: American Sociological Association Vol. 20, No. 2 (Apr., 1992), pp. 114-120  

This article explains how ethnic scholars are calling for multi-cultural/multi-ethnic education to be incorporated into the curriculum in early childhood as well as higher education.  Multiculturalism is reviewed as a movement, concept and a process. The key to multicultural education is to expand the knowledge level of students no matter what their social economic status, ethnicity or gender. This type of multiculturalism can begin at ethnic museums. Incorporating field trips to Black  museums no matter what “zone” a school is located, will help to educate students on other cultures either outside of their own or give them an opportunity to learn about themselves. I am hoping that the museums I visit have students from various schools frequent their establishment, if not I would love to know if there are any plans in making this happen in the future.

Methodology – I am looking to have 10-12 questions already written to interview the manager of the museum, workers and also visitors.  I would like hopefully to obtain some statistics on how many different ethnic groups visit the museum and if the museum is visited by schools. I will be using my digital camera to take pictures of the various types of artifacts that are in the museum, how they are stored, the condition of the museum as well as any signs of reconstruction if any. Hopefully I will also be able to photograph the interveiwees as well as the visitors.

Ethics – I will identify myself as a student from Queens college and make everyone I talk to aware of the research project I am working on.  I will get permission before taking any photographs especially inside  the museum as well as anyone I interview.

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Ethical guidelines for final project

In my final project I am looking to hopefully take pictures of the different art in the museums I visit. I do know from visiting museums in the past that there are some areas that prohibit the taking of photographs. I will need to ask permission to take photos and also find out which  areas may be off limits to taking photos. I will also be interviewing people who are visiting the museum and hopefully staff members. I will let them know that I am a Queens College student and let them know that I will be posting their picture on my blog and make sure that they are comfortable with that. I am thinking about making my Queens College ID visible so from the beginning they can see that I am a student.

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Final Project – beginnings

I thought it would be a good idea to take a picture of actual museum passes that I was given last year (which are good until May 31st).  Although the passes are for the Museum of Natural History, it is still related to my project because I plan to do my project on Black Museums.  I will hopefully be visiting the Museum of Natural History during Spring break. Hopefully I will have in mind what angle I will use for my project so I can get some ideas of what to focus on when I visit the museum next week. 

This is a pass for 4 people to attend the Museum of Natural History

My next picture is from the actual website of a Black Museum that I found through “googling” Black Museums. I only found two actual websites, one in Queens and one in Long Island. The below photo is from the website of the “African American Museum” located in Hempstead, New York. Actually I limited my research to museums in Queens but since there was only one, I extended my search to include Long Island.

This picture was downloaded from the African American museum website

http://theaam.org/contactus.html

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Final Project ideas

I am moving toward doing my final project on Black Museums. I am interested in finding out if people realize they exist by doing a couple of interviews.  I am hoping to also get statics from the actual museums that I found online regarding what their attendance rate is and who the visitors are (gender, age, ethinicity). How long they have been in existance. What do they feel are the reasons why there are so few Black museums compared to other museums. Why they feel the Black museums are not as popular as the more talked about museum such as the Guggenheim, Museum of Natural Resources etc. 

I would also like to find out the history of the museum and how it got started.  How are they doing in this financial climate as far as sustainability.  If there are other Black Museums aside from the two that I was able to find online.  What type of publicity is done to let the people know that they exist. I used google to search for the museums but it took a while for me to find them. So I am hoping to get good information from the staff. I am also hoping that they will allow me to take pictures inside the museum also. I am excited about this project and hope I am successful in making this my final project.

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Asbestos Anyone?

I played the role of the Dr. Researcherand my first question to my participant was where would we be able to find areas on the Queens College campus that was in need of improvement.  Coincidentally, she remembered seeing graffiti while walking to class so we attempted to search the grounds in the area that she thought she saw graffiti. We could not locate the actual spot so we decided to use earlier photos that were taken in the Remsen building basement.

As you will see we found enough evidence that clearly states Queens College needs to improve on the condition of some of the older buildings. God only knows if the peeling ceilings and walls are hazardous to our health! I remembered how old some of the buildings were and made a suggestion that we take a look in Remsen’s basement to see what we could find. Before we could get down the steps low and behold what you see is the ceiling right above the stairway that is used by anyone having classes in the basement (picture on the right). There is actually a psyche class held down there – I’m in it, lol.

The second photo was taken in the hallway to the right of the basement staircase. It looks like it used to be an actual phone booth that was removed but no repairs were done to the area after the removal.

Our search did not take long at all. I handed my participant the camera and she started snapping away! We had plenty of pictures to complete our first  research project. I liked how easy it was to find improvements that were needed since we didn’t have a lot of time or preparation before class. If I was doing my own research project I would be careful with making suggestions because I don’t want to influence the outcome of the project.

Wow, much work needed here!

There was time to continue the research project in which I played the Participant and the goal was to head to the dining hall and talk about its qualities.  Both myself and the Dr. Researcher was discussing the amount of people that frequent the dining Hall and we noticed how there is not enough space to really accomodate everyone. For instance as I looked at the number of computers I realized that it would be almost impossible to use a computer especially during free hour. Then I suggested we walk over to the play area where there is one pool table a couple of couches and a few chairs. Both photos illustrate that the area is very small and it would be nice to expand on the space.

Again, I liked that due to the short time period we had to do the research project it didn’t take long to figure out which good photo’s to take and use that would support the research project. (Tricia)

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