Smithsonian, National Museum join up to launch lecture series | Times of Oman

Dr Paul Michael Taylor of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History is hosting the lectures

Muscat: The National Museum and the Smithsonian Institution, United States of America (USA), launched a lecture series for Omani museum staff and students on Tuesday.

The series, supported by the US Embassy in Oman, will comprise six lectures, spaced throughout the year, on 21st century curatorship for Omani museum professionals, specialists and students to boost Oman’s cultural institution. 

Dr Paul Michael Taylor, an anthropologist who is Curator for Asian, European, and Middle Eastern Cultures, as well as Director of the Asian Cultural History Programme at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, is hosting the sessions. 

Topics tackled

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In the first lecture, Taylor spoke on ‘Visitor Services: Greeting, Ticketing, Crowd Management’.  

The topics of his later lectures are ‘The History of Representing Cultures in Museums and Cultural Centers, with an Introduction to the Smithsonian’; ‘Virtual Exhibitions, and other Museum Uses of the Web’; ‘Programme Development: Developing Dynamic Programming and Visitor Engagement’; and ‘Activities of a Modern Museum or Cultural Center: Thriving in the 21st Century’.

The sixth lecture will be on ‘Exhibition Development: A case study on “Money as Material Culture: Collections and Curation at America’s Money Museum”’, delivered by Douglas Moud of the Money Museum, Colorado, USA.

Links to heritage

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“The lectures by experts from the Smithsonian Institution keep our heritage relevant in the modern day. We appreciate the continued support of the Embassy in such collaborations,” His Excellency Jamal bin Hassan al-Moosawi, Secretary General of the National Museum, said on the occasion. 

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“Strengthening Oman’s museums links us all to Oman’s rich heritage, and preserving cultural heritage is important to both our countries,” added US Ambassador Leslie Tsou.

Earlier collaboration

Recently, with the US Embassy’s support, the National Museum restored a photo album of historically significant images, including the oldest known photo of Muttrah, Al Rustaq Fort, Jabreen Castle, and the Beehive Tombs. 

The 88-page album contains significant photos from the first US Consul to Oman and illustrates the long historical ties between the USA and Oman.

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