Anarchists Guide To Historic House Museums: A Book Talk
Join Franklin Vagnone, Principal of Twisted Preservation: Cultural Consulting and co-author with University of North Carolina Architecture & Urban Design professor Deborah Ryan as they discuss their renegade tactics that have yielded a sold-out book and become a manifesto for touring aficionados.
A seminal text on historic house museums, Anarchists Guide incites museum professionals to break the rules in order to stem eroding visitorship, engage adjacent communities, & enlist these properties as protagonists for social programs. Their unorthodox methods aim to introduce preservation to new audiences, and save historic houses in the process. The lecture will be held at the Manhattan Church of Christ, a 1967 Brutalist style building designed by Eggers & Higgins.
And Now Its Time For A Preservation Explanation
If youre a regular PreserveCast listener you might remember that a few weeks ago, Episode 46: True Treats Candy and the Age-Old Sweet Tooth with guest Susan Benjamin to be exact, I promised you all a two-part preservation explanation segment about the history of Native American music. Well, Mama Steve didnt raise no liar and so here comes Part II. We left of talking about drumming. The drum is a group of musicians and different kinds of percussion instruments in pre-Columbian Eastern Woodlands Native society but drums and the occasional flute werent the only instruments available to the pre-Columbian residents of Maryland. There was also the human voice.
Do you have questions? We may have answers. If at any point during this podcast youve thought of a question that you have for us or maybe one of our guests, wed love to hear about it. You can send an e-mail to and well try and answer it right here on the air on the next episode of PreserveCast.
So whats happening at Old Salem that people should be watching for? I think were all pretty excited at least I was in a very nerdy history way to see you land at Old Salem. What can we expect out of Old Salem? What have you been charged with by the board there? Do they want this radical transformation that you talk about?
Uh oh. Uh oh!
This is the difficult one.
Menokin: Rubble With A Cause
Friday, September 22 Sunday 24, 2017Sleepover Conference
Education Coordinator, Alice French and Menokin Trustee, Dudley Olsson, have organized a Sleepover Conference, which will include Frank Vagnone, international thought leader in innovative and entrepreneurial non-profit management and his blog series, One Night Stand, and Joseph McGill, founder of the Slave Dwelling Project.
Franklin Vagnone co-wrote the book: Anarchists Guide to Historic House Museums. This book is a groundbreaking manifesto that calls for the establishment of a more inclusive, visitor-centered paradigm based on the shared experience of human habitation. He is the President & CEO of Old Salem as well as President of Twisted Preservation.
Bringing together these two important historians and their unique ways of exploring and interpreting American history is a huge win for Menokin. Through this collaboration, we will be able to construct and provide authentic programming experiences in line with our goal to continue to explore ways of interpreting the lives of all the people who once inhabited the site.
More details about programs will be released as they are confirmed.
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Using Anarchist Tags In The Classroom
For the Select Topics in Community Based Public History course Im teaching, I partnered with a number of folks in the heritage field to arrange site visits to local history sites in order to provide students with exposure to the range of work that exists within the public history field.
One week of the course was dedicated to museums and as part of those sessions we took a class trip to the Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site . The ECNHS includes an interactive heritage discovery centre, the Ermatinger Old Stone House, and the Clergue Blockhouse. Both the Ermatinger and Clergue buildings are interpreted in typical house museum fashion.
Prior to our visit to the ECNHS I worked with Heritage Programmer Assistant, Will Hollingshead to discuss the logistics of our visit. Many of the students in my class had visited the site previously and participated in the standard historical site tour that is offered by the staff. While meeting with Will he commented on one of the readings the students were assigned for the week of our visit, The Anarchist Guide to Historic House Museums: Evaluation Methodology for Historic House Museums and suggested the idea of using Anarchist tags as part of our class visit. I loved this idea and was onboard for trying it out with my class.
Anarchists Guide To Historic House Museums
The origin story of Fairmount Park begins with a series of remarkable estates dotting the banks of the Schuylkill River. They were acquired, one by one, by the City of Philadelphia in the 19th century in a farsighted and strategic effort to protect its precious water supply and expand its public parklands.
As the city has changed dramatically around the park edges, the houses stand resolute, preserved by the combined efforts of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and a host of allied not-for-profits, who have faithfully protected, restored and interpreted them to present day residents and visitors.
Now, like all cultural institutions and historic sites today, the houses of Fairmount Park face a rapidly changing environment in terms of expectations from visitors about how they experience museums and their collections. In the age of crowdsourcing, selfies, social media and the DIY ethos, the Park Charms are pushed to be inventive, to engage new audiences in new ways, and to transcend old models of stewardship and interpretation.
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A Keynote Address By Franklin Vagnone
For one night only join ‘domestic-archeo-anthropologist’, co-author of the award winning Anarchists Guide to Historic House Museums, Franklin Vagnone as he shares his research and experience in best practice in innovation and engagement with historic cultural sites.
With 25 years of experience leading non-profit management, financial oversight, fundraising, strategic planning, board relationships, award-winning cultural program and creative place-making development this talk will be of interest to anyone working in heritage, arts, culture and place making.
This event is presented by Sydney Living Museums, Museums and Galleries of NSW and the Museum of Arts and Applied Sciences, and is supported by the City of Parramatta.
For more information, please contact M& G NSW on 02 9252 8300 or
Franklin Vagnone, with a strong background in anthropology, and the creative arts , is a Public Historian who has been labeled a ‘domestic-archeo-anthropologist’. He has over 25 years of transformational leadership in non-profit management, financial oversight, fundraising, strategic planning, board relationships, award-winning cultural program and creative place-making development. His work experience includes a spectrum of organisations ranging from independent, private organisations, to complex government and private multiple-agreement stakeholders.
For more information on Franklin, visit twistedpreservation.com/franklin-vagnone/Twitter: @FranklinVagnone
Anarchist’s Guide To Historic House Museums
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The Anarchist Guide To Historic House Museums Friday March 13 2015
The Anarchist Guide to Historic House Museums
Franklin Vagnone loves history and historic houses. He is the Executive Director of the Historic House Trust of New York City. He is also an anarchist. At least when it comes to historic house museums. Franklin is lecturing nationally on the concepts embodied in The Anarchist Guide to Historic House Museums, the book he is authoring with Deborah Ryan. This week we will talk about his work and his mission to save historic house museums.
The Museum Life
Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel
Museums attract millions of visitors and employ thousands. The Museum Life, hosted by Carol Bossert, charts the growth and development of this cultural business. Museum Life showcases leaders in the field who provide perspective on current issue as well as creative thinkers who are impacting the future of museums.