RESCHEDULED: History Hour - Rational Amusements: A Brief History of the Ever-Evolving Museum

  • May 22, 2024 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
  • Eastern Standard Time

Ticket Price $0.00-$10.00 This event is now over

Join Asheville Museum of History Wednesday, May 22 at 6pm for this Zoom program. This event airs live and will be recorded. 

Museums have changed greatly since the emergence from the modern museum around 1800, and have diversified into an amazing variety of institutions adapted to diverse cultures around the world. This presentation will examine how museums have evolved and how this has affected institutional missions, what is collected, how collections are managed, and the audiences that museums serve, while the association of objects and learning has remained at the heart of the museum. Today’s museums face many new and complex challenges, including which objects should be acquired, how collections are interpreted, the need for deaccessioning, the problem of preserving digitized information, and responding to calls for decolonization, repatriation, and restrictions on what should be exhibited. 


About the Speaker:

John E. Simmons (B.S., Systematics & Ecology; M.A., Museum Studies) began his professional career as a zoo keeper in Texas, before becoming a collection manager at the California Academy of Sciences and later at the University of Kansas, where he also served as director of the Museum Studies Program until 2006. He has received the AAM Superior Voluntary Service Award (2001), the Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Mentoring of Graduate Students (University of Kansas, 2005), the Carolyn L. Rose Award for Outstanding Commitment to Natural History Collections and Management (Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, 2011), and the AAM Registrar’s Committee Dudley-Wilkinson Award of Distinction (2016).  Simmons has served as a site reviewer from the Museum Assessment Program (MAP) since 1993, is a former board member of the Association of Registrars and Collections Specialists (ARCS), and has published more than 150 papers and 12 books. He has been a writer and consultant for Museologica (an international museum consulting service based in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania) since 2007, and teaches courses and workshops on collections management worldwide.


Tickets: $5 for AmoH members/ $10 for General Admission. We also have no-cost, community-funded tickets available. We want our events to be accessible to as many people as possible. If you are able please consider making a donation along with your ticket purchase. These donations are placed in our Community Fund, which allows us to offer tickets at no cost to those who would not be able to attend otherwise.


Viewing: Registrants will receive a confirmation email with Zoom link with which to view the program. 


(Image: Arthur Palmer’s museum in Marble (Cherokee County, NC) in 1938, courtesy Buncombe County Special Collections)


For questions, email

Date & Time

Wed, May 22, 2024 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Asheville Museum of History