October 1st, 2015 | Faculty News
Guest post from the Museum of Anthropology:
With the beginning of the fall semester at Wake Forest University, the Museum of Anthropology is very excited to welcome Dr. Andrew Gurstelle as academic director. Andrew is an anthropologist interested in the history and archaeology of West Africa. This interest intersects with museums and heritage in the Atlantic African diaspora, and how African peoples and objects are represented in museums throughout the world. In particular, his research explores how partnerships between international and community museums might be the key to safeguarding African cultural landscapes.
Since 2011, Andrew has been the Director of the Savè Hills Archaeological Research Project—an archaeology and oral-history project investigating the Shabe Yoruba kingdom in the Republic of Benin. Over the course of the project, interest in the research’s findings grew into a collaborative effort between archaeologists, local historians, and school teachers. The project culminated in an exhibition of archaeological findings as part of the 2015 Shabe Cultural Festival. Andrew has also conducted archaeological research in Ghana, Togo, and the Midwest United States.
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July 8th, 2015 | Events, Staff News
Sara Cromwell, interim assistant director of the Museum of Anthropology, spearheaded an effort to give her student employees a chance to run an exhibit on their own while also giving the Museum a display unlike any it has had before. What resulted is the newest exhibit for the summer: MOA’s Cabinet of Curiosities.
The exhibit features nearly 80 exotic items hand-picked by the four student employees (and a Salem College student) and Cromwell. Other than that, Cromwell’s work with the project was deliberately limited, letting the students take control. “We looked at Cabinet of Curiosities as a way to reward the invaluable work of our student employees while simultaneously allowing them to improve upon their curatorial skills,” Cromwell explains. Her role was to answer any questions the students might have and help initially with the research of the objects. She also had help from museum educator Tina Smith throughout the process.
Cromwell came up with the theme of a cabinet of curiosities to create a space for objects from the Museum’s vast collection that haven’t been displayed before. Cabinets of curiosities, or wunderkammem (wonder rooms), originated as private collections of exotic and extraordinary objects in mid-sixteenth century Europe. Looking for a way to verify their wealth, individuals displayed as many foreign objects as they could in a jam-packed room of their home. The items represent a diverse group of disciplines such as fine art, natural history and anthropology. These displays served as precursors to modern museums.
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February 28th, 2014 | University Announcement
Stephen L. Whittington, director of Wake Forest’s Museum of Anthropology, has accepted a position as executive director of the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum in Leadville, Colo.
As of March 3, Sara Cromwell will serve as interim assistant director and will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Museum. Steven Folmar, assistant professor of anthropology, will serve as interim academic director.
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November 15th, 2013 | Staff News
Kyle Elizabeth Bryner, the registrar and collections manager at the Museum of Anthropology, has been elected as the vice-chair of the Southeastern Registrars Association (SERA).
The Southeastern Registrars Association (SERA) encourages high standards of museum practice and fosters professional growth among museum registrars in the southeastern region of the United States. SERA promotes the exchange and dissemination of information and ideas through educational seminars, publications and other means. SERA initiates and supports activities and projects which help create an atmosphere of cooperation and communication among and between registrars, other museum professionals, and those in related service fields, and pursues further development of professional practices in the field.
November 1st, 2013 | Faculty News, Staff News
See a list of employees joining and leaving the University in September 2013: Continue reading »
October 22nd, 2013 | Staff News
Stephen Whittington, the director of the Museum of Anthropology, participated in a panel discussion entitled “Under the Umbrella: Museums Governed by Larger Organizations” at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Museums Conference in Savannah, Ga., on Oct. 8. Whittington, who is the regional representative for the Southeast on the board of the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries, also hosted a reception for AAMG members and organized a meeting of AAMG state representatives.
October 14th, 2013 | Events
The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) will continue to celebrate its 50th anniversary this fall. The anniversary date of the Museum’s opening was Monday, Sept. 23, which was the first day of classes in 1963.
A Golden Anniversary Gala is planned for Saturday, Oct. 19, from 6-8 p.m. Patrons will enjoy a culinary tour of the world, featuring heavy hors d’oeuvres relating to each of the museum’s exhibits, wine and beer. As the Gala is being held in conjunction with Wake Forest’s Homecoming & Reunion Weekend, alumni are welcome to come straight from the game.
Tickets are $30 each ($20 for MOA Friends). To purchase tickets, please contact Sara Cromwell at 336.758.5282 or email@example.com. For more information, see the MOA website.
July 23rd, 2013 | Staff News
Steve Whittington (right) worked on GPS mapping with Kate Yeske (‘07, left).
What can pieces of pottery and a GPS-generated map tell us about a past civilization? Since 2000, Steve Whittington, adjunct associate professor of anthropology and director of the Museum of Anthropology, has been helping to uncover the mysteries of the Mixtec people through archeological survey and excavations in Southwestern Mexico’s state of Oaxaca. This spring, Whittington, along with Wake Forest graduate Kate Yeske (‘07) and Mexican colleagues, used powerful GPS equipment to map structures of an ancient Mixtec city, partially hidden beneath layers of dirt and pine needles on top of Cerro Amole, a heavily forested mountain.
The core of the project is to record archaeological remains within the area of the Mapa de Teozacoalco, an early Colonial map of the mountainous region made in 1577. Cerro Amole appears on the map with a two-tiered building and red cross on top of it.
The archaeologists mapped the locations of mounds, stone walls, pottery, the vestiges of abandoned palaces, temples, and the second largest ritual ball court in Oaxaca, Whittington said.
“Archaeologists working in Oaxaca generally believe the Mixtec people lived on mountaintops with monumental architecture during the Classic period of 300 to 900 AD,” said Whittington, “but by getting a better look at the structures and analyzing artifacts like pottery, we are finding compelling evidence that they lived on top of this mountain for a relatively short span, from about 1085 to 1321, during the Postclassic period.”
Whittington hopes to return to the site next May to finish mapping the mountain and expand his GPS survey to multiple municipalities in the area.
June 11th, 2013 | Events
The Wake Forest Museum of Anthropology (MOA) is one of 13 local attractions participating in the second annual Forsyth Photo Adventure contest. Residents can enter to win the grand prize of a $250 VISA gift card by visiting any or all of the participating attractions and taking photos now through July 4.
“There are a lot of great places to visit in our area. We’re encouraging people to visit these family-friendly attractions where you can learn, play, and just get out and enjoy what Forsyth County has to offer,” said MOA staff member Sara Cromwell, who is also president of the Association of Visitor Attractions of Forsyth County (AVA), sponsor of the contest.
To enter, visitors must post their photos to each attraction’s Facebook page. Entrants will be qualified to win individual prize packs awarded by each attraction, as well as the grand prize of the VISA gift card. Each attraction will select their winner as the photo judged to best show “fun” at that attraction.
The Museum of Anthropology will award a MOA Friends family membership to its winner. The Forsyth Photo Adventure’s $250 winner will be randomly selected from the names of all official entrants posting at any of the attractions. “The more sites at which you post, the better your chances are to win the gift card,” Cromwell said. In all, 13 prize packs will be awarded in addition to the selecting of a grand prize gift card-winning entry. Continue reading »
May 13th, 2013 | Staff News
Tina Smith, the museum educator at Wake Forest’s Museum of Anthropology, was recently featured in an article in the Mt. Airy News. The article highlighted the curriculum for eight-graders at Central Middle School in Pilot Mountain, N.C. Smith helped judge projects by students who worked to design portable exhibits that explained the Holocaust to 4- and 5-year-olds.
Read more about Smith and the program »