Curator's Corner
Museum Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 9a-5p - Closed Sunday and Monday
1451 Main St. -- Klamath Falls, OR 97601 -- (541) 883-4208
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Curator's Corner

Curator's Corner

Niles Reynolds is the Curator at the Klamath County Museums. He has a Bachelor of Arts with majors in anthropology and history from the University of California Santa Cruz. He is currently finishing work on a Master of Arts in anthropology and museum studies from California State University Chico.

Saturday, 19 October 2013 18:42

Mummy Cloth at the Klamath County Museums!!!

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Mummy Cloth at the Klamath County Museums!!! What do mummy wrappings have to do with Klamath history and the Klamath County Museums? Geographically speaking, the topic of this edition of Curator’s Corner is far-removed from Klamath County. The topic focuses on two pieces of cloth that were supposedly taken from an Ancient Egyptian mummy dating to 800 years BCE. The mummy cloth pieces sit in an old frame, and they were donated to the Klamath County Museum by a Mrs. Bert (Helen) C. Thomas in 1964. A note on the back of the frame gives some context to this story: “MUMMY CLOTH, --This cloth was removed from a mummy on exhibition, in the Egyptian Exhibit, World’s Fair, St. Louis, April 29, 1904, by Dr. J. E. Quibell of Cairo, Egypt, assisted by William C. Mills. The mummy, from which the cloth was taken, represents the period 800 years B.C.” Are the mummy wrappings real? Why were they removed from the mummy? Why were they donated to the Klamath County Museums? There are a host of questions sparked by this museum object. Unfortunately, many of the answers to these questions are most likely lost to time. However, what might be even more interesting in this story is the fact that these mummy wrappings reveal more about the people who collected them at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis than about the culture that supposedly created them. Many individuals typically assume that objects can “tell stories” or reveal information about the…
Last modified on Saturday, 19 October 2013 18:48
Tuesday, 27 August 2013 17:40

What does a curator do?

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What does a “curator” do? …A question asked of me many times throughout my work in museum collections. It is not an easy question to answer, however, as “curators” exist at the cross-section of multiple disciplines. This is especially the case in institutions like the Klamath County Museums, which contain a wide variety of collections. Some days it might mean work with artifacts, and on others it might mean the creation of new exhibits. Still other days might require work with archival materials or even library materials. The definition of “curator” is complicated even further with its use in popular culture. There are now “curators” of music, videos, and content in general all over the internet. These individuals collect and present information on many different topics. However, the museum curator’s job is really focused in collections management. The term “curator” comes from the Latin curare, which means “take care.” Museum curators “take care” of the museum’s collection. This includes preservation, conservation, and a myriad of collections management tasks. You may see the work of a curator in exhibitions, however, there is a large amount of work that takes place in the back rooms, in collection storage areas, which many people never get to see or even know about. “Curator’s Corner” is a weekly blog about curatorial work at the Klamath County Museums. It features curiosities, artifacts, and other objects found in the museum. The purpose of “Curator’s Corner” is to provide a glimpse into the vast collection of the Klamath…
Last modified on Saturday, 14 September 2013 22:10

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