A Critical Conversation About Inclusive Narratives and Historic House Museums

Dec 16, 2020

The Decorative Arts Trust’s second Critical Conversation took place on Wednesday, December 8, 2020. The talk was moderated by Monique Johnson, Visitor Experience and Interpretation Specialist. Through this conversation, Monique hoped to draw attention to some of the unique issues that historic sites face in sharing the stories of oppressed peoples. 

Monique designed the conversation to feature panelists from a variety of historic sites. These sites differ in size, scope, period, and budget, but they all share impressive efforts in creating inclusive interpretation. The panelists were Rob Fields, President and Executive Director, Weeksville Heritage Center; Rodneyna Hart, Division Director, Louisiana State Museum; Susan P. Schoelwer, PhD, Executive Director for Historic Preservation and Collections and Robert H. Smith Senior Curator, George Washington’s Mount Vernon; and Carrie Villar John & Neville Bryan Associate Director of Museum Collections, National Trust for Historic Preservation. 

The panelists shared insight ranging from efforts to encourage visitors to return to historic sites to the balance between traditional and contemporary content within the site itself. Watch a recording of the program to learn more about how these leaders in the field are changing the meaning and impact of historic sites: 


Critical Conversations is a quarterly lecture series hosted by the Decorative Arts Trust. In order to foster meaningful change, we are bringing leaders in the field together to discuss urgent issues facing our collective community and society. 

Check the Trust’s calendar of events for dates of upcoming Critical Conversations and other virtual and in-person programs. For updates on registration openings, sign up for our e-newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. The Trust is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that appreciates the involvement of members and donors who make programming like this possible. 

About The Decorative Arts Trust Bulletin

Formerly known as the "blog,” the Bulletin features new research and scholarship, travelogues, book reviews, and museum and gallery exhibitions. The Bulletin complements The Magazine of the Decorative Arts Trust, our biannual members publication.


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