HHT’s shatterCABINET Inspires Future Curatorial Professionals
The Historic House Trust of New York City (HHT) has been awarded an “INNOVATION GRANT” from the 1772 Foundation, in partnership with The Chipstone Foundation, to aggressively study and implement new methods of historic house museum stewardship in pilot projects in an initiative titled shatterCABINET. Quickly becoming a national leader in historic house museum innovation, HHT has selected four of its 23 New York City historic house sites: Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum (The Bronx); Dyckman Farmhouse Museum (Manhattan); Old Stone House (Brooklyn); and Wyckoff House Museum (Brooklyn) to participate in this six month process resulting in measurable pilot projects.
Franklin Vagnone, Executive Director of HHT, stated, “With over 15,000 estimated American historic house museums, tens of millions in operating budgets, and hundreds of thousands of employees, historic house museums are the sleeping giant of the cultural sector, however, house museums across the country face many obstacles. We care deeply about the future of these amazing places and we are not afraid to ask the hard questions.”
shatterCABINET comes on the heels of LatimerNOW, HHT's interpretive re-evaluation at Lewis H. Latimer House in Queens funded by the New York Community Trust. Its format, developed from the Anarchist Guide to Historic House Museums attracted funding from the 1772 Foundation to test these ideas and find solutions. The Chipstone Foundation, which focuses on innovative practice in decorative arts and historic house practice, is underwriting a two-day creative think tank in Fox Point, Wisconsin, to kick start the project.
shatterCABINET will develop and launch dramatic pilot initiatives in response to deep-rooted issues at historic houses. Following the mantra that no house museum tenet is too precious to be challenged, the six month shatterCABINET process will validate the unknown and encourage participants to take risks and pilot new ideas. With shatterCABINET, HHT is uniquely poised to lead the field in developing reinvigorating strategies that can be implemented at historic house museums across the country.