On October 11, the U.S. Embassy hosted a Smithsonian seminar on International Museum Capacity-Building. The guest speaker was Dr. Paul Taylor, Director of Asian Cultural History Program of the Smithsonian Institution accompanied by two researchers – Trevor Merrion and Jasper Waugh-Quasebarth.
Paul Michael Taylor, a research anthropologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, is Director of that museum’s Asian Cultural History Program, and serves as Curator of Asian, European, and Middle Eastern Ethnology. He has written numerous books and scholarly articles on the ethnography, ethnobiology, languages, and art (or material culture) of Asia, especially Indonesia. He has also curated seventeen museum exhibitions, and served as the consulting anthropologist for five documentary anthropological films. Most recently, he and his co-authors published the books Past and future heritage in the pipelines corridor: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey (Smithsonian, 2011; English/Georgian and English/Azerbaijani editions) and Turkmenistan: Ancient Arts Today (Smithsonian, 2011).
The seminar focused on the following themes: (1) How Museums Thrive in the 21st Century, (2) Museums as Cultural Centers: The Integration of Museum Activities within Museum Programs, (3) Online Research Publications, Virtual Exhibitions, and other Museum Uses of the Web, and (4) Introduction to Information Technology and its Applications in Museums.
The participants included leaders and representatives from about twenty Armenian museums and organizations.