MOA Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Throughout 2013 the Museum of Anthropology will celebrate 50 years of serving Wake Forest University and the greater community with a retrospective exhibition and several special

MOA Founder Dr. E. Pendleton Banks


In 1963, Dr. E. Pendleton Banks, chair of what was then the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University, founded the Museum of Man to broaden learning opportunities for anthropology students.  The Museum was first housed in the basement of Tribble Hall, a newly-opened academic building.  In 1975, the Museum opened in Reynolda Village with an increased focus on educating the general public in addition to the Wake Forest community.  To accomplish that goal, the museum staff introduced education programs meeting the needs of local school systems.  These programs have been an enormous success, serving more than 320,000 students to date.  Many patrons first introduced to the Museum though school fieldtrips now bring their own children to visit the exhibits.

In 1987, the Museum completed the move to its current location on the Wake Forest campus and opened as the Museum of Anthropology (MOA).  Relying primarily on donations from collectors, organizations, and Wake Forest faculty, students, and alumni, the Museum expanded its collections to include ritual and everyday objects that span the globe and the centuries.  The collections currently include more than 29,000 archaeological and ethnographic artifacts. Continue reading »

New Benefits Coming Soon to MOA Friends

As a part of its 50th anniversary celebration, the Museum will launch a revised MOA Friends membership program with great new benefits for members beginning July 1, 2013.  Among the new benefits that the staff is most excited to offer are two reciprocal membership programs – the Southeastern Reciprocal Membership Program, which will be available at the Family level, and the North American Reciprocal Museum Program, which will be available at the Patron level.  These programs will grant the MOA Friends free admission at a number of museums across the region and the continent, respectively.  Other new benefits will be member access to the Museum’s research library and the opportunity to receive staff-led tours of the exhibits and behind-the-scenes spaces.

There will be a small increase in the donation amount for some membership levels; however, the restructured program will also include a senior (65+) discount and a Wake Forest faculty and staff discount, which will be applicable to all membership levels.  Renewal dates for current members will not change, and the new benefits will go into effect on July 1.  All membership levels will remain fully tax-deductible.  Please stay tuned for more information about the revised program in the coming months.

MOA Staff Member Honored

Kyle Bryner shows off her award.

Kyle Elizabeth Bryner, registrar and collections manager at the Wake Forest Museum of Anthropology, received the Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC) Emerging Museum Professional Award at the SEMC Annual Conference.  The award, initiated in 2007, recognizes museum professionals with less than 10 years of experience who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in museum activities at their institutions, and within the museum profession as a whole, and especially in the southeast region.

Kyle has been the registrar and collections manager at the Museum since 2005, and she is responsible for all aspects of collections management.  In receiving the award, she was recognized for her efforts promoting the Museum’s online collections database as a resource, leading a massive transformation of the Museum’s collections storage, and initiating the “Save Our Hide” Conservation Fund campaign, which has raised more than $5,000 to date.  Kyle was also commended for regularly presenting sessions at conferences including SEMC and the American Alliance of Museums, co-authoring publications on collections management topics, and serving on the board of the North Carolina Museums Council.

Stephen Whittington, director of the Museum, stated, “We are proud that Kyle has received this honor.  She is detail-oriented, very efficient, and always looking for ways to do her job better.”

Kyle received an engraved plaque and a unique ceramic pitcher by potter Daniel Johnston of Seagrove, North Carolina.  In addition, SEMC will credit $500 toward the Alderson Fellowships, a component of the SEMC Endowment, in her name and honor.

MOA Recognized for Preservation Excellence

Registrar and Collections Manager Kyle Bryner (right) accepts the award from NCPC President KaeLi Schurr.

The Museum of Anthropology received the North Carolina Preservation Consortium’s (NCPC) inaugural Award for Collection Preservation Excellence during the NCPC Annual Conference earlier this month. The award honors those committed to collections preservation and is intended to raise public awareness of the organizational and philanthropic funding so vital for preservation resources.

LeRae Umfleet, chief of collections management for the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, and her Connecting to Collections project team members Adrienne Berney and Matt Hunt, recognized the efforts of several museum staff members in their nomination.  They praised Director Stephen Whittington for his vision and dedication to improve the museum’s preservation program.  Registrar and Collections Manager Kyle Elizabeth Bryner was commended for her role in the implementation of best practices.  Sara Cromwell, public relations, marketing and membership coordinator, was also recognized for her contributions to preservation fundraising.

During the award presentation NCPC President KaeLi Schurr declared, “In selecting the Museum of Anthropology, the North Carolina Preservation Consortium Board of Directors recognizes an organization that has demonstrated an outstanding strategy for long-term preservation and conservation planning.”

After a decade of sustained effort, the Museum of Anthropology has a fully inventoried collection, a collections management plan, a long-range conservation plan, an emergency response plan, and a collections storage facility equipped with climate control, fire detection and suppression systems, artifact mounts, and compact shelving. The support of the Office of Provost, Dean of the College, and Facilities and Campus Services was instrumental to the creation of collections storage space for the museum in the University’s off-site storage facility.

G. Whitney Azoy, Afghanistan Expert, to visit Wake Forest

G. Whitney Azoy, a Pulitzer Prize nominated scholar, author and expert on the culture and politics of Afghanistan, will visit Wake Forest on Nov. 12-13.

Azoy has been involved with Afghanistan for 40 years, as a U.S. diplomat in Kabul and as an anthropologist. He is the author of “Buzkashi: Game and Power in Afghanistan” and more than 100 op-ed newspaper pieces in the aftermath of 9/11. He has served as a consultant for numerous government and non-government organizations, collaborated with the International Security and Assistance Force and the U.S. Army’s Counter-Intelligence Academy, and spent three years directing the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies in Kabul. In October 2011, he was one of six internationals invited by the Afghan National Security Council to attend that country’s first Presidential Study Group.

Azoy has been awarded four Fulbright grants, participated in the National Geographic documentary “Quest for the Blue Mountain,” and founded an Afghan scholarship program.

During his visit, he will lead class discussions in anthropology, history, and politics and international affairs

The following events are open to the public: Continue reading »

Staff Members to Present at SEMC Annual Meeting

The Museum of Anthropology will be closed Wednesday, November 7 through Friday, November 9, while the museum staff attends the Southeastern Museum Conference Annual Meeting in Williamsburg, VA.

Museum Educator Tina Smith will present “Just Ask: A Conversation Between Museum Leaders and the Blind Community About Accessibility” with Michael Hudson, director of the Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind in Louisville, KY.

Registrar and Collections Manager Kyle Bryner will present “In the Aftermath of Putting Collections Online: True Stories of What Happens Next” with representatives of the Kentucky Historical Society, the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, and the Speed Museum of Art.

Director Stephen Whittington will moderate the session “Sustainability in Academic Museums” with panel members from the Reeves Center at Washington & Lee College and the McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina.

The Museum will be open on its regular schedule (10:00am to 4:30pm) on Saturday, November 10.