Franklin Vagnone, principal of Twister Preservation, Cultural Consulting, based in New York City, is a Public Historian with a strong background in the creative arts. He is highly regarded as an international thought leader in innovative and entrepreneurial non-profit management, consults, lectures, and teaches internationally for an impressive list of universities, cultural sites, museums, and community-based membership organisations. MHM was lucky to have the opportunity to hear him talk at the 2015 ICOMOS conference in Melbourne.
Vagnone maintains the blog Twisted Preservation and the series “One Night Stand” overnights in historic house museums, which to date, has readers in over 85 countries. He has co-authored The Anarchist’s Guide to Historic House Museums (with Ms Deborah Ryan)—a book about innovative concepts for historic cultural sites. The book, now in its 3rd printing since November 2015, was voted best Museum Education-related book of 2015 by Museum Educator’s Monitor, and became #1 bestseller (Museum-related) on Amazon for February 2016.
“In these days of an aging traditional audience, shrinking attendance, tightened budgets, increased competition, and exponential growth in new types of communication methods, America’s house museums need to take bold steps and expand their overall purpose beyond those of the traditional museum. They need not only to engage the communities surrounding them, but also to collaborate with visitors on the type and quality of experience they provide. This book is a ground-breaking manifesto that calls for the establishment of a more inclusive, visitor-centered paradigm based on the shared experience of human habitation. It draws inspiration from film, theater, public art, and urban design to transform historic house museums while providing a how-to guide for making historic house museums sustainable, through five primary themes: communicating with the surrounding community, engaging the community, re-imagining the visitor experience, celebrating the detritus of human habitation, and acknowledging the illusion of the shelter’s authenticity. Anarchist’s Guide to Historic House Museums offers a wry, but informed, rule-breaking perspective from authors with years of experience and gives numerous vivid examples of both good and not-so-good practices from house museums in the U.S. ” (Source: Amazon )