About Becky Fifield

Becky Fifield is a cultural heritage professional with 25 years experience in institutions large and small. She is currently Head of Collection Management for the Special Collections of the New York Public Library. An advocate for preventive conservation, Ms. Fifield is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation, Chair of the AIC Collection Care Network, and former Chair of Alliance for Response NYC. She is also a scholar of 18th century female unfree labor and dress. There's a bit of pun in the title The Still Room, delineating a quiet space brimming with the ingredients of memory, where consideration, analysis, and wordcraft can take place. Ms. Fifield’s interests include museum practice, dress history, historic preservation, transit, social and women’s history, food, current events, geneaology, roadtrips, and considerations on general sense of place. Becky and her husband, Dr. V, live in the Hudson Valley.

Transportation Tuesday: Sad state of affairs for train transport in Indianapolis

I was really impressed with downtown Indianapolis. Ambitious restaurants. People on the streets. Bike Lanes. A canal walk trimmed with gardens. A riverfront developed with a music venue, walks, and a conservatory. As is my usual, I went off to … Continue reading

Museum Monday: American Institute for Conservation Annual Meeting

I spent the last week of May in Indianapolis at the American Institute for Conservation‘s Annual Meeting. I’ve been a member of AIC for about 10 years, and this conference was the best I’ve attended. Hats off to the staff … Continue reading

Strawberries

Why bother with those wantonly oversized pale fruits that come in the plastic boxes all winter long from California, that give barely any aroma when sniffed? They are equivalents of the rock hard, styrafoam-textured Florida tomato – a freak of … Continue reading

Gardening and Memory

Among the Bowmans, the garden is part of the family. Any Sunday dinner was ended with “a walk to the garden,” a trip to check on the vegetables’ progress. I laughingly continued this tradition in my 450 sq. foot Manhattan … Continue reading

Fun with Fraktur – Women’s Dress in a Drawing from Winterthur Museum

I’m not a Pennsylvanian German scholar, but I love considering the depiction of 18th century dress in the ebullient art form of fraktur. What is real? What is fancy? Can we trust depictions of women when they hold gargantuan sprigs … Continue reading

What I’ve Been Reading: Buying Into A World of Goods by Ann Smart Martin

Read this great book on 18th century commerce in the backwoods of Virginia. Ann Smart Martin’s Buying into the World of Goods: Early Consumers in Backcountry Virginia is incredibly readable (and available on Kindle to boot! Or in full at … Continue reading

Wanderlust Wednesday: 24 Rather Staid Hours in Baltimore

A conference, a presentation, a cancelled train, and dinner at the Red Star in Fells Point. All in 24 hours. The annual meeting of the American Alliance of Museums was held in Baltimore (Bawlmer) last week. The last time I … Continue reading

Off to the American Institute for Conservation Annual Meeting!

I’m off to Indianapolis for the American Institute for Conservation Annual Meeting in Indianapolis. While many of my colleagues at work got an early start on their Memorial Day weekend, I was busy crossing my t’s and dotting my i’s … Continue reading

Trans. Tuesday: We Survived The Parade of Trains

Just barely. Dr. V. indulged my whim to visit the assemblage of historic trains at New York’s Grand Central Terminal last weekend, May 11, 2013: National Train Day. For a moment there, I felt like we were part of a … Continue reading