In 1979, Edward P. Alexander's Museums in Motion was hailed as a much-needed addition to the museum literature. In combining the history of museums since the eighteenth century with a detailed examination of the function of museums and museum workers in modern society, it served as an essential resource for those seeking to enter to the museum profession and for established professionals looking for an expanded understanding of their own discipline. Now, Mary Alexander has produced a newly revised edition of the classic text, bringing it the twenty-first century with coverage of emerging trends, resources, and challenges.
Edward Alexander seems to have done it all in terms of history museums. In the 1930s and 40s he led the New York and Wisconsin state historical societies. He brought to Colonial Williamsburg a commitment to intellectual rigor in public interpretation relying on his academic background in U.S. history. He served as president of both AASLH and AAM. After departing Colonial Williamsburg, he established a new museum studies program at the University of Delaware, where he taught until his retirement. Mary Alexander has been an active museum educator in Washington, DC since 1970. She has worked for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Museum Education Roundtable, George Washington Bicentennial Center (Alexandria, VA), National Archives, Mount Vernon, AASLH's Common Agenda for History Museums, Hillwood Museum and Montgomery County Historical Society. Today, she administers grants for the Maryland Historical Trust, helping historical and cultural museums across Maryland address their professional needs.