Museum as a Creative Hotspot <– This article compelled me to start brainstorming about community involvement and community connection for museums. (Honestly, I’m always in a state of brainstorming it seems.)
source: flickr by trbuh
So what if your museum cafe was turned into an afternoon or mid-morning think tank, or even just used for casual conversation and coffee. Either way you are making people more comfortable being there. You could offer questions or challenges that are plaguing the museum currently, like the blogger mentions – just be ready to hear what the community has to say positively or negatively. I think personally I would choose to have speakers come and touch on different topics whether museum related or not.
Here’s why – Libraries are getting it right! (or at least this one)
Of course libraries are looked at more commonly as a community gathering location anyways, but besides the extensive amount of books, museums can do the same things! Just tweak the topics a little bit to fit your particular museum if you want. I mean a Modern Art museum might not want Ancient History lectures but why limit it. I see quite a few museums already doing this in their education programs, but what about a weekly topic or even weekly networking meet-ups for the community and different career areas. I think the more and more you see certain museums adding things to their community programs, the more and more popular these museums become. And not just popular in their community, but even in the museum world as a whole, because people, museum professionals and others, ARE talking about them!
So lets start being collaborative and brainstorming together. NOTHING is off the table!
Museum Exhibit Designer <– This post explains the basics of a Museum Exhibit Designer.
Here are some other options or areas of what an Exhibit Designer can do for a museum as well as for mainstream marketers, vendors, and even zoos. Take a Look!
Being an Exhibit Designer as a trade can sometimes mean unstable work flow although I would think the big jobs payoff well. I’ve seen a lot of Exhibit Designers own their own firm or work for a design company if they are not fulltime at a Museum.
My career path change is just in the beginning stages, but ultimately it would be a dream of mine to own my own Exhibit Design firm. I would want to encompass all types of exhibit design and be able to send out teams to brainstorm and construct what ever the particular client is needing. Having teams of designers, artists, carpenters, electricians, etc. is always helpful since I can’t possibly learn or do everything myself.
Speaking of Exhibit Designing, an update to my endeavors:
I have recently started interning at a small Art/Artifact Museum. I am helping the Exhibit Preparator with the permanent exhibits as well as with the changing art exhibits. In just the short time that I’ve been there I have already learned an invaluable amount of knowledge AND been assigned my first design/re-design project dealing with their antiquities section of their permanent collection. I’m super excited to have that opportunity so quickly! It’s such a great start to this change in my life.
Pushkin Museum in Moscow –
‘While the museum lacks some of the contemporary gloss of its Western counterparts – there is no guide book at present, even in Russian, many of the exhibits appear never to have been cleaned, and the lighting and decor are old-fashioned to say the least – there is more than enough substance in the huge collection to make up for any superficial inadequacies. Underfunding and resistance to change also mean that, while a little shabby, the Pushkin is a considerably more peaceful place to contemplate great art than many of the more hyped and hectic big galleries in the West.”
It’s interesting to me that this is called a “Visual Arts” museum. I don’t remember it being ALL art. There were historical documents and artifacts also included, but it’s been 11 years since I’ve been there so maybe I just wasn’t aware or something was lost in translation because, let’s face it, Russian is hard ya’ll.
It was a small museum but honestly I liked it more than The Hermitage which you can see my post on that here. It didn’t incase EVERYTHING and even though you weren’t supposed to touch the artifacts it was at least close enough to you that you could experience some of them a little more. And I felt like the museum had wonderful lighting – natural and not.
They also have an Ancient Egyptian exhibit on permanent display there. (Psst – here’s a little secret about me – I almost did my undergrad at Brown University in Egyptology. [sigh] If I believed in reincarnation, I think I would have been an Egyptian in one of my former lives.) The exhibit is not big but was set up very well and instead of the usual white walls and bright lights it was black walls and bright lights. I liked it! It was VERY dramatic which is a common adjective that I would use for Ancient Egypt.
I also enjoyed the many statues they had in their collection. They were very accesible and you could stand close enough to see their magnitude of height and width. Also the white marble statues were almost all displayed with natural lighting streaming in from skylights which just added more ambiance and drama to the exhibits.