School Tours: What is the impact of offering a menu of tour topics?

This week’s guest post is by David Bowles, Gallery Educator at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. In his role at the Getty, David conducts scholarly research in preparation for leading gallery conversations, lectures, tours, courses, and other programs, as well as supervising docent teaching in the galleries. Prior to this he led K-12 School…

Can we expose an artist’s process through gallery activities?

This week’s post is by Gabriella Kula and Luned Palmer. Gabriella teaches school, family, adult and access groups at The Noguchi Museum, The Jewish Museum, and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Gabriella is also the director of Havurah, the JCC Manhattan’s experiential Jewish education program for young children. Luned freelances as a museum educator, facilitating all types of programs…

What does a successful maker space in a children’s museum looks like? Interview with Dr. Michael Hanchett Hanson

“Maker Spaces” are currently in vogue: they are now a fairly standard component of children’s museums, and many art museums have drop-in spaces for children and families to create art during their visit. Schools and libraries are interested in maker spaces as well. As with any other exhibit, a maker space is not inherently successful.…

Museums and political thought: A follow-up

My two most recent posts have suggested that museums may have techniques at their disposal that help transform thinking, in particular fostering critical thinking and tolerance. Since sharing those posts, I have come across articles and video clips that I think further the argument, and may even help museums train staff. Demonstrations of how to facilitate and…

What responsibility do museums have for shaping the public’s relationship with facts?

In March I had a conversation with an insightful colleague, Amy Boyle, an educator at the Guggenheim Museum. Amy suggested that open-ended interpretation might be problematic in a climate in which political discourse disregards facts, and candidates and supporters make up their own truths. I’m not sure I’ve captured the challenges and opportunities offered by this…

What is an “Interpreter in Residence?” Interview with Michael Christiano

Michael Christiano is the Interim Senior Director of Museum Programs at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago. In this role he develops strategies and programs that reflect on the nature of the Museum’s institutional practice, with a particular focus on education, interpretation, engagement, hospitality, installation strategy, and other key issues. When visiting the Smart…