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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…

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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…

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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…

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What are your best maker-based activities?

Like many children’s museums, the Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum has a “maker” exhibit, where children can use tools (hammers, saws, drills, glue guns, etc) to make things. As I watch the Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum educators develop prompts and activities for this area, I wonder if we are re-inventing the wheel. So many museums are…

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Adults are Learners, Too

This guest post is by Jackie Delamatre, who also wrote the post “But will YOU be here?” for Museum Questions in January 2015. Jackie Delamatre is a museum educator. She teaches all ages (from babies to senior citizens) and runs a blog with the goal of connecting kids, parents, and educators to museums: Ms. Museum.    For many years…

Hilla Rebay, the first director of the Guggenheim Museum, wrote to Frank Lloyd Wright asking him to build her a "Temple of Spirit." Image credit: "Guggenheim New York" by Martyn Jones at en.wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Guggenheim_New_York.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Guggenheim_New_York.jpg

When is art viewing a spiritual activity?

About a year ago, while teaching art history at Bradley University, I committed to giving a talk about the spiritual in modern and contemporary art. That talk is fast approaching, and has been leading me to think not only about artists who embrace a spiritual purpose for their art, but about where the spiritual is…

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What is the role of research in museums’ K-12 programming? 

This guest post is from Michelle Grohe. For the past ten years Michelle has been the Director of School & Teacher Programs at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts, where she has overseen the School Partnership, an intensive multiple-experience program with local Boston schools, including in-depth professional development with classroom teachers. Michelle has…