Why are children’s museums museums? – Take 3

For the past few months I have been working an article related to children’s museums, and thinking a great deal about the period from the 1960s to the 1980s, when children’s museums transformed from spaces with collections-based exhibits aimed at elementary school children into play spaces for the under-10 set. At first I understood this transformation as the…

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 Museum Disruption?

This post is the result of a conversation with Ethan Angelica from Museum Hack, who is a Tour Guide & also responsible for VIP Partnerships. Ethan Angelica, Tour Guide at Museum Hack [HD] from Museum Hack on Vimeo. My conversations with Ethan from Museum Hack led to a number of questions about how they are…

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…

How do you get the word out?

This week, I am thinking about marketing museum programs. Museums generally have a variety of programs to market, often to a range of audiences. And our success varies:  At the PlayHouse we have some workshops that are full, and others we have to cancel due to low registration. When I worked at The Noguchi Museum, we had some lectures…