jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
[personal profile] jenett
Good morning!

Topic of the week
I am going to what should be a really fascinating curator tour at a museum tomorrow, and I'm looking at another visit to another museum in February.

Do you go to museums? Do you like going to museums? (Or exhibits, or art galleries, or anything else vaguely in that category?) What do you love about it? What is harder for you, or you wish museums did differently.

(And of course, any other topic you're interested in, also fair game.)

What I've been up to
It has been such a week at work, and with weather (I'm near Boston, and our weather on Sunday was snow, freezing rain, and sleet. Give me good honest snow over the latter two any day.) And then it was 55 yesterday, so basically it's all melted off.

Anyway, I'm exhausted, which is not so great because I have a bunch of things that need doing.

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(no subject)

Date: Friday, January 25th, 2019 01:52 pm (UTC)
quinfirefrorefiddle: Van Gogh's painting of a mulberry tree. (Default)
From: [personal profile] quinfirefrorefiddle
The last museum I really enjoyed was the SPAM museum. Which was pretty fun, actually, there's a lot more content than I expected, the classism was actually addressed, and the Hawaii section was especially nice. Also their advertising campaigns over the years have been great.

I lived for a few years near a museum memorializing a mass murder of Native people in the 1860s, but my mental health was never in a good enough place for me to go.

Otherwise lately I haven't so much been going to museums as local art exhibits, usually when my mother in law is either interested or featured. The quality varies widely, but some have been pretty good.

(no subject)

Date: Friday, January 25th, 2019 02:49 pm (UTC)
quinfirefrorefiddle: Van Gogh's painting of a mulberry tree. (Default)
From: [personal profile] quinfirefrorefiddle
There are way more flavors than I ever expected.

Focused museums are awesome, by far the creepiest I've been to was, at the time at least, the only psychiatric museum in America, in St. Joseph, MO, which had been an asylum. The upstairs exhibits were really interesting and well put together. The basement, which you could also visit, was another story- heaps of old equipment in piles in a series of stuffy rooms. I have been in many, many cemeteries and churches and funeral homes, and not one of them felt as haunted as that basement. Yikes.
Edited Date: Friday, January 25th, 2019 02:51 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: Friday, January 25th, 2019 02:33 pm (UTC)
author_by_night: (Folks by ozqueen (quoted from To Kill a)
From: [personal profile] author_by_night
I like museums and galleries very much, but I'm not an "I must see everything NOW" person, necessarily.

I guess the only problem I've had is when museums or galleries ended up being small if I did a lot to get there, and there isn't much to do in the area. There's a very small art gallery in the city I live near (Baltimore), and while I like it a lot, you definitely couldn't go there just to go there. It's better if you have a car and lunch or dinner plans. Last time family came down, I didn't even take them there, we went to a larger gallery and were able to kill the whole day, not just an hour and a half.

Also, and this is an observation, not a criticism - I'm much more interested in exhibits and even museums/historical sites that really portray the "everyday lives" of people. I care less about a replica of a Pharaoh's throne and more a replica of something related to the everyday people in Ancient Egypt. Even when I went to the Tower of London, I appreciated visiting on an intellectual level, yet I couldn't help but think "okay, but how did normal people live?" Granted, the answer was probably "they were all peasants and died of various diseases," but that's still more people than who were kings and queens. I don't know, I'm more interested in the anthropological angle of history than the political one. How did people break their bread? That's what I want to know. (And probably why I was an English major and not a History major.)
Edited Date: Friday, January 25th, 2019 02:34 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: Friday, January 25th, 2019 03:27 pm (UTC)
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
From: [personal profile] oursin
It's possibly a bit off the beaten track (and I see it's currently closed for redevelopment) but the Geffrye Museum in Hackney 'collects objects, images and texts in order to explore the history of English homes from 1600 to the present day'.

(no subject)

Date: Friday, January 25th, 2019 03:23 pm (UTC)
oursin: Fenton House, Hampstead NW3 (Fenton House)
From: [personal profile] oursin
Sometimes, living in London, I feel I do not take the fullest advantage of all the cultural advantages available. However, recently I did get to the Lost Treasures of Strawberry Hill: Masterpieces from Horace Walpole's Collection exhibition in his Gothic folly over Twickenham way.

On museums/galleries in general, I tend to be on the selective side: rather than the 'start in the Ancient gallery' and move forwards, I'd rather spend time with the things I really love, and I've even made pilgrimages to particular places to see just one thing, more or less.

However, a museum which was worth doing from start to finish that I went to last year was the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp, which is the family house of a dynasty that was involved in printing from its earliest days, through the period when this was a very politically and religiously sensitive area of activity, and is also a museum of the history of printing, publishing and bookselling and print culture generally up to the nineteenth century or so.

(no subject)

Date: Friday, January 25th, 2019 03:57 pm (UTC)
cjsmith: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cjsmith
When I was living in Paris on far too little money, I soon discovered two activities that were delightful to do by myself and absolutely free. One of these was visiting parks, and one was visiting museums on specific days. I no longer remember why this worked - was it people under 25 who got in free in Mondays, or...? Don’t know. But man I went through the museums of Paris like a voracious collector. I found that even if I hadn’t initially felt a lot of interest in a subject, a museum about it would often be fascinating, far more so than I had predicted. It was a lovely time.

(no subject)

Date: Friday, January 25th, 2019 04:16 pm (UTC)
brithistorian: (Default)
From: [personal profile] brithistorian
I love museums! (I'd better, since I'm going back to school in museum studies!) The last exhibit I went to was a curator tour of an exhibit on ancient Egypt, and I've got to go to a photography exhibit before class starts on Feb. 4.

The thing I really wish museums did differently all concern access and outreach. It's no good having this great museum if the people living in your area can't afford to do and/or don't know what you've got available. One of the large art museums near me has free admission, which I think is something every museum should strive toward. Several of the local museums offer free or steeply discounted admission for very poor people, but there are still a lot of people who make too much to qualify for the free admission program but not enough to be able to comfortably afford a family trip to the museum.

I'm also glad to see more efforts toward accessibility, but I still see exhibits that would be difficult to see from a wheelchair, and I don't know that accessibility programs for the deaf and blind are as well-publicized as they should be. As an autistic person, I am pleased, though, to see more and more museums offering sensory-friendly days, and I also noticed that one of the local museums produces social stories to guide autistic people through a trip to the museum.

(no subject)

Date: Friday, January 25th, 2019 11:49 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jazzyjj
Unfortunately, accessibility at least for blind/VI isn't widely publicized. It seems to have gotten a bit better over the years, but we're certainly not quite where we should be. For instance, many popular theaters now have audio description and other access features but not all employees know about these features. Like I said though, it has gotten better. Over the holiday break I went with my family to see "Mary Poppins Returns," and we got lucky regarding the audio descriptions. The first headsets that were given to us worked just fine. However, that wasn't the case when a tutor and I saw "Lego Batman" awhile back. Pretty sure that was at the same set of theaters. But the second headset worked just fine, and we got a raincheck upon exiting the theater. A lot of times those employees think they're giving out one access feature such as the headsets for audio description, when they're actually the amplified audio or something like that.

(no subject)

Date: Saturday, January 26th, 2019 04:42 pm (UTC)
brithistorian: (Default)
From: [personal profile] brithistorian
Accessibility is complicated. But it's also fascinating. Whenever I'm touring an exhibit now, I always find myself distracted from the exhibit itself because I find myself thinking about accessibility issues (and other exhibit design issues, but particularly accessibility).

(no subject)

Date: Saturday, January 26th, 2019 12:07 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jazzyjj
I honestly haven't been to many museums over the years, primarily due to lack of access. But next week my building mates and I--or most of us--are going to a local art center and out to eat. We did this last year and they were great with the live audio description. I haven't gotten out as much as I probably should in recent years, so I absolutely love these outings even if things are inaccessible.

(no subject)

Date: Saturday, January 26th, 2019 01:53 am (UTC)
autumnesquirrel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] autumnesquirrel
I love museums, but I'd really rather do them by myself and that seems to not happen all that often. I should work on that. There are plenty around to visit, and I do have free days sometimes.

(no subject)

Date: Saturday, January 26th, 2019 01:37 pm (UTC)
mrissa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrissa
I'm a museum chameleon, myself. I love museums, and depending on who I'm with I can enjoy darting through looking at the two things in any given room that catch our eye, or reading every placard obsessively, or anything in between really. I feel that being in the mode of "must see everything in this entire museum" is often the road to sadness, so I try to dodge that unless it's an incredibly tiny museum. Absent other factors I will choose unpopular rooms/wings because being able to move around without having to dodge other people is nice and there's no reason to think that the popular ones are the best--and a great deal of reason to think that factors like racism will play into how many people think something is worth seeing.

When I was left to my own devices in Helsinki, I looked at every piece of lace in the National Museum there and no one stopped me. I looked at every single wooden ale goose. I read my book while eating a piece of salmon quiche in the museum cafe. It was amazing.

(no subject)

Date: Saturday, January 26th, 2019 05:27 pm (UTC)
fandomonymous: Gray @ on black background (Default)
From: [personal profile] fandomonymous
I love solo wandering museums, and try to make space to do so when I travel (and even sometimes just on a random weekend here in New York). I read as many placards as I can, because I want and need context to make sense of what I see a lot, but by the end of my trip I'm usually just moving through spaces seeing as much as I can.

Two highlights from the last year:

A huge display in the Museum of the Moving Image's permanent exhibit with a circle of small screens showing what every camera at a baseball game would show, and a large screen in the center showing what you'd see on television. There were headphones; when you put them on, what you'd hear was the live director calling out instructions for each transition. The level of detail involved was *remarkable*, and they did it at a huge scale that contributed to the mind-boggling.

The San Francisco MoMA was very good at creating these semi-circular sub-areas for a specific type of work by a specific artist, so you felt surrounded by similar-yet-different things in an enclosed but not claustrophobic space. They did this both for a number of versions/prints of Magritte's Empire of Light as well as a set of geometric works by Agnes Martin, and both were just breathtaking.

(no subject)

Date: Saturday, January 26th, 2019 09:57 pm (UTC)
wohali: photograph of Joan (Default)
From: [personal profile] wohali
My grandmother (who acted as my mother for most of my childhood) instilled in me a huge respect and love for museums, starting with art. She was a volunteer docent with the New Orleans Museum of Art for 40 years. They have an amazing collection - check it out if you get the chance, it's often overlooked by tourists.

I have an issue with crowds in museums. I don't like to be rushed. So things like the Uffizi in Firenze (Florence) or the Louvre in Paris are tough for me. Smaller museums, like the Picasso museum in Antibes, or some of the Roman antiquities museums in Italy, usually are a lot better. Though, I'd rather plan an entire day around a museum that has multiple collections vs. try to figure out what to do with the balance of the day once I've seen all there is to see in a 3-room collection.

I also like the "day in the life" stuff that was mentioned previously, but it is exceedingly rare to find those outside of archaeological expositions. (I enjoy the analogous thing in natural history museums for biological specimens.)

One of the best museums I've ever been to was in the Lawrence History Center in Lawrence, MA, USA. It did an excellent job of presenting the struggle of the labor movement around the turn of the 20th century, including the Bread and Roses strike. Apparently, they now have an online version of this exhibition too! It really opened my eyes.

(no subject)

Date: Sunday, January 27th, 2019 03:17 am (UTC)
eseme: (Default)
From: [personal profile] eseme
Hello! I am trying to get back into using Dreamwidth, I have been about and commented back on LJ, I think.

My most recent museum or exhibit visits were as follows:

Garth Williams, Illustrator of the Century, which began it's national tour at my local library. Sadly, my local library's website on the exhibit is down - theirs had pictures of about half the artwork on display, as well as an audio tour that was broken up into sections that each covered several images. It was a wonderful virtual exhibit, and the current website I can link to does not have it. I was fortunate to go to a library presentation which included a talk by a husband and wife author team who had written a biography of Williams, and this was followed by a tour of the exhibit with volunteer guides form the library. Absolutely delightful.

That was in June or July.

In August I visited my sister in Nova Scotia and got to spend some brief time at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic. It is excellent, and varied! There were aquariums on the first floor with local sea creatures, there were exhibits about the Bluenose (a locally famous ship that had to be both an actual working trawler and it also competed in speed races), as well as a lovely crafts exhibit on the top floor which included a crazy-pieces quilt and looms. A volunteer was making a bracelet, of a type made by sailors aboard ship, and she gave it to me when I expressed interest in what she was doing. Very nice museum with a variety of things to see and do, they also had a touch-and-explore area for kids.

My most recent experience was the Shelburne Museum just south of Burlington Vermont. I had 3 hours to visit. It... it would take THREE DAYS to see the whole thing. They have over 30 buildings - many of them historical buildings that were moved to the museum. They have an outdoor carousel you can ride on, and early 20th century carousel animals painstakingly restored and on display inside a horseshoe-shaped building around the outdoor carousel. They have a STEAMSHIP. Literally, you go around a bend in the path and the Ticonderoga is sitting in front of you, not submerged, on the ground. There are a lot of accessibility issues there - it is huge, the old buildings do not have elevators, and some places like the 1800's passenger car on the locomotive was clearly made in an age when people were simply smaller (I had to walk sideways, otherwise me and my purse would have been scraping the antique walls). It was also stunning and wonderful and their collection of dollhouses on the second floor of an old farmhouse was remarkable.

This page is not their homepage, it has a video of the place which might give you an idea of how big it is. The tickets they sell for admission are good for two days, and for good reason. I really want to go back.
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