Museum Reads

I have read so many great articles about museums lately. It might just be my increased interest in the subject, but I think these articles are also resulting from some of the changes that have been happening in museums as well as the bigger world. Between the amazing exhibitions coming up in 2017, some of the not so amazing changes post-election, increasing innovation, and amazing museum professionals, there have been some fantastic articles and ideas to chew on. 

1. How Arts Organizations Can Woo A Millennial, from a Millennial

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Image from ideas.capacityinteractive.com article.

Sigh, another article about millennials. But, wait, this one is really solid. Anya Richkand does a nice job summarizing what young people are looking for from arts organization- including genuine communication, presentations that connect with bigger ideas and issues, and the ability to share experiences. Additionally she introduces a possible argument for the power of social media, and challenges institutions to consider this: “What do you think we’re doing on Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram all the time? We’re seeing what our friends are doing because we miss them…We’re a generation that desperately wants to belong to and with each other.” Very nicely stated.

2. How the Art World Can Change for the Better During the Trump Years

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Image from Jeff Warren and Caroline Woolard from above Hyperallergic article.

Although some people might say that arts aren’t the biggest thing we have to worry about coming under attack during the Trump years, it appears that the discussion among museums about how they can create more inclusive and productive communities and space for the better has been an important one.

Caroline Woolward provides some thoughtful suggestions on how museums can contribute- from supporting artists and art groups economically, providing workshops that center on ideas such as collaboration, thinking about where oppression might occur in organizations, and offering resources to make organizations more inclusive. Even these smaller communities can make a huge difference.

3. Here are the World’s Most Instagrammed Museums of 2016

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Image from the Broad Museum, found in article by Ben Davis in Artnet

I always enjoy looking at what other museum visitors have posted on Instagram- sometimes visitors are the ones with the most interesting, creative photos. Artnet provides us with a run-down here of which museums got the most attention on social media. I can’t say any of it was all that surprising, but I still though it was a super fun and smart post. It definitely seems like museums have found a home on Instagram.

4. Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Plans $16 Million Dollar Renovation

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Photo by Hanna Cunningham

I was a bit stunned when I saw this article. This was the first I had heard of the Museum of Contemporary Art’s renovation– it looks amazing, but I am still looking forward to learning more. It looks like the renovation is focusing on creating amazing communal spaces, including a new restaurant area and the “Commons” which is described as a “hybrid lounge-workshop-performance space” by Jori Finkel for The New York Times. As I mentioned in this post, the museum has a lot of thought-provoking and different exhibitions, but it looks like this renovation might take the museum to the next level.

5. The Met’s Social Media Manager Kimberly Drew on Black Contemporary Art, Public Speaking and More

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Advice from Kimberly Drew in Teen Vogue Article by Sue Williamson

She’s 26 years old and manages social media for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the top (some would argue the best) museums in the world. Wow.  Here, Kimberly Drew shares some really great thoughts on how she decides what to share, public speaking, and finding the right career path. Also, this article is from Teen Vogue ( a publication I read religiously as a teenager), and I think this is one of many examples of really smart work done by the publication. I would argue that they are one of the strongest fashion publications aimed at teenagers and I love how they have shined the spotlight on a variety of creative professionals. 

(If you want to follow her, which I would recommend- @museummammy on Twitter and Instagram).

6. Cooper Hewitt Museum: A Mommy-and-Me Hotspot

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Photo by Hanna Cunningham

This article was a favorite of mine as it discusses Cooper Hewitt’s newly renovated Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden, a place that I spent a lot of time this past summer while interning there.  Erin Geiger Smith discusses how the museum garden has become an attraction of sorts for mothers and their kids. Although the museum requires paid admission, the garden is open for free, and therefore gets all sorts of people. I can attest to seeing moms and kids nearly every time I ate lunch in the garden (which was often). I know it’s probably among my favorite places in New York.

7. Let’s Be Bridge-Builders

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Wise words on “building bridges” from museum professional and blogger Nina Simon

I love this post from Nina Simon’s Museum 2.0, and it’s another great read post-election. She gives us a lot of great suggestions on how to connect people and explains the role of “social bridges” in communities. One thing she says that I think is important to consider: “Cultural institutions, and museums in particular, have traditionally been bubbles of privilege. Our walls kept more people and ideas out as they let in. But we have the capacity to turn those walls into doorways.” I think the idea of thinking about how communities can not only be more inclusive for not only those who are already in them, but for those who may have felt like they never had access before, is something to consider going forward.

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