I am a museum person.
If you are looking for a case study, want to know who’s integrating/already integrated new technologies or simply have question about a new exhibition – I am your go-to gal. I love museums. I always have. The first time I saw a dinosaur, at the Anniston Museum of Natural History, changed my life. I didn’t know what to do or how to do it – but I knew I wanted to hang out in museums. Hanging out in museums turned into working for a museum – so I’m a pretty happy person.
As I was picking up some papers from the copier I noticed someone had placed an article from USA Today in my mailbox: “Exhibit the wisdom of an expert museumgoer” by Kelly Carter (August 19, 2011).
Carter gives eight bullet points to consider when visiting a museum:
- When to arrive
- Find the signature works
- Maximize your time
- Build in Breaks
- Avoid overload
- Get discounts on admission
- Use the latest technology
These are all great tips, but I have a few of my own…
Ask a staff member what their favorite piece/artifact/gallery is: If you want a feel for the museum, ask the staff. I did this at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and a lovely security guard took me to the European Art: 1400-1800 Gallery. Listening to his appreciation of religious art made this experience truly unique.
Get lost: I’m the kind of person who enjoys getting lost in a museum. Don’t get my wrong, tours are great. But when you have the opportunity to experience a museum, and walk into a gallery you may not have otherwise, you find out what speaks to you may not be the same as everyone else.
Put your phone away: Tweet, upload a pic to Facebook or check-in on Foursquare but please, please, please do not hold your phone the entire time you are visiting a museum. If you feel the need to share – by all means – take your smartphone out and share – but for the other 90% of your visit – enjoy your visit. Try to limit your distractions.
Visit the gift shop: Museum gift shops are full of treasures!
What are your go-to “what to do/consider when visiting a museum” tips?