#AskaCurator: Tweet Engagement

Photo courtesy of Ask a Curator Day

UPDATE: Today is the last day to sign up for Ask a Curator Day. To participate send an email to

Is your institution participating in Ask a Curator Day?

More importantly, do you know what Ask a Curator Day is?

On Wednesday, September 19, 2012 (as in two days from now) curators from around the world will be answering questions from the public via Twitter.


By using the hashtag #AskaCurator.  The public can ask questions to specific museums using their Twitter handle (ex. @OhioHistory). Shameless plug, I know. But the Ohio Historical Society is participating and we have a pretty stellar collection.


Why not. As stated by the Ask a Curator Day website, “Museums and galleries not only house fascinating collections, they are also the home to leading experts who love to share their passion for art, history and science.”

It’s that simple.

What kind of questions should you expect?

Photo courtesy of Ask a Curator Day

General: Why did you become a curator? What did you study in school?

Practice: Why do curators wear gloves? Why can’t I take photos?

Collection: What is the largest piece in your collection? What is the most controversial piece in your collection?

Personal: Have you ever been grossed out by an object in your collection? What is your favorite piece?

Specialized: Can you tell how many times a musket has been fired? Why are the frames of “masterpieces” so detailed?

Participation does require a bit of a time commitment on the 19th. Answering questions in 140 characters or less can be fun (and a bit of a challenge) and the curators at participating institutions will not know all of the answers right away. Some questions may require a quick bit of research and that’s fine. We’re only human. The goal of Ask a Curator Day is not to overwhelm our curators; the goal is to connect our in-house experts with an interested public…digitally.

Jim Richardson of UK based arts marketing agency, Sumo (who developed Ask a Curator) said in August 2010, “My hope is that we’ll plant a seed in both the curators and the public, and change their expectations to see this kind of digital interaction as part of how a museum or gallery interacts with the public.”

There’s still time to sign up and participate. Simply send an email to

Is your institution participating? Are your curators excited, anxious or something else? Is there an institution you would like to engage with?

To learn more about Ask a Curator Day, or to view a listing of participating institutions, visit their website at

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