#MuseumWalkabout Summer 2017 (Post 4)

After far too long a wait, I’ve arrived at the final post of my #MuseumWalkabout Summer 2017 series. If you haven’t read the previous posts, I suggest you start here for context.


After the Children’s Museum, I went back out into the rain– regretting not having carried an umbrella– and walked the several blocks to the Institute of Contemporary Art.

It took me longer than I’d like to admit to realize that all the art was on the top floor, but eventually I made it up. Looking at the different exhibits, I was especially taken with the exhibition of pieces by Nari Ward, which I found deeply resonant and aesthetically pleasing all at once.

I noted the stark difference in the appearance of this museum from the one I attended the day before. Great white walls and people quietly shuffling about. Quite different from the wonderful tumult of the Children’s Museum… Even around pieces that were very playful.

I recently started working at the Edward M Kennedy Institute for the US Senate, a place where we’re trying to educate visitors about democracy– something that tends to be very noisy and even bumptious at times, which is something that we would like to convey to our visitors.

The decor of the main area is a bit monochromatic, however:

The space has potential to convey that vibrancy that is a cornerstone of democracy. I’m wondering how little pops of color could make a difference in the mood and tone of the space. I jokingly talk with my coworkers about erecting a “giant pink statue of Ted Kennedy” in the lobby area, perhaps a commission from Katharina Fritsch?

More realistically, I just wonder about what effects we could create with some movable casing or something along those lines in bright colors: maybe something in a Nickelodeon orange? The serious grey-and-blue tones of the institute would still permeate, but maybe something that, while the topic we are covering is very serious, we are encouraging our visitors to engage in serious play to learn a little more deeply about the topic.

Finally, as a capstone to my day of nonstop museums, I went to a #Museumhive event, where the (virtual) guest of honor was the awesome museum educator Emily Graslie.

I was, by that point, basically tweeted out, but I did share one comment that Emily made, because I thought it was awesome and hilarious and actually insightful, and was actually retweeted by Emily, which was a nerdy little fanboy moment.

#MuseumWalkabout First Post

#MuseumWalkabout Second Post

#MuseumWalkabout Third Post

#MuseumWalkabout Fourth Post

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