Museums as Predators

I am a huge believer in the power of participation to transform museums for the better. But, over and over, I’ve seen well-intentioned museum staff make lots of small decisions that they feel will protect their institutions, but add up to undermine their community engagement processes.

Designing Virtual Exhibits to Facilitate Better Social Interactions than Facebook

Virtual exhibits should be social spaces that give visitors control over who they engage with, how they engage, and how much they engage.  In this blog post, explore how to use the scholarship on social interaction design for virtual worlds to build virtual exhibits that connect visitors to each other and museum content.

Who is going to visit your virtual exhibit?

As an exhibit developer, my job is to create exhibits that engage visitors. In order to effectively do my job, I need to know who my visitors are. Unfortunately, few museums understand their in-person audiences and even fewer institutions profile their virtual visitors.

Should museums invest in virtual exhibits?

Museums are undergoing a metamorphosis. Historically, museums have been primarily physical spaces. However, in response to the wave of COVID closures, an increasingly large number of museums have been creating virtual exhibits. Unfortunately, most virtual exhibits are not serving visitors.

The Activist Museum vs. The Activist

In the past few years, I have observed an increasing number of museums reinvent themselves as activist museums. Activist museums espouse an explicit agenda and offer visitors concrete ways to create social change. While I am heartened by the trend of activist museums, museums still have a long way to go to gain the trust... Continue Reading →

Art Institute Pop Up Bar

On Thursday night, I headed to the Art Institute of Chicago’s pop up bar at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, “Dear Carmencita.” The bar is inspired by Sargent’s portrait of Carmen Dauset and is a creative way to get new audiences engaged in the exhibit, “John Singer Sargent & Chicago’s Gilded Age.” The bar will... Continue Reading →

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