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Museum Speak

While I was writing my guide to interpretive writing about art, I started a list of “museum speak” – words that are common among museum workers but often confound the public. (Read this guide online now in your current browser or download a printable pdf.) The list never made it …

Goodbye Isabella Stewart Gardner

There are so many great stories to tell about my month-long residency at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. (http://www.gardnermuseum.org/news/2013/july_2013) Which one to share? One of the best is about the lady herself, and how her amazing legacy lives on in the vision of the Gardner staff. When Isabella Stewart Gardner assembled …

Arts and the Mind

I’m spending the month of June as the educator-in-residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. The task I’ve set for myself is to produce some guides for interpretive writing about art, to be published here on Museum-Ed. I started the month by watching Arts and the Mind (2012), …

Favorites List

Here’s a new favorites* list in honor of AAM in Baltimore next week. If you’re there are whiling away the time between sessions, this should entertain you. If you’re not there, this should console you. Natural Histories: Rare Books from the AMNH Library The Embroidered Color Wheel Tate’s WonderMind Roanoke, …

Art Museum Education Consortium

On December 4 and 5, 2012 the leadership of sixteen internationally recognized U.S., European and Canadian art museum education organizations came together in Austin, Texas to establish communication channels to work together in the future to support our common goals. Organizations that serve the needs of art museum educators, whether …

Co-Creation Activity from NAEA

  During the recent NAEA museum pre-conference day in Fort Worth TX, attendees participated in a co-creation exercise in the galleries of the Modern Art Museum. It was so much fun I had to share it. Liz Lloyd from the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio TX passed out little …

Favorites List

I’m a big fan of cooking blogs, and have been inspired by Heidi Swanson’s Favorites Lists over at 101 Cookbooks.   She occassionally publishes a list of cool stuff she’s run across that may or may not have anything to do with 101 Cookbooks. So I started my own Favorites …

Authority and Museum Education

I opened AAM’s recent issue of Museum News (November-December 2011) and was immediately drawn to Eric Ledbetter’s essay (opinion piece?) “Let Us Now Praise Museum Authority” (p. 21). Part of what drew me to the page was the words Excellence and Equity in the first sentence, words that all museum …

iPads on Tour

Co-authored by Sheila McGuire, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts At the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, iPads are going on tours with the express purpose of enabling tour guides to use multimedia to enhance their tours. The program was actually a research project, and below is a down and dirty list …

Social Media and Museums

If you’re a fan of John Stewart on the Daily Show you’ve seen his critique of CNN and its use (or misuse) of social media. On a recent show Stewart played a clip of CNN summarizing three major news stories, then inviting viewers to text their choice of the story …

What We’re Reading

Last weekend was a big one for me, the weekend of the annual Minnesota Horse Expo at the State Fair grounds in St. Paul. Yes, I am a horse owner and am obsessed with training my horse. I learn so much about learning from the process of training my horse. …

A Plea For Accession Numbers

I spent last Friday afternoon sifting through over 100 digital images of Chinese ceramic vases looking for the one a client wanted to link to their educational newsletter online. The newsletter has always been published online on another site, but the educators who authored the newsletter didn’t include accession numbers …

Writing for Rights

When my partner, Scott Sayre, worked at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (I’m sure they wouldn’t mind me telling this story) they were just gearing up to digitize the collection. Presenting digital images of the museum’s works of art meant that they had to request rights for many of them. …

The Definitions Project

I was talking to my friend Jim Hakala on the phone today, and we were batting around the idea of a Wiki here on Museum-Ed that would let the community participate in writing a definition of museum education. That may yet happen, but Jim told me about a project that …

Art Education and the Onion

Pipe Cleaners, Googly Eyes Cut From Elementary School Arts Budget This headline appeared on the front page of the Onion’s August 16th issue here in Minneapolis. Besides being hysterical, it’s a sad commentary on the state of art education these days. The Onion is so effective at being thigh-slapping funny …

Bilbao Blog

We just returned from a couple weeks in Spain, where we had our first visit to the Guggenheim in Bilbao. It was so exciting I feel I must share it. The museum is spectacular, but what I really want to tell you all about is the interpretive space for Richard …

Book Review: Ruth Clark’s Building Expertise—Cognitive Methods for Training and Performance Improvement

I’m reading Ruth Clark’s Building Expertise—Cognitive Methods for Training and Performance Improvement. Clark, a specialist in instructional design, reminds us that our goals for docents include encoding long-term memory and aiding transfer (a learner’s ability to apply acquired knowledge in a variety of situations such as a docent might encounter …