Museum Memories #AskACurator

Posted by on Sep 18, 2014 in News, Slider | 1 comment

Imagine if you could walk up the steps to a museum, through the galleries, past the exhibits and display cases, and into the offices and store rooms and ask the curators anything about the collection, their career, or whatever tickled your fancy. Yesterday the public had that collective opportunity to virtually meet and question hundreds of curators around the world via Twitter. #AskACurator was started in 2010 by Jim Richardson, founder of Sumo Design in England, and since then it has turned into an annual event. The past few years the event has been organized by Mar Dixon, who founded a number of events for museum professionals and teens including MuseoMixUK, MuseumCamp, Teens in Museums, and CultureThemes. This year #AskACurator hit record levels with 721 museums from 43 countries. England and the United States had the most institutions participating with a combined total of 339. The day began in New Zealand and Australia and worked its way around the world faster than Magellan could have ever imagined. Countries as far flung as the Philippines, Sierra Leone, Cambodia, Colombia, and Qatar participated in the event. Curators took over museum’s Twitter accounts or responded from their own in shifts throughout the event. Anyone with a Twitter account could query the curators by using the #AskACurator hashtag for general questions to any curator and by including the museum’s Twitter handle for more direct questions. So many people took part that the #AskACurator hashtag was trending in both the United States and England and between 4-5PM GMT (11-12 EDT) there were over 36,500 tweets and the event still had quite a few hours left to go.  Next year #AskACurator day will take place on September 16. fridgeARTS, took part for the first time this year and we asked a lot of questions. Most museums have established museum education departments and programming for kids, but we wanted to know about when the curators were kids themselves. Out of all the questions we tweeted the one that sparked the most response was: What is your earliest museum memory? Thank you to The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis for making and tweeting the above graphic of our question.   Below are a few of our favorite replies.   Johanna Mizgala – @lucediversa Climbed into display when I was 5. Instead of anger, curator explained objects & their care. Was hooked 4 life.   Lancashire Museums – @LMuseums Visiting Gray Art Gallery, Hartlepool, aged 6 to see the dinosaur my class had made from cardboard and spray paint   Hammer Museum – @hammer_museum A childhood visit to @MOCAlosangeles from rural east San Diego county and seeing a Doug Wheeler installation. I’m sure I went to a museum before...

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Bedtime Stories for Artsy Kids

Posted by on Sep 9, 2014 in Books, Slider | 0 comments

Someone once said so many books, so little time.  These timeless books are well worth becoming part of your child’s bedtime ritual.  Harold and the Purple Crayon and From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler have been entertaining kids for decades and are already beloved classics.  Newer books such as the creative The Day the Crayons Quit has already proved popular and earned its place on the New York Times best seller list. Below are of some of fridgeARTS favorite art bedtime stories.  A few may be out of print, but are worth the trip to your local library or second-hand bookshop.   In the comments below, please share your favorite art books for kids.     Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson This classic art bedtime story originally published in 1955 follows Harold and his purple crayon as he goes on a walk. Everything he draws becomes real from the pies, to the monster, and the ocean. The story winds down with Harold searching for his own window and upon finding it draws himself into bed. Inspired, as a child, by Harold’s creations I took a green (not purple, my favorite color) crayon and added my own doodles to the pages.   Rembrandt Takes a Walk by Mark Strand illustrated by Red Grooms Tom goes to stay with his rich art-collecting uncle. The walls are full of amazing paintings by masters such as Cézanne and Rembrandt, yet the fridge is bare. While hunting for something to eat he reaches into a Cézanne still-life grabs a few apples and takes a bite out of one.  Unfortunately, he is unable to return the rest of the fruit to the painting as Cézanne painted it.  Rembrandt hanging in a nearby self-portrait offers to help in exchange for a tour of the town.  Keep an eye out for Tom’s uncle’s tie.   Pish, Posh, Said Hieronymus Bosch by Nancy Willad illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon If you are fan of the fantastical creatures in Bosch’s work, notably The Garden of Earthly Delights, you’ll love this book. The artist’s creatures come to life and wreak havoc in his house and upset his housekeeper. Hieronymus, however, is unfazed by the chaos.   Art by Patrick McDonnell This great book has a young boy named Art who makes art from zigs and zags to the curliest cue. The use of bright colors really make the illustrations come to life. When I read it to a friend’s two-year-old recently she started pulling toys that matched the shapes and colors of the illustrations.     The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds Vashti thinks she can’t draw, but a bit of encouragement from her...

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