Before This Catalog -- Learning to Talk About Art

(Click here to listen to an audio recording of this post.)

I plan to start the clock on the 1,000 days when I have roughly half of the 100-item list pinned down. For now, here’s a glimpse at some similar blogging I did a few years back.

In 2012, I began volunteering at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, an excellent little art museum in Boston. I had a great time and learned a lot. Unfortunately I didn’t stay there as a volunteer as long as I would have liked, because of other commitments, but I did write down my observations for posterity, and Linda Norris shared them as guest posts on her blog The Uncataloged Museum, a blog I highly recommend.

Learning to Talk About Art

My Day as a Docent: What Do You Think?

Reflections of an Art Museum Docent

My next five items
  • Go to a museum with a friend’s kid. I teach field trips at museums, and used to teach third and fifth graders on field trips regularly, but it's been a long time since I've explored a museum with a kid one-on-one, where the kid was taking the lead. Probably since my now very grown-up brother was young!
  • Julia S. suggested “Learn to travel/transport yourself in a new way.” I really like this suggestion, but I struggled at first to figure out a travel or transportation method I could try that would be interesting for me to blog about. Rollerblading? I’ve never successfully done it, but I’m not sure what I’d say other than writing an essay on falling a lot and humility. Then, I noticed myself dismissing the possibility of going to a free jazz concert because it’s more than a mile from the T (Boston subway). There are plenty of busses, but I tend to avoid them because I find them inconvenient. So, I’m going to spin off of Julia’s suggestion, and challenge myself to spend three weekend days exploring parts of Boston that are only served by busses. This will take me into areas that are demographically and economically different from where I live, and that’s a good thing.
  • Be a research subject for a learning study. I think I might learn something about learning while I'm there!
  • Matt K. suggested “interview a docent or other interpretive staff person at a museum you like to get their take on museum / visitor experience issues that are of interest to you. Then we can read the interview!” I like it. Now I just have to decide whether to interview someone at a place where I’ve worked, or somewhere I’ve only been a visitor.
  • Do a genealogy project. I know a bit about the methods of genealogy, but I've never really sat down and traced my family's roots. I have family members who have done this, so I might go outside my immediate family, but either way, it would be fun to try this as it's so many people's first and only experience with doing historical research.