As a museum educator, one of my most important goals is to engage in dialogue with visitors about works of art. Along with each of my colleagues in the Museum Education department, I work toward this goal each day through gallery talks, seminars, and other programming.
Whenever you come to the museum, you’ll find a gallery talk led by myself or another member of our dedicated staff. We talk about topics ranging from the museum’s architecture to Japanese Prints to Surreal Spaniards. In fact, talks on all of those topics happen this month.
There are a number of points we consider when choosing talk topics, but after an energizing experience at the National Art Education Association convention this year, I’m inspired to look to all of you for feedback. Visitor-driven tours were one of the major threads throughout the conference, and they’re something I’ve always felt strongly about. Visitors on my gallery talks often make specific requests, and each time this happens I schedule a future talk on just that topic. For example, I received multiple requests for the Cornell Boxes earlier this year, and I promptly scheduled a gallery talk on that collection.
So, I’m putting this question out there: What do you want from a gallery talk? (Within reason, of course.)
What themes or artists or eras or cultures are you interested in learning more about? Which historical or contemporary issues would you like to explore through our collection and exhibitions?
Don’t hesitate to share your interests—either in the comments or directly with me at firstname.lastname@example.org—we can’t wait to hear what you think!
—Kate Kelley, Museum Education Fellow