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!
21 hours 22 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW ON VIEW—It has been argued that the bird-beaked dinosaurs that once roamed Central Asia were the iconographic inspiration for the griffin, a ferocious mythical creature revered among the ancient Greeks for its protective powers. Local inhabitants may have spread tales about their ferocity to discourage marauders from looting their wealth.
These two bronze griffins were once riveted to the shoulder of a ceremonial vessel, placed in a religious sanctuary by a prosperous Greek to demonstrate his piety and display his wealth.The griffins are highly agitated; their mouths are agape and their tongues curl up as they screech bloodcurdling warnings to ward off intruders.
See these terrifying creatures in Gallery 151 of Ancient Art.
1 day 3 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago COMING SOON—Whistler’s Mother: An American Icon Returns to Chicago
Painted in 1871, the portrait better known today as “Whistler’s Mother” was intended to demonstrate the artist’s recent focus on tonal harmonies over subject matter. It came to be lauded as an icon beloved by Americans but rarely seen in the United States.
This focused installation explores Whistler’s use of family members as subjects, his abstract treatment of conventional genres such as portraiture and landscape, and the art of his professional ambition.
OPENING MARCH 4—http://bit.ly/2lNJAgU
1 day 21 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW ON VIEW—Rodney McMillian: a great society
a great society represents artist Rodney McMillian's work in video over the last decade. Grappling with the complexities of class, race, and place in America, McMillian employs elements of performance, public speaking, oral history—and his interest in the science fiction genre—to expose the social and psychological consequences of economic inequality, endemic racism, and the failed promise of freedom and prosperity for all of its citizens. While McMillian's work engages the often stark realities of history and contemporary culture, it is motivated by the potential for alternative realities and future transformation.
Closing March 26—http://bit.ly/2l5Ja6e