This past week I was able to visit San Francisco to explore some great museums. I finally made a pilgrimage to the Exploratorium (one of the country’s first hands-on science centers) and had one of the best museum experiences that I have ever had as an adult. They really know how to engage visitors of all ages, and I was incredibly impressed with the level of sophistication that the exhibition designers were able to showcase. This particular visit renewed my interest in the eye, color, and light, so look forward to some thought in the blog later in the year about that. It also challenged my notion of how to interpret a subject matter. There was an intriguing exhibit about sound that asked you to listen and analyze the sounds of marital discord (real life – luckily not mine – meeting the exhibition floor).
While in town I was able to meet with the Education Team at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. It’s always great to brainstorm with folks who understand what it is you do, and can speak your lingo. It was also amazing to meet a group so willing to share resources, and hopefully we’ll be tackling a few projects together in the near future, including a revamp of one of their stellar educator guides that will hopefully feature both of our collections.
In all, I visited nine museums and gardens in the four days, so look for some short posts this week that will capture all the museological San Franciscan treats!
…Back at the Rubin Ranch, we were herding a number of great experiences for learners of all ages and preparing great things to come.
I was happy to stop down in the Seminar Room to visit the Auspicious Stitches Group. They had a full house on Monday, and there is a lot excitement in the air as they are finishing their next collaborative project, a touch thangka for Museum Guides to use during verbal description and touch tours for visitors who are visually impaired or blind.
On Tuesday I met up with our Audio Tour team for a recording of Modernist Art from India audio tour. While we conceive and write the tours in them museum in close collaboration with the curators, we try to use professional voice over artists, and sound engineers to help make our tours sound the best. This particular tour was extremely different for one of our voice over artists who has become used saying many tricky Tibetan tongue twisters. Modern Indian artists and locations provided a new challenge. Try saying the following sentence aloud:
“As a young student studying at Shantiniketan, Reddy was taken to the Ajanta Caves by his teacher, Nandalal Bose…”
The tour will be live on iTunes (always free) next week, so be sure to check it out.
Also in field of resources, we’ve been putting some final touches on a university level educator guide for teachers for the Gateway to Himalayan Art exhibition, as well as our next K-12 resource for Mirror of the Buddha.
On Thursday, Ashley reported that the Guides and Docents had a great session about the term “Buddhas” with Christian Luczanits. We’ll be podcasting the session around the New Year, so you’ll be able to hear this too. Also, our formal Museum Guide, Harry Einhorn, sent us an amazing photo essay of a trip he took the Norbulingka Art Institute in India – a blog post not meant to be missed.
All this and more, every week at the Rubin Museum Education Team.