2016 brought some exciting developments to this blog, including the launch of a new product line of creative prompts for visiting museums: MusEmvelopes. The two available themes are Love and Voyages. I also started a newsletter, which you can subscribe to below.
I've had so much fun this year exploring museums! In 2016, I wrote about 34 museums in 5 different countries, with a third of the posts about The Metropolitan Museum of Art or The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
I also continued with monthly Creativity Themes, where I picked a theme for the month and thought of creative ways to interpret artworks and museums around that theme. The six themes of 2016 were HOME, VOYAGES, TECHNOLOGY, PLAY, WOMEN, and CALM.
To celebrate the end of the year, I picked some of my favorite museum visits and activities in 2016. I hope you'll enjoy!
FAVORITE MUSEUM TECHNOLOGY
I had a truly magical museum experience in San Francisco's SFMOMA. After much anticipation, I finally had the opportunity to test the museums’s innovative new app in its natural setting. This app accomplished in me what museum interpretation should aim for: as I absorbed the content, my thoughts went deep into it and beyond it. I learned about modern art; I spent time thinking about life and art.
I also had the opportunity to chat about the production of one of the app's audio tours with Museum Hack’s Ethan Angelica. SFMOMA invited Museum Hack, an exciting company that leads interactive tours of museums, to develop one of these audio tours.
I went on a hunt for beavers in the House of Beavers (the old name for the Château Ramezay). They were plentiful, from old medals to engravings to drinking glasses. I made it my personal mission to track down all the beavers on display.
FAVORITE MUSEUM-INSPIRED EVENT
I somewhat accidentally had a Louvre-themed wedding. Artworks from the Louvre inspired the invitations, the programs, even the wedding cake!
Hands down, The Library at Night at the BANQ was one of the coolest exhibitions I've been to lately, maybe ever. It explored ten great libraries of the world using virtual reality. This exhibition converted me to an enthusiastic believer in the potential of virtual reality.
FAVORITE MUSEUM ACTIVITY
That's when I decided to tweet about my three day retreat to the Metropolitan Museum. Using the hashtag #threedaysinthemet, I set out to tweet a photo and description about every half hour. I tweeted about objects, how they were displayed, and how I interacted with them.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts offered a musical audioguide, which pairs different artworks with various musical selections. One of my favorite combinations was that of a Polish princess and a Chopin Polonaise.
FAVORITE MUSEUM MEMORIES
My first ever museum experiences were in the glorious University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) in Ann Arbor. This year, I took time to stroll through UMMA and it felt like time travel. I vividly remembered the impressions and discoveries that I had experienced with these artworks at different points in my life, from as early as preschool. I wrote about some of the lessons about art that I learned as a kid in UMMA.
I visited the British Museum a few years ago, and the state of the ancient statuary struck me: most of these objects were scarred from their journeys through time. From small pockmarks to missing limbs, these statues had not escaped the passage of time unscathed.
FAVORITE MUSEUM DISCOVERY
The Musée des Pompiers (Firefighter Museum) is full of relics covering the history of firefighters in Montreal. While our time in the galleries was fascinating, my favorite part of the visit was when we descended into the garage of the actual firehouse. My inner-preschooler almost had a heart attack when our guide asked us if we wanted to climb into the driver's seat of one of the fire trucks.