Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lunch @ Home

Working from home, as lovely as it is, is getting a bit old. The above was my lunch yesterday. Not bad, really, but let's compare it to a couple of work lunches that I took pictures of last spring and fall.

On the hill by the river at one of my museums.

At a lovely sidewalk table in the town of one of my other museums.

Sigh. I realize the weather and season are big factors here, but it's just not even close, is it?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Museum Daily (sort of, kind of)

I'm not sure if I want to count this as a Museum Daily, because it's not from today or even this week.  However, it's a photo I took of one of my days in the museum, so I suppose it counts.  :)

These two notes are thank you notes from the kindergarten classes at a school who visits one of my museums annually.  These sweet kids come every fall to do one of our programs on Native American life in Massachusetts.  Despite their young age, they're generally very interested and well-behaved.  

And every year, I get a tall thank you note, written by the lead teacher and signed by each of the little kids.  How sweet is that?  I pinned them to the wall in the shared office to remind me of what it's all for on the days when I'm feeling frazzled or tired.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Work Resolutions

I haven't made New Year's resolutions in my personal life for about four years. I have nothing against them, but I'm not sure they ever really stick with me. Without writing down a step-by-step schedule for achieving goals, I have a hard time keeping up with them. And I find myself just too busy living life to follow a schedule! However, it seems like a good thing to attempt with my work life. I like the idea of having a work plan for the year - a list of major things to achieve.

In the fall, a local city councilor generously donated $500 to one of my museums, and the curator graciously handed it off to my department - the education department. I think one of the best uses for the money is to buy boxes with labels and properly organize the closet in the photo above. It's a simple goal, but having that closet - which contains a lot of my educational supplies - neat & easy to navigate would be wonderful!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Art Restoration on a Snowy Day

Since my road looks like this:

I will not be going into work today.  Instead, I'm working from home at the desk in the guest room and savoring a second cup of coffee.

I wanted to share this interactive from a December 18th article in the NY Times. The Met has a painting in their collection that has, in the sixty years it's been at the museum, been alternately identified as a Velázquez, repudiated as such, and now vindicated. It's a really interesting story, but what attracted my attention even more was the accompanying interactive.

Extensive restoration work was done on the painting over the last eighteen months, which was key in revealing the true identity of the work. To help readers see the difference in the painting pre- and post-restoration work, the Times layered photographs of the two stages (pre-restoration on top & post- on the bottom). Readers can move a slider back & forth to see more & less of the images. The difference is astounding!

I love the idea of using an interactive like this for a museum exhibit, particularly one that includes paintings and can therefore raise those specific issues of art conservation. However, you could also do something like it to illustrate any kind of restoration work, from furniture to documents. It's a more sophisticated version of the "before & after" trick and I think it's probably quite easy to execute on the technical side. Hmmm - I'm getting ideas . . .

Friday, January 7, 2011

Just for Fun

(Image from The Onion)
This article from The Onion, from a little over a year ago, is pretty funny.  It actually reminds me of a commercial for Dos Equis beer, about their faux spokesperson, "the most interesting man in the world."  Each commercial lists things about this man that are amazing and/or show how important he is.  A line in one of them goes, "At museums, he's allowed to touch the art."