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L.A. Museums Will Be Answering All Your Questions For #AskACurator Day
Do you ever wish you could know the secrets behind your favorite museums, and ask the curators everything you'd ever wondered about the world between their walls? Well, today things are about to start looking your way: enter Ask A Curator day.
Museums around the world are taking to social media Wednesday to open their virtual doors wide open and invite the public to ask curators questions on Twitter (just make sure to tag it #AskACurator). Over a thousand museums in 52 countries are participating in the international campaign. Los Angeles-area museums have been involved in the past, but they are going full throttle this year, with a total of 18 Southern California museums signed on to participate.
The Natural History Museum's Rachel Gertz told LAist that while her institution had participated "less formally" last year, they would be ramping it up this year.
"Too often, there's a sense that curators hide behind closed doors of rarified collection areas and labs. That's changing—they're becoming focused on communicating the relevance and excitement of their work," Alex Capriotti, President of SoCal Museums and Director of Marketing and Communications at The Broad said. "We're thrilled with SoCal Museums' participation in Ask A Curator Day. It's an amazing opportunity for both our local museum goers and our international audience to connect with Los Angeles' rich museum culture, and the experts who devote their careers to it."
Pretty exciting stuff. Here's the breakdown of who and when to tweet at for some of the L.A. museums getting in on the action today:
Autry Museum of the American West
Participating: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Twitter @theautry
9-10 a.m. Karimah Richardson, Staff Archaeologist
10-11 a.m. Amy Scott, Chief Curator and Marilyn B. and Calvin B. Gross Curator of Visual Arts
11 a.m.-12 p.m. Carolyn Brucken, Curator of Western Women’s History
2-3 p.m. Paige Bardolph, Associate Curator
Participating: Throughout the day on Twitter @thebroad
Ed Schad, Assistant Curator
Craft & Folk Art Museum
Participating: 1-2 p.m. on Twitter @craftandfolk, and Facebook
Holly Jerger, Exhibitions Curator
The J. Paul Getty Museum
Participating: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Twitter @gettymuseum
8-8:30 a.m. Richard Rand, Associate Director, Collections, Museum
9-9:30 a.m. Davide Gasparotto, Sr. Curator, Paintings, Museum
10-10:30 a.m. Marcia Reed, Associate Director, special collections and exhibitions, Getty Research Institute
11-11:30 a.m. Julian Brooks, Sr. Curator, Drawings, Museum
12-12:30 p.m. Charissa Bremer-David, Curator, Sculpture and Decorative Arts, Museum
1-1:30 p.m. David Saunders, Associate Curator, Antiquities, Museum
2-2:30 p.m. Nancy Perloff, Curator, Getty Research Institute
3-3:30 p.m. Elizabeth Morrison, Sr. Curator, Manuscripts, Museum
4-4:30 p.m. Paul Martineau, Associate Curator, Photographs, Museum
Participating: 2-4 p.m. on Twitter @FIDMmuseum
Christina Johnson, Associate Curator
Participating: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Twitter @hammer_museum
10-11 a.m. Marcela Guerrero, Curatorial Fellow
11 a.m.-12 p.m. Emily Gonzalez-Jarrett, Curatorial Associate
12-1 p.m. January Parkos Arnall, Curatorial Associate, Public Engagement
1-2 p.m. MacKenzie Stevens, Curatorial Assistant
Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Participating: TBD on Twitter @theicala
Jamillah James, Curator
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes
Participating: 12-2 p.m. on Twitter @LAplazaLA
Erin Curtis, Senior Curator
Erendina Delgadillo, Curator & Registrar
Participating: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Twitter @LACMA
10-11 a.m. Leslie Jones, Curator, Prints and Drawings
11-12 p.m. Bindu Gude, Associate Curator, South and Southeast Asian Art
12-1 p.m. John Hirx, Senior Conservator, Objects Conservation
1-2 p.m. Rita Gonzalez, Curator and Acting Department Head, Contemporary Art
2-3 p.m. Rosie Mills, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Associate Curator, Decorative Arts and Design
2-3 p.m. Bobbye Tigerman, Marilyn B. and Calvin B. Gross Associate Curator, Decorative Arts and Design
4-5 p.m. Naoko Takahatake, Associate Curator, Prints and Drawings
4-5 p.m. Megan O’Neill, Associate Curator, Art of the Ancient Americas
Los Angeles Zoo
Participating: 2:30-3:30 p.m. on Twitter @LAzoo
2:30 - 3:00 pm Beth Schaefer, General Curator
3:00 - 3:30 pm Heather Shields, Education Curator
Participating: 12-1 p.m. on Twitter @MOCA
Philippe Vergne, Director
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Participating: 10 am - 4 pm on Twitter @nhmla, and Facebook
10-10:30 a.m. Chris Thacker, Curator, Ichthyology (fishes), Facebook Live
11-11:30 a.m. Nathan Smith, Associate Curator, Dinosaur Institute, Facebook Live
12-12:30 p.m. Regina Wetzer, Associate Curator and Director, Marine Biodiversity Center, Twitter
1-1:30 p.m. Jann Vendetti, Curator, Malacology, Twitter
2-2:30 p.m. Kirk Fitzhugh, Curator, Polychaetes, Twitter
3-3:30 p.m. Jorge Velez-Juarbe, Curator, Mammalogy, Facebook Live
Norton Simon Museum
Participating: 10 a.m.-2:45 p.m. on Twitter @nortonsimon
10-10:45 a.m. Emily A. Beeny, Associate Curator
11-11:45 a.m. Stephanie Rozman, Assistant Curator
12-12:45 p.m. Tom Norris, Curatorial Associate
2-2:45 p.m. Gloria Williams Sander, Curator
Pasadena Museum of California Art
Participating: 12:30-2 p.m. on Twitter @PMCAonline
12:30-1 p.m. Erin Aitali, Director of Exhibitions and Interim Executive Director
1-1:30 p.m. Jay Belloli, Interim Executive Director
1:30-2 p.m. Gordon McClelland, California historian, writer, and curator
Skirball Cultural Center
Participating: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Twitter @skirball_LA
We also went through the #AskaCurator archives of years past to give readers a feel for the kind of questions that get asked, and spotlight some of our favorite answers. See below for a small sampling, ranging from the big-picture whimsical to the intricate minutiae of specific exhibits.
@linagato Not sure about accuracy but love Cassavete’s “Minnie & Moskowitz”—It was shot at LACMA & the great, great Gena Rowland stars in it— LACMA (@LACMA) September 16, 2015
#AskaCurator @LACMA - Whose job is it to inflate the Jeff Koons balloon dog? The guards? The curators? A birthday clown?— DomoGato (@DoomClown) September 19, 2012
@LACMA @AskACurator ...oh...— DomoGato (@DoomClown) September 18, 2013
What type light bulb did Turrell use? For older works, did he upgrade them? How many MW of energy do they use/week? @LACMA #AskACurator— Erica R. Desjardins (@ericareynolds) September 18, 2013
.ericareynolds more recently of course leds and lots of digital technology, software, etc. @AskACurator— LACMA (@LACMA) September 18, 2013
What's the biggest difference between curating a contemporary art exhibition vs a classical exhibition? @MOCAlosangeles #AskACurator— Indissoluble (@Indissoluble_) September 16, 2015
As a contemporary art museum, many of our exhibitions are of work by living artists. (1/2) #AskaCurator https://t.co/iKE8UXHN83— MOCA (@MOCAlosangeles) September 16, 2015
Working with artists to help support their vision is one of my greatest pleasures and honors! (2/2) #AskACurator https://t.co/iKE8UXHN83— MOCA (@MOCAlosangeles) September 16, 2015
We also love this guy, who worries about doing museums wrong (@DoomClown actually seems to be somewhat of a star in the #AskaCurator Twitter archives, and there is no wrong way to do a museum as long as you hit the gift shop, IMHO):
Sometimes I go to @theGetty, @LACMA or @NortonSimon because they're nice places to be, and forget to look at art. IS IT WRONG? #AskACurator— DomoGato (@DoomClown) September 16, 2015
@DoomClown @thegetty @NortonSimon No judgments! Museums are not just places to look at art and to learn... #AskACurator— LACMA (@LACMA) September 16, 2015
@DoomClown They are also, increasingly in our can’t-put-our-phone-down world, places of respite, where we look for calm, or just a nice view— LACMA (@LACMA) September 16, 2015
1/2 @thegetty @DoomClown @LACMA I'd never say that it's wrong to enjoy the grounds and gardens of these institutions! #AskACurator— Norton Simon Museum (@NortonSimon) September 16, 2015
2/2 @DoomClown @theGetty @LACMA Our garden is filled with art--beautiful works by Maillol, Moore, Lipchitz & other great 20th-c sculptors.— Norton Simon Museum (@NortonSimon) September 16, 2015
@erinleitner #AskACurator Everything should always be on display; many objects are light-sensitive and can't be shown all the time.— Getty is Celebrating 25 Years (@GettyMuseum) September 16, 2015
@Klasky_theegg #AskACurator I would be transported back to the storage rooms of Jean duc de Berry, most famous French medieval collector.— Getty is Celebrating 25 Years (@GettyMuseum) September 16, 2015
@linagato #AskACurator Pieces of a 9thc manuscript were found used as binding material in a 15thc printed book, now in our collection.— Getty is Celebrating 25 Years (@GettyMuseum) September 16, 2015
@CathyBeauArt #AskACurator I would live inside the lush landscape of a Diorama photograph by Hiroshi Sugimoto: http://t.co/q4VMnWvT87— Getty is Celebrating 25 Years (@GettyMuseum) September 16, 2015
We should also give The Broad some major props for digging in back in 2014, before they had even opened their doors.
.@BigMykeMC Haven’t seen it. But enjoyed looking at some of the 1969 comic book cover art: http://t.co/J6Fh1jX9on #AskACurator— The Broad (@TheBroad) September 18, 2014
And finally, a few pressing questions from years past that have yet to see a reply. We for one would really like to know the answers!
What is the protocol if the tar pits open up and swallow a building? Conserve everything? Sponsorship from qtips? #askacurator— Getting Your Sh*t Together (@GYSTInk) September 13, 2016
Hi @lacma @sfmoma @MuseumModernArt! I have a very #askacurator question: When does contemporary art start and modern art end for you? Thx!— Andrea K. 🍦 (@AndieCrispy) March 23, 2015
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