As the first year of the ArtMuseumTeaching site wraps up, I thought it would be good to post a brief “Year in Review.” Not that we need any more end-of-the-year lists or calls for resolutions, but I think it can be meaningful to take a minute and look back at some of the issues that have been on our minds this past year. From the Getty staff reduction to a cantankerous teenager writing about museums, there have been a lot of sticky topics that we’ve discussed here on this site.
Through its inaugural year, ArtMuseumTeaching has grown from a tiny blog seedling planted back in February to an online community that now has 16 authors, 52 posts, and more than 50,000 views from readers in 99 countries. I hope that the online community and conversation around this site will continue to grow, include more perspectives, and be a space of exchange where we can connect on issues of teaching, learning, and community engagement that matter most.
Year in Review: 5 Most Read Posts of 2012
1. “Why Museums Don’t Suck: The Current State of Teen Engagement” (October 2012): Howard Hwang’s indictment of museums in his teen article for LA Youth sparked the most widespread discussion of the year, bringing out some great perspectives on teen engagement as well as some key questions and challenges we should all be addressing.
2. “Responding to the Getty Cuts: A Significant Step Backward” (May 2012): While we all have become well-acquainted with the budget cuts and lay-offs of the recent recession, the move earlier this year by the Getty to cut its education staff caught many of us by surprise — and was certainly a crisis moment for our profession.
3. “Public Value and Being Human: Gallery Teaching is Core to Our Mission” (May 2012): One of the real crisis moments of the year for our field also brought out some exceptional reflections from within, and this thoughtful post from Briley Rasmussen helped us focus on the human element of our shared work in museums.
4. “Teaching with the iPad: Adding a New Dimension to the Museum Experience” (April 2012): As technology edges its way into every museum, the iPad has been drawing a lot of attention. While we don’t know what device or new technology will sweep across museums over the next few years, it was nice to look at some of the basic ways that a simple tablet device can transform even the most traditional museum experience.
5. “Gallery Diving: Interns Tackle Public Engagement” (August 2012): One of the big themes of 2012 was definitely ‘experimenting in museums,’ and I am still so proud of the risks that this group of interns took this past summer through our public engagement project. It inspires me to continue pushing toward a DIY mindset.
Enjoy these popular posts from 2012, and see you in 2013 — a year that promises to bring a whole new set of challenges, success stories, and new ways of thinking about both the theory and practice of art museum teaching. If you would like to share the projects you’re working on or the issues and challenges you are grappling with, please add your voice to this growing community (and just send me a tweet at @murawski27). Cheers!