Posted: April 13th, 2016
Visiting a Museum
It makes sense to approach a museum the way a seasoned traveler approaches visiting a city for the first time. Find out what there is available to see. In the museum, find out what sort of exhibitions are currently housed in the museum and start with the exhibits that interest you. If there is a travelling exhibition, it’s always a good idea to see it while you have the chance. Then, if you have time, you can look at other things in the museum. Every effort should be made ahead of time to identify a museum that has items and works one can easily connect to our HUM 111 class and book. Since HUM 111 covers from ancient times to the 1500s AD, it makes more sense to focus on items from that time frame. In general, museums with artistic cultural artifacts and fine arts work better than history museums. Any questions about whether a museum-visit activity fits the course and assignment well enough will be decided by the instructor when the student seeks approval for the activity. Any alternative activity outside the normal ones listed here, such as for those limited by disability or distance, will be determined by the instructor. Generally, we do not expect students to travel over an hour to get to an approved activity. Take notes as you go through the museum and accept any handouts or pamphlets that the museum staff gives you. While you should not quote anything from the printed material when you do your report, the handouts may help to refresh your memory later. The quality of your experience is not measured by the amount of time you spend in the galleries or the number of works of art that you actually see. The most rewarding experiences can come from finding two (2) or three (3) pieces of art or exhibits which intrigue you and then considering those works in leisurely contemplation. Most museums even have benches where you can sit and study a particular piece. If you are having a difficult time deciding which pieces to write about, ask yourself these questions: (1) If the museum you are visiting suddenly caught fire, which two (2) pieces of art or exhibits would you most want to see saved from the fire? (2) Why would you choose those two (2) particular pieces?
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