Exhibitions

When is the last time you read labels in an exhibit? Not just skimming, but really reading? Be honest! Experienceology's Stephanie Weaver recently found herself so completely enthralled with an exhibit that she was really reading the labels, while admiring the creative use of materials, the seamless weaving in of A/V components and the use of social media as a "talkback feature."
What is this...
Congratulations to our colleagues in California, Nevada, and Washington who earned recognition for their outstanding achievements in museum media at AAM's 2010 Muse Awards last night.
The Asian Art Museum (San Francisco, CA) won the top award in the Public Relations and Development category for Raising Spirits.
"Raising Spirits takes our world-renowned collection "on the road" via a plasma...
by James G. Leventhal
Man, as I look back over 75 years of the Western Museums Association, it makes me think of museum programs and exhibitions that I've seen...and those I've missed.
A show I REALLY wished I'd seen was California Video at the Getty from 2008.  A "Golden Oldie"?  Man, that've been golden for sure, but maybe not an "oldie"?
Do you have a favorite exhibition to mention?  Seen or...
By Steve Tokar

Participants at the MOPA visitor comfort workshop, October 2009 #wma09

Museums: Do you care if your visitors are comfortable and happy? If they are able to read your labels, find the special exhibition or the restroom, sit down when they’re tired? If those with disabilities feel accommodated? If your visitors are inclined to return? Would you like to test a potentially easy and...
by Katherine Whitney
For their annual “Feast of Ideas” session, December 9, 2009, the Bay Area’s Cultural Connections experimented with a new format. Traditionally the December meeting is more social than other programs, focusing on gathering and exchanging information from many participants rather than a single speaker or topic. This was the case this year as well.
The broad theme was Technology...
This is the second part of a multi-part video series documenting our October 25 pre-conference workshop on visitor comfort at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park, San Diego.
Participants role-played as visitors with either learning differences or physical disabilities. They based their roles on brief, half-page profiles, written by Paul Gabriel (differences) and Beth Katz (disabilities...
From disease and death to land loss and forced subjugation, native museums often have the daunting task of exploring difficult issues and events. Too often, as museum planners and exhibit designers, we talk around these subjects without fully confronting them. Three museum professionals from the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. and Bishop Museum and 'Iolani Palace in...
This is the third and final in a series of posts.  Read Part I and Part II.
Interviews
During the course of this project, I conducted a series of interviews with administrative and/or front-line educational staff at most of the science centers I visited.  The interviews allowed me to gauge professionals’ everyday awareness of gender dynamics, as well as informally assess their knowledge of...
This is Part II of a series.  Read Part I.
Methods
My examination of museums and science centers took me to science museums and centers of varying sizes in both Northern and Southern California.
In order to obtain a representative sampling of California’s diverse museums, I visited seven science centers of varying scales, geography, and foci, ranging from tiny suburban science centers to the...
By Stephanie Weaver
On Sunday, October 25 WMA held a pre-conference workshop at San Diego's Museum of Photographic Arts called "Getting Comfortable with Visitor Comfort." The goal of the workshop was to help participants and the museum assess how the museum's experience met visitors' comfort needs, and therefore was an experience they might want to repeat. The facilitators (in alpha order) were...

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