Attending a museum exhibit in order to acquire a little bit of culture does not necessarily require a boring afternoon of staring at stuffed wooly mammoths and enduring the excruciating monologues of tour guides. There are dozens upon dozens of exciting and innovative exhibits that toured the country this year alone. Knowing just who and what kinds of things to look for in a touring museum exhibit can allow visitors to reignite their passion for genuinely intriguing and intellectually stimulating culture once again.
Art in All the Right Places
Gaming culture has invaded the mainstream steadily sine the release of the old-school Nintendo. The Art of Video games debuted at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, revealing over 40 years of pixelated innovation. Virtually every gaming platform in existence was represented along with its history of development. Visitors had the opportunity to play the beloved games of old, including Pac Man and the original Super Mario Brothers. Developers were on-site via video chats, and there were numerous forums and lectures on the progression of the media as a whole.
Understanding Why the World Did not End
All the doomsday chatter associated with the Mayans and the end of 2012 has skyrocketed attendance for the exhibit, Maya: Secrets of the Ancient World, which debuted at the Royal Ontario Museum. The exhibition was put together through the collaboration of the Canadian Museum of Civilization and Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History. Visitors are able to cut through the media hype concerning apocalypse to get some real insight into the actual practices and predictions made by this ancient society. The stunning installations in the exhibit feature reproductions of visual glyphs, jungle architecture, and illustrations of common sacrificial bloodletting practices.
The Kiasama Museum of Contemporary Art has brought the world Thank You for the Music – How Music Moves Us. This show illustrates how music has impacted the visual arts over the decades and how the arts, in turn, have effected the production of music. Citing ABBA as the primary inspiration for the exhibit, the curators incorporate a largely Finnish variety of visual artists with the music of popular figures such as Pink Twins and Adel Abidin.
A Woman of Many Faces
Society’s current obsession with celebrity is explored in innovative new ways through the photographs of visual artist Cindy Sherman. Her recent collection of work unveiled at the Museum of Modern Art in New York featured over 180 photographs that depict the artist herself in the guise of celebrities, B-movie actresses, working class citizens, and infamous figures from the 1800′s forward. Her exploitative exploration of identity and gender roles in a contemporary context is truly engaging on a variety of levels.
Believe it or not, but there is actually a museum dedicated totally to surfing. The Museum of British Surfing in North Devon recently featured The Art of Surf. The museum has only recently opened its doors, making this installation its premier move onto the scene. The collection of boards on display can only be considered excessive. The exhibit also featured custom art and drawings by both surfers and well-known board designers.
Article by Sally Perkins
Museum technician Sally Perkins enjoys writing about different works of art and exhibits in museums around the world. Sally also was thrilled to contribute to Liberal Arts College Rankings, a great place to learn more about liberal arts education.