Ian Padgham of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Erin Coburn of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Robert Stein of the Indianapolis Museum of Art and Shelley Bernstein, chief technology officer at the Brooklyn Museum (image via nytimes.com)

In the mood for some museum news? You’re in luck, because the New York Times has more than you could EVER READ. Their annual special “Museums Section” was just published, and we sorted it for you. Check out a selected list of their stories here, plus stay tuned for an NYT Twitter chat this afternoon about museums and social media.

NYT Museums Special Section

  • Private collections in public spaces: This article examines the increasing prevalence of collector-based shows in public museums, noting that they’re often cheaper and easier to pull together than a normal curatorial effort (plus they please donors!).
  • Christopher Knight on private collection issues:

  • Airport art: Did you know airports make ideal spaces for art viewing? Meaning that you’re stuck in one area for a long period of time? I identify, there was a great Noguchi sculpture in Dulles that occupied my wandering attention.
  • Underdog ambition: Long Island’s Parrish Art Museum is chomping at the heels of larger institutions. With a new building by Herzog and de Meuron and a newfound energy, will this be the museum to watch in the next decade?
  • Asian art historiography: Charting the development of the Met’s Asian art collection. Now possibly the best in the world, it barely existed 60 years ago. Plenty of juicy trustee stories, quite a good read. Money quote:

    The skylight was soon exposed, and 26 Chinese craftsmen, accompanied by a personal cook, were imported from the garden city of Suzhou to create the Astor Court.

  • Museums for kids: The Long Island Children’s Museum is trying to get kids to play, whether its inside or outside, on a playground or… looking at poop. The museum has a whole poop collection! How did we not know this?
  • Art tasting: Director of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City Julian Zugazagoitia is hosting monthly art chats with his curators in an attempt to broaden the museum’s appeal. He looks like an up and coming museum guy, and the events sound pretty fun.
  • Digital Participation: Museums are increasingly taking advantage of social and digital media for publicity and visitor interaction, but if you read Hyperallergic, maybe you already knew that. Anyway, a good overview. Add to that a fantastic story on museum tech and outreach directors that’s much more informative. How can museums become personal, strong communities?
  • Cyborg museums: Nope, not robot overlord armies of museums. There are some museums that exist mostly online— niche collections supported by niche communities. Ever heard of the Fitness Museum? Me neither, but it’s out there.
  • Museum gadgetry: A tiny new computer is making digital interactivity even more accessible, affordable and installable for museums. Check out the Arduino is changing exhibition design.
  • Art and dance: Merce Cunningham’s dance company has traveled with a staggering array of museum-quality art objects, but these are for using, not hanging in a gallery.

Twitter Conversation

Had enough museum stuff? Of course not! Right now, a conversation is going on on Twitter under #nytmuseums, hosted by the New York Times’ Jennifer Preston (@NYT_JenPreston) and featuring such museum social media stars as Shelley Bernstein, of the Brooklyn Museum (@shell7), Ian Padgham of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (@origiful), Erin Coburn of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (@metmuseum) and Robert Stein of the Indianapolis Museum of Art (@rjstein).

Watch the conversation on Twitter or through the New York Times’ website. We’ll have highlights collected on this post as they come, so stay tuned! Here come the tweets:


Museums are talking about how Groupon has helped them with membership:



Re: How do museums use YouTube?


Official chat is over, but the tweets keep flowing…


On art video aggregating website ArtBabble:


And of course, the original is best:


UPDATE: #nytmuseums is trending in NY and DC! Congrats guys!


Kyle Chayka was senior editor at Hyperallergic. He is a cultural critic based in Brooklyn and has contributed to publications including ARTINFO, ARTnews, Modern Painters, LA Weekly, Kill Screen, Creators...

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