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Thinking about Thinking in Rome: part three

I have the incredible privilege of spending four weeks at the American Academy in Rome as an Affiliate Fellow, representing the IMA. From time to time I hope to post some of my adventures and discoveries here. What a ride! (To read the rest of the posts in this series, click here.)

This is the project description that I sent to members of the Academy community, attached to an email inviting them to schedule an interview time with me:

3 October, 2009
Member of the Academy Community:

My name is Linda Duke and I am an Affiliate Fellow in residence at the Academy for four weeks, Sept. 28-Oct. 26, 2009. Back home, I serve as Director of Education at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. While in residence in Rome, I hope to collect from members of the Academy community descriptions of and reflections on their recent aesthetic experiences – with works of art, architecture and other design arts, gardens and thoughtfully-prepared food.

View from AAR balcony

View from AAR balcony

Volunteers will be invited to speak or write about whichever experiences they choose and may participate as many times as they wish. There are precedents for using language as a window into the types of thinking that are engaged (see below). In this project, it will be important to capture participants’ actual words, via audio recording or in written form. My interest is in examining what commonalities of critical and aesthetic thought might be found across the domains of art, design and culinary art. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Education, Travel


Experience Is Everything

Audience at the Toby

Audience at The Toby

We have a lot to offer at the IMA: permanent galleries, Lilly House, 152 acres of gardens and grounds, exhibitions, public programs, web projects, and community outreach. After a while, it’s easy to take for granted all of the ways that the museum serves its mission. Every week I write ads, print pieces, Facebook updates, and blogs that focus on the opportunities for visitors at the IMA, but I often don’t take advantage of them myself.

Just 30 seconds from where I sit, I have an amazingly impressive collection of the world’s art, and I rarely take the time to see it. I’m not sure if it’s my hectic schedule or laziness, but it’s shameful to me how little time I spend in the galleries or at the IMA’s public programs. As a marketer, I spend my day encouraging others to experience the IMA, but I wouldn’t be doing my job well unless I do it myself. Therefore, I have recently decided to attend two public programs each month and spend at least 30 minutes in the galleries each week. It’s still not enough, but it’s a start. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Marketing, Musings


Transparency and Museums (Part 2) – Reasons for Transparency

Museum TransparencyLast week in part one of this series, we looked at a working definition of transparency on which to base the context of our conversation.  There was some good discussion in the comments about the concept in general and specifically about the differences between the valuation of museum collections and deaccessioning practices.   Thanks to those of you who commented, and/or tweeted about the article.

Saying that transparency is a “good idea” is not enough to address concerns that many museums have about sharing  information in this way.  Today, we’ll spend some more time examining a few reasons why museum administrators should seriously consider an open approach to transparency as a strategic choice in running the museum.

Again, please chime in with thoughts / questions / analogies / etc…  Your thoughts really add to and enrich the conversation.  Do you think this would work in your museum?  What would be the biggest concerns that would arise?

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Filed under: Musings, Technology


The Pharmacy


The Pharmacy prescribes the following links to combat Monday online anemia.


Blog: My Parents Were Awesome

New inspired crowd-sourcing blog, ‘My Parents Were Awesome‘, collects evidence that, “before the fanny packs and Andrea Bocelli concerts, your parents (and grandparents) were once free-wheeling, fashion-forward, and super awesome.”

(via buzzfeed)

ArtBabble Video: Orly Genger: In The Factory

Orly Genger meets up in the IMA’s Nugget Factory to discuss her latest installation at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the names for her sculptures and installing in a very public location.

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Filed under: Art, Current Events, New Media


“Goodnight Garden” (sincere apologies to Margaret Wise Brown)

In the great green garden-room
There was an elephant ear alocasia
And some blue and white balloon flowers ….”

Brilliant red of the native sourwood tree with the clear yellow of Photinia in the background.  IMA/Oldfields border garden near orchard.

Brilliant red of the native sourwood tree with the clear yellow of Photinia in the background. IMA/Oldfields border garden near orchard.

Arisaema and sourwood leaves

Arisaema and sourwood leaves

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Filed under: Horticulture


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