Friday, August 28, 2009


Image via 20X200-more on this later!

I am a museumgoer. And yes, that is an actual word: Museumgoer. All mashed into in one and defined as one who goes to museums. While a number of people I know are “museumgoers,” a hearty number of them do not venture into museums in their own city. It seems we reserve our cultural adventures for vacations. Sigh.

Insert true confession: Not only am I a museumgoer, I am a museum professional.

I grew up visiting museums and galleries. The famed contemporary art leader The Walker, is still one of my favorite destinations and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts is an incredible source of inspiration. Who does not love The Art Institute of Chicago, MoMA, The Met, the Louvre? I make it a point to plan my travel experiences around cultural destinations and great food. Why don’t we do that at home? It’s an easy sell to get your friends gathered at new restaurant, but why is it such a tough pitch in San Diego to meet for a gallery opening or to see a new exhibition?

I challenge you to look at our fine city in a new way. Consider visiting The San Diego Museum of Art (this is YOUR Museum) for a view of incredible works of art. You might be surprised at the collection’s diversity, at how frequently objects are rotated, and that so many incredible exhibitions presented at the Museum are exclusive West Coast venues (take that L.A.!). Don’t stop there either—try on these other fine gems in Balboa Park—the Timken (FREE all the time!), MoPA (photography), and the Mingei (“art of the people”).

Please do not wait until you are asked to chaperone the third grade class field trip or until your mom begs to see Monet. Visit today. Your Museum is a place for conversation, for inquiry, for inspiration. While you may be asked to check your bag, you will not be shushed. Enjoy it, experience it, and support it.

Blogging on the role of museumgoer is museum professional Sarah Beckman, Associate Director of Development at The San Diego Museum of Art.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Sarah! Hopefully The Gallery will breed a whole new crop of museumgoers...


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