I have been trying for days now to write a post that would sum up everything I took away from my travels in November, but am fast coming to the realisation that it is impossible. There were too many conversations, too many notes, too many museums. Fortunately I just (re)discovered a little impromptu video shout out that I made on my final night in Washington that at least captures some of what I was feeling at the time, which ties in perfectly to one of the takeaways that I had from the last month: that sometimes it’s important to capture the spirit of something, and not just it’s actuality.
I think this little film (despite its general sketchiness), does just that.
I’ll start trying to translate some more of what I took from travelling into blogform in the next few days. But in the meantime, this is just a little note of thank you to all those who helped me travel, and invited me into their homes and workplaces through out November. Special thanks must go to Nancy Proctor and Titus Bicknell for inviting me to stay with them whilst in DC (and additionally to Nancy for letting me shadow her at work), and Seb Chan for putting me up under his roof in NYC (and sending me to see Sleep No More).
Sarah Banks, too, deserves special mention for providing one of my most interesting afternoons at the Smithsonian, setting up meetings for me with Katja Schulz and Jen Hammock from the Encyclopedia of Life; with Maggy Benson and Robert Costello, from the Office of Education & Outreach, talking about Benson’s trip as an embedded educator in Bali, and Costello’s involvement with Smithsonian WILD!, an animal camera trapping project; and with Kelly Carnes from the Public Affairs office, who spoke to me about a cool partnership/initiative with ThirstDC (or, as one of the Tweets in the storify from the Spooktacular special edition put it, “the nerdiest drinking event ever”). Also to Mike Edson who let me pick his brain, and sit in on his meetings; and Elizabeth Merritt took me museuming, and to dinner. All of DC’s museum community need a shout-out, for making me feel entirely welcome.
Finally, thanks to the conference organisers at NDF2012 (especially Matthew Oliver, who has just signed on to take the reigns for NDF2013 too), MCN2012 (Liz Neely, Koven Smith) and INTERCOM (Lynda Kelly, Angelina Russo). And to all of the readers of museum geek who came up and introduced yourself during the various stages of my travels. It was grand to meet you!
4 November – 11 November: MCN2012 – Seattle, USA ¦ 12 November: NYC w/Seb, Sleep No More ¦ 13-17 November: museumgeek-in-reSIdence @ the Smithsonian Institution ¦ 19-23 November: NDF2012 – Wellington, NZ ¦ 25-28 November: INTERCOM – Sydney, AUS
Museums visited: Seattle Art Museum, American Museum of Natural History, National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of the American Indian, Hirshhorn, National Portrait Gallery, Newseum, Spy Museum, the Phillips Collection, the National Archives, Te Papa, Wellington Museum of City & Sea, Wellington Library, Australia Museum, Nicholson Museum, Powerhouse Museum.