Monday, March 29, 2010

The [Exciting] Museum Life

When visiting museums as a child, and even into my adolescence, I always had these grand expectations about what happened "behind the scenes". I imagined underground hallways, tunnels, and rooms and rooms full of art work that was not on display...

So when I started my internship at the Nelson-Atkins Museum I thought, "Great! I can finally see what happens when the museum in closed." Well, ha. Meetings and tours. That's what happens when the museum is closed. I actually work off-site at One Main Park, on the 5th floor, with other museum employees, enjoying our cubicles. While I thought I would be IN the museum, constantly surrounded by ever-changing exhibits and kindergartners holding hands, it has been a really interesting experience.

Besides meeting some really nice museum personnel, I've been able to walk around the museum while it was closed, enjoying each room in total privacy. Not having to trip over elementary school field trips is a luxury in my eyes. I've also been able to see the stacks, the enormous library collection underneath the museum. Temperature controled, badge access only's pretty fun. It plays into my childhood fantasy of the "exclusive" side of the museum.

I'm really looking forward to visiting "the caves" next. The off-site storage of all the artwork not currently on display. I have an image in my mind of what it looks like, but maybe I've just seen too many movies...

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