A Guide to Participation in the Museum

By Danielle Carter As a museum educator, it can sometimes prove difficult to balance the limitless information held within the museum and its collections, and the constructivist museum approach that affirms the visitor’s contribution as valid. Recently, we wrote a post about why parental participation in family museum visits matters to the entire family’s museum and learning experience. In this post, we will focus more on how to encourage participation in general and why this is essential to the museum visitor experience. At Thinking Museum, all our museum educators and guides receive training in using Visible Thinking in the museum environment.

3 Golden Rules for Successful Family Tours

by Danielle Carter Working with family groups can be a challenge for museum educators, especially when striking the balance between engaging the children and the parents at the same time. There are, however, a few different tactics that can help educators encourage the whole family to participate fully. Set the tone at the start It is important to set the right tone at the beginning of the tour. Make sure that this is done during the introduction before entering the museum or embarking on the walking tour. Get to know the family by asking them a few questions about their trip

Van Gogh Returns!

by Danielle Carter Although art theft seems like something you would only see in films, it is not a totally uncommon event. In 2002 — within the space of just a few minutes — thieves stole two early paintings by Vincent van Gogh from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Several years later, the Van Gogh Museum and experts in the global art world had pretty much lost hope that they would be restored to their rightful home in Amsterdam. However, the Italian police unexpectedly stumbled upon the two paintings in 2016 while investigating and tracking down members of the drug

A Peek at Dutch (Art) History at the Stedelijk Museum

By Danielle Carter The Stedelijk Museum has acted as a key supporter of contemporary art in general—commissioning the first Richard Serra piece intended for public space, for example—, but has also played a particularly important role in the stimulation of Dutch contemporary art. The museum, for example, commissioned the work of Ed van der Elsken, the preeminent Dutch photographer of the 20th century, and later organised a retrospective of his work. Despite the international nature of the collection and exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum, there are undoubtedly a significant number of Dutch works on display at any given moment. One of

Slow Food: Still Lifes of the Golden Age at the Mauritshuis

By Claire Bown The new exhibition at the Mauritshuis 'Slow Food: Still Lifes of the Golden Age' is a real feast for the senses.  It's also the first exhibition to be devoted to the development of meal still lifes in Holland and Flanders from 1600 onwards. The inspiration for the exhibition comes in the form of a painting acquired by the museum in 2012, 'Still Life with Cheeses, Almonds and Pretzels' by Clara Peeters. There are a total of 22 works on display with masterpieces on loan from the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Washington's National Gallery of Art, Oxford's Ashmolean Museum and the

Ed van der Elsken at the Stedelijk Museum

Ed van der Elsken, Meisje in de metro, Tokio (1984) Nederlands Fotomuseum / © Ed van der Elsken / Collectie Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam Observing Human Behaviour through the Camera Lens by Danielle Carter The new exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum explores Ed van der Elsken’s (1925-1990) infatuation with photography and film throughout his life. The exhibition takes its name from a film that van der Elsken made for Dutch TV, The Verliefde Camera (The Infatuated Camera), for which he won the national prize for film art a year later. Due to van der Elsken’s longstanding relationship with the Stedelijk

Museologists, Communities, Crises and Commerce

This year I had the pleasure of co-organising two events around the 40 Year Anniversary celebrations at the Reinwardt Academy. On 11 November I was one of the Co-Curators/-Creators for the RTWA40 Years Festival and led a marathon session on building an exhibition in 11 hours. On 10 November I organised, in conjunction with two fellow Alumni Mark O'Neill and Erin Caswell, the Master of Museology Alumni Symposium on 'Communities, Crisis, Commerce: When can Museologists Make a Difference in the World?' Thinking Museum guide Danielle Carter attended the symposium on 10 November and reflects on the morning session here: Museologists, Communities,

The Role of Museums in an Evolving World

A Reflection on the 'Museums, Citizenship and Belonging in a Changing Europe' Conference by Danielle Carter 29 November 2016 The 'Museums, Citizenship and Belonging in a Changing Europe' Conference took place at the Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden as part of a larger effort supported by Sharing a World of Inclusion, Creativity and Heritage (SWICH) and the Research Center for Material Culture (RCMC). This is one of a string of conferences this year (see our recent posts on the Inclusive Museum Conference and the Reinwardt Academy Symposium) that has focused on the ethical responsibility of museums when faced with a world in

Impressions of Landscape: Daubigny, Monet, and Van Gogh at the Van Gogh Museum

by Danielle Carter Van Gogh is largely known for still life paintings such as Sunflowers or small landscape paintings created from the view from his window such as Starry Night; however, Van Gogh felt most at peace when he was in nature, and many of his paintings depict rural landscapes. After living with his brother in Paris for about two years (1886-1888), Van Gogh escaped to the more rural town of Arles, positioned in the south of France. This is where he painted many of his most acclaimed paintings. He was more inspired by the landscape and environment of southern France than

Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age: What Not to Miss

The Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age: What Not to Miss by Danielle Carter featured image: Rembrandt (1606 - 1669)  The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Deijman, 1656 If you can’t get enough of Dutch Golden Age art at the Rijksmuseum, the Hermitage Amsterdam is a wonderful additional option to expand your knowledge with the exhibition: Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age. image: Elvert Ezinga From late 2014 through to the end of this year, the Hermitage Amsterdam, in collaboration with the Rijksmuseum and the Amsterdam Museum, is hosting an array of portraits from the Dutch Golden Age, including some of the