News, The Digital Museum

Kids Say the Darndest Things

medieval times

Just because I haven’t been around for a while (almost two months!), doesn’t mean that there haven’t been interesting things happening in the museum world…

  • The art community finally, unanimously, agrees on something: they hate Bravo’s Work of Art.
  • James Franco continues his omnipresence. Holding his own gallery show in NYC and bringing General Hospital to L.A.’s MOCA.
  • The security system was “outfoxed” at Paris’ Musee d’Art Moderne, where theives stole five paintings worth millions, including a Picasso and a Matisse.
  • Protests over BP sponsorships have popped up at several museums: including Tate Britain.
  • Caravaggio’s bones may have been found.
  • The new owners of Polaroid donated 10,000 company artifacts to the MIT Museum. And Lady Gaga (the company’s new creative director) showed up to have her picture taken.

While all of these are cool/interesting happenings, there is one museum-related occurrence that really caught my eye. I find it so interesting, because even though it occurs outside of a museum’s walls, it is, at its heart, exactly what museums are about: visitors and their interaction with the collection. What is it? It is the new Overheard at AIC Twitter feed.

Some Art Institute of Chicago interns have gotten together to operate a Twitter account that posts random gems they overheard from museum visitors.  Some of these quotes include:

  • “The museum collects lots of interesting objects from around the world. What things do you collect.” A 6-year-old replies: “I collect money!”
  • Me: “This story took place during the Medieval time period, does anyone know about Medieval times?” 10-year-old girl: “I’ve been there!”
  • “Is this supposed to be amazing? Because this is NOT amazing.” -Boy to his mom during an AIC event.
  • “You know what artists make?” 1st grader: “Boobies!”
  • “If I could marry this museum, I would!” -2nd grader.

They have only been tweeting since June 30th, so I am interested to follow along and see how the account grows. And, between tweets, you can check out their blog for a more in-depth look at the behind-the-scenes intern experience.

What awesome things have you overheard people saying in museums?

2 Responses to “Kids Say the Darndest Things”

  1. Hatti on July 17th, 2010

    We had a beach house exhibition on at the museum i work at. On the front of all the promotional material and posters etc was a 1950’s bikini model.
    One kid about 8 said whilst walking round the Roman bit of the gallery ‘When are be gonna go see the naked lady show?!’

    He saw I heard him and blushed and his parents looked so embarrased! Bet the boy was disappointed when he found out all there was were beach huts and some not very flattering swimsuits on plain white models!

  2. Museumist on July 18th, 2010


    Great story! There were probably more nudes in the Roman section than in the swimsuit show, little boy just wasn’t paying attention. Thanks for commenting!

Leave a Reply