I'm A Museum Person

I’m A Museum Person: Shiloh Aderhold

Photo by blhphotography via Flickr.

My name is Shiloh Aderhold, and I’m a Museum Person.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am currently an art history and museum studies M.A. student at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I’ve been involved with museums for over five years, wearing many hats—visitor services, curatorial/collections and interpretation. Most of my experience is with historic house museums, specifically those of Frank Lloyd Wright. I currently intern in the curatorial department at the MCA in Chicago, and this summer I will be working at the Chicago Botanic Garden assisting with program interpretation and volunteer management.

Why do museums matter to you?

Museums are laboratories of culture that provide personal connections to both tangible objects and abstract ideas. They are a place to establish a forum for knowledge, create relationships, and share ideas and experiences. It’s important to have places that do this.

What is your favorite museum memory?

When I was studying in Barcelona several years ago, I went to an exhibition at MACBA— this was one of my first exposures to contemporary art. The Janet Cardiff and Georges Bures Miller exhibition was up. How their installations consume all behaviors of the museum visitors is impactful. It changed my ideas of what art can be. It was amazing, very visceral.

Photo by visual panic via Flickr.

What museum would you love to visit?

The Brooklyn Museum. I always seemed to miss this one when I’m in New York. But, it’s on my list for the next trip. I love their involvement with technology/social media and how they incorporate it into their collection, exhibitions, and programs. Plus, Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party.

What is your dream museum job?

Anything where I am able to be knee-deep in the collection: physically or conceptually.

When you think of the perfect exhibit, what is in it?

Interaction and stimulation. Physical or intellectual.

Who is the funnier museum twitterer…@SUEtheTrex or @NatHistoryWhale?

I like Sue’s sense of humor. Plus, I live in Chicago, so I have to represent.

What is the most random item you have bought from a museum gift shop?

A tape measure featuring the designs of Wright’s Coonley windows. It was a father’s day gift.

To test your museum knowledge, what cities are the following museums in?

  • The High Museum of Art- Atlanta! I went to high school outside of Atlanta. This museum was very formative in developing my passion for art and art interpretation.
  • The Experience Music Project- Seattle. This was a question on Jeopardy a few weeks ago.
  • Musee de la Civilisation- Paris, some where in France? Or Canada!?
  • The Courtauld Gallery – London
  • The Kuntskammer – St. Petersburg

Photo by sapoague via Flickr.

What museum would you move into for a month if you could?

Probably the Isabella Stewart Garner Museum. Or any house museum, really. It would be amazing to be transplanted into the life and history of someone else. Plus, there will probably be beds there, ha.

Out of all the museums you have visited so far, which one is your favorite?

I think Calatrava’s Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias is pretty amazing. The architecture is a museum within itself. The science museum and aquarium are excellent spaces.

Photo by KA13 via Flickr.

What is the most bizarre museum you have visited?

Museum of Death in L.A.

There seem to be a million books and movies set in museums. Which one is your favorite?

You get to see the highlights of the Art Institute of Chicago in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, which is awesome. It also demonstrates different museum experiences, such as the children running through the gallery and personally relating to art. Its a little cheesy, but I like it.


Thanks to Shiloh for sharing her experiences. If you’re interested in participating in the “I’m A Museum Person” series, send us an email at editor@museumist.com, and we’ll get your story up on the site.


One Response to “I’m A Museum Person: Shiloh Aderhold”

  1. Betty on May 8th, 2011

    Great post Steve. Which museum has the best bar? I need to check that out.

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