Five Things

"Yves Saint Laurent: 'Mondrian' day dress (C.I.69.23)". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (October 2006)

1. If you thought you were the only one who thought “Denver? Really?” when you heard the Yves Saint Laurent exhibition would be popping up in the Mile High City, don’t worry, you’re not alone. The Denver Post tackles “How the Denver Art Museum Got the Yves Saint Laurent Exhibit.”

2. Over in Barcelona, the CaixaForum art gallery just opened a major Goya exhibition.

3. Thanks to “a shot-in-the-dark blog-post query, a little luck and a donor with a romantic streak” a 30-year mystery has been solved at Philadelphia’s Rosenbach Museum and Library.

4. Art museums tend to dominate travel itineraries, but check out these 10 Best Non-Art Museums for your next trip.

5. Speaking of itineraries, Tired of London, Tired of Life recommends checking out the British Museum at twilight.

The Digital Museum

Tea Time

Screen Shot from the Wellcome Collection's High Tea game

I’ve always been a big fan of history. Therefore, back in 8th grade when my class began studying Chinese history, my teacher had no trouble catching my interest. However, a few of my classmates probably would have appreciated this little gem from the Wellcome Collection to help set the scene and bring the words in our textbook to life.

As part of last year’s exhibit, High Society, London’s Wellcome Collection produced a video game that allowed visitors to their website to dive headfirst into the lucrative and risky world of the tea and opium trade that took place in the Pearl River Delta in the years leading up to the First Opium War. The game, High Tea, is still available on the Wellcome’s website, and is about as addictive as the opium you are smuggling (fictionally, of course).

High Tea is just one of the many ways that the Wellcome Collection has succeeded in fulfilling their motto: “A Free Destination for the Incurably Curious.” The museum does an excellent job of using their website and new media to allow visitors to experience exhibitions well beyond the walls of the galleries. Other examples include the Magic in Modern London iPhone app that leads you on a treasure hunt in Edwardian London (a tie in with the Charmed Life exhibit that just closed), a Tiredness Test to coincide with an exhibit about sleeping and dreaming, and during their Heart exhibition, visitors were invited to watch a live open heart surgery and ask questions of the doctor and patient.

What other museums do you think are doing particularly noteworthy events, apps, programs, and tools to tie in with their exhibitions and collections?