Museum Hacktivity

I wouldn’t say that I normally encourage slapping a museum, but there is a time and place for everything. The time and place in question was The Getty Center at the conclusion of a Museum Hack tour.

Museum Hack, often described as a renegade tour company, first came to my attention several years ago when I was living in Philadelphia, but it took both of us moving to Los Angeles to finally get together. This past May, Museum Hack announced that it was bringing its popular and off-beat tours to the Getty, and were kind enough* to let me tag along on one of their first offerings.

The tour may have started wonderfully, but I wouldn’t know because I got there late (tip for future tour participants at the Getty: arrive much earlier than you think you need to because the lines for the tram can be very long on weekends). In spite of my tardiness, our guide Adrian couldn’t have been nicer about bringing me into the fold, going so far as to do another quick ice breaker to introduce my fellow participants. And, make no mistake, this is a group tour…camaraderie, teamwork, mini competitions, hands-in-let’s-cheer-together, the whole shebang.

As for the art, Adrian was able to highlight many of the non-highlights of the Getty’s collection and make them compelling, including various appearances by Zeus, a sculpture with a detachable penis, the fascinating backstory of Mary Seacole, costly fakes, and 18th century hairstyling tips. She even took a quick Polaroid of you in front of your favorite painting.

As the tour wound down, we ended up outside for a debriefing, and that is when the slapping began. There is a wall made of travertine stone that when you strike its various blocks, makes hollow sounding musical notes. My tour mates and I pounded away on the wall as a form of drum roll as Adrian announced the winner of one of the contests and distributed bits of Museum Hack swag. Banging on that wall was fun, a little unexpected, and informative, which is essentially what Museum Hack tours are all about.

Museum Hack tours are currently available in New York City, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia (currently only team building tours).

What’s your favorite museum tour?

***Full Disclaimer: Though I was given free tickets from Museum Hack to attend this tour, all opinions expressed are my own.