Categories
Behind the Scenes Education

Beyond Digital: Open Collections and Cultural Institutions, Part 2

View of the author's Beautiful Data Final Project installation. Photo by the author
View of the author’s Beautiful Data Final Project installation. Photo by the author
This is part two of two posts about my experiences at the Beautiful Data: Telling Stories with Open Collections workshop at Harvard University’s metaLAB. Read part one here.

When my teen program started up again this fall, I brought my students into the Milwaukee Art Museum galleries to look at a single work of art for an hour (you can read more about this processhere.) As usual, I noticed the high schoolers opening up to each other, to new ideas, and to finding ways that art relates to their everyday life—whether a photograph of Milwaukee or a landscape by a Baroque Italian painter. These discussions are guided by the students—I might throw in some useful facts to open up the conversation, but they take the lead. As a result, on any given day, we might relate artworks to religion, politics, narratives, families and friends, or even moods and feelings.

Categories
Behind the Scenes Education

Beyond Digital: Open Collections and Cultural Institutions, Part 1

View of the author's Beautiful Data Final Project installation. Photo by the author
View of the author’s Beautiful Data Final Project installation. Photo by the author
This is part one of two posts about my experiences at the Beautiful Data: Telling Stories with Open Collections workshop at Harvard University’s metaLAB.

This past June, I participated in a two-week workshop at Harvard University’s metaLAB called Beautiful Data: Telling Stories with Open Collections. Thanks to a grant from the Getty Foundation, the metaLAB brought together over twenty curators, technologists, educators, and scholars to grapple with how we might use publicly available data from museum collections in our work. In the first week, speakers as varied as digital museum specialists to experience designers to scientists who study vision all pressed us to think of our work in unexpected contexts. In the second week, we took what we’d discussed and applied them to projects of our own.