Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dr. Scott Sampson rides the Dinosaur Train to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History

When it comes to little kids, few things inspire their scientific curiosity as completely as dinosaurs. At the same time, trains seem to inspire an equal measure of whimsy and imagination in children under six. So what happens when you combine these two elements? You get PBS's winning preschool program Dinosaur Train. It's smart, funny, charming, and full of fascinating facts about dinosaurs and the world in which they thrived for hundreds of millions of years.

One of the highlights of Dinosaur Train is certainly "Dr. Scott the Paleontologist," aka Dr. Scott Sampson, who appears at the end of every segment to reinforce key scientific concepts raised during the cartoon portion of the program. As an adult with my own dino-fascination, Dr. Scott is hands-down my favorite part of the show.

This weekend, Dr. Scott rides his wave of dino success into the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. I will be seeing him here in Cleveland, and am delighted that before his official appearance in the Museum's Explorer Lecture series and signing his latest book, Dr. Scott will be greeting his youngest fans at 2:00 PM in the Museum's dinosaur hall. My two little girls are completely geeked at the chance to meet Dr. Scott, and I would be lying if I didn't admit to being a little excited myself. After all, Dr. Sampson is one of the foremost minds in paleontology, not just a preschool cult hero.

If you have a kid who digs dinos, or you are looking for a little education on the subject yourself, be sure to check out Dr. Scott Sampson at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, or the Carnegie Museum this weekend. If you can't make it to Cleveland or Pittsburgh, set your Tivo to catch Dinosaur Train on your local PBS station. Your kids will love it, and you just might learn something along the way.

Monday, January 25, 2010

No easy solutions for arts organizations

Is your arts organization struggling to maintain a vital connection to its audience in these tough economic times? The Cleveland Foundation may be able to help, with suggestions and strategies they will present along with David Kitto, Vice President of Marketing and Sales at the Kennedy Center, on February 4, 2010 from 1-3 a the Foundation's Minter Conference Center in downtown Cleveland.

Click the link below to be redirected to the Cleveland Foundation's Grantmaking blog for more information, or to RSVP for this free session.

No easy solutions for arts organizations

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The Met has a torn Picasso and The Field announces a virgin birth

When I read the following two articles today I was struck by several things: 1) an indomitable urge to unearth my blog; 2) the exceptional quality and diversity of the collections and scholars in our museum field; and 3) how wild it can be in the museum world on any given day.

On Friday afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, a woman overbalanced and accidentally fell into "The Actor" causing a 6 inch tear in the exquisite canvas. Today, The Field Museum in Chicago announced that researchers at their Pritzker Laboratory for Molecular Systematics and Evolution confirmed the "virgin" birth of two bamboo sharks.

Certainly, these two events warrant probing and substantive discussions on subjects like museum access vs. collections care, and the ironic relevance of seemingly obscure scientific research. I will leave those conversations for other more serious museum bloggers and the hospitality suite at the next museum conference I attend, my observation is simpler. Here in the museum world, as in every other corner of our crazy globe, there are tragedies every day on every imaginable scale, but there are also miracles and virgin births. After the fall, redemption.

The New York Times
Questions Over Fixing Torn Picasso
Published: January 26, 2010
Experts at the Met's conservation laboratory are trying to determine the best course of action for a rare
Rose Period Picasso that was torn on Friday.

Chicago Sun-Times
Published: January 25, 2010

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Update: The Fresno Met Museum has closed its doors

A few weeks ago I reported on the early closure of an exhibition at the Fresno Metropolitan Museum subsequent to the seizure of the loaned artwork by a representative of the lending institution. The lender had reason to believe that the fresno Met was in dire financial straits and at risk of failing. Unfortunately, the Museum has indeed closed and plans to liquidate its assets to cover its significant debt.

Read a nice eulogy by Paul Gibson in the Fresno Bee by clicking the link below.

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