#AskACurator Live Blog

I started at 08:00 and felt I was late to the game as Australia and Japan kicked off #AskACurator in grand style.

08:03 Great question! RT @museums_ru: Are there any museums that are partners with Russian museums? #askacurator

#askacurator as have @Yrrmuseum – Well done Australia for kicking things off for us!

#askacurator @MUDI_museum #Italia As a newer museum, what have been the challenges you have faced?  A .@mardixon A lot… the main one is connect in the right way the museum (object, spaces)…..and its digital extensions. Let’s go digital, but objects are our roots! | #askacurator #italy

#askacurator @UralGallery What type of art do you deal with? Do you limit yourself?

#AskaCurator There are 7 Museums in Russia taking part:http://bit.ly/NBtDUh  How often can you ask a Russian curator a question?

#askacurator @Pushkin_museum #Russia What is the balance between Cultural visitors and literary visitors?

#askacurator @muzeydeneg #russia How difficult is it to represent currency is remote countries?

#askacurator @SaskiaFernando #srilanka How far in advance do you plan your exhibitions? And do you scout colleges/universities?

8:52 #askacurator Photography seems to be a hot topic.  Are photographs allowed? Why/Why Not.

9:20 +1 RT @CVersailles #Askacurator Juliette Trey, curator, Palace of Versailles who answers you this morning! youtu.be/7Rraz5jwjRo

9:32 #askacurator @JewishMuseumAT #Austria I like the blog area. Do you allow Guest to blog or only staff?

9:55 RT @melenabig: #Askacurator Do you use or plan to use soon  an #ebook  version for  exibition books and other stuff (i.e.guides or professional studies) ?

10:04 RT @AskACurator: Anyone? RT @5hvz: #askacurator  how do you deal with dust? @PooleMuseum: Museum vacs, brushes and microporous dusters. :: @Pitt_Rivers: @MarDixon @NGIreland We use brushes & special sponges on a rota. But depends on materials & how fragile, or if it should be dusted at all!

10:05 and we have 3497  Tweets via Archivist

10:20 on BBC Shropshire Radio talking #askacurator

10:44 #Askacurator @museumtoulouse #France What one object in your collection represents the Natural History of France?

RT @QWoo: ➜ 3.500+ #askacurator tweets worldwide so far. TOP5 twitterians are @erikajoy @museumsmatteroz @MarDixon @Artwrite50 and @Museumsheld ✔ #20

11:00 🙂 RT @AskACurator: #askaCurator is now trending in the UK

Oh I Love this! RT @artinfo24com: And here live visualization for #askacurator Day http://bit.ly/Uc59ng


11:20 RT @MarDixon: #Askacurator Just been on a French radio program to be aired at 3 today @AskACurator

11:12 RT @dannybirchall: #AskACurator Are people who look after collections of objects necessarily better at making exhibitions?

11:46 That’s great! RT @museupicasso: @AskACurator also trending topic in spain! #askacurator

11:55 @ssGreatBritain Yes please – how did digitalise ship plans and how long did it take? #askacurator

12:19 #askacurator How much time do curators spend ‘on the floor’ and listening to visitors? @Tate @museocasalis @ChildrenMuseum A. @museocasalis: All the time it is possible.Never it is enough, but we try do it more and more time  @MarDixon @Tate @ChildrenMuseum  #askacurator

I asked for links for those blogging.

@erikajoy http://pinterest.com/erikat80/museumsarefun/

@liberatetate: @MarDixon Here is one question that has been blogged http://bit.ly/RvoLwL we will storify later too

12:39 @CVersailles Thanks for taking part! Hope you enjoyed it? Hello to Hélène who is taking over 🙂 #Askacurator A. @CVersailles: @MarDixon I lot! Thanks!  #askacurator

Archived tweets, over 6K now and trending  in the UK and Spain

13:02  Digitalize collections and what to do with duplications being asked.

13:18 RT @euradioenglish: At around 1515 we’ll have an interview with @MarDixon explaining the fantastic #askacurator initiative – find out how museums really work!

13:41 @MB_Museum #askacurator How do you determine what goes into the museum?

#AskaCurator Q’s Open to all: How to engage #TeensinMuseums. Do curators get social media? Most significant object that tells a story.

#AskaCurator Popular questions: Favorite /Funny exhibition/piece, are photos allowed, & thought process behind display.

13:55 Object that tells a story RT @MuseumRotterdam: @MarDixon #AskaCurator Sign. obj. white flag used in vain by negotiator to ward off destruction of the city in WW2. http://bit.ly/OED86z RT @MuseumRotterdam: @MarDixon There´s lots of story in it too, f.e. there are bloodstains from when the negotiator stopped to tend the wounds of a Marine.

14:05 RT @dannybirchall: From the archive — #AskACurator 2010 http://museumcultures.wordpress.com/2010/09/02/twenty-questions/

14:16 @polkium: #askacurator Is it that difficult to place the paintings or photos so that no reflections are seen?

@dannybirchall I’m not sure what other platform #askacurator could use to get the global participation that twitter allows.

14:25 RT @comburo: #askacurator @PostalMuseum has any mail (or maybe postage?) ever brought any of the curators to tears? Thank you in advance for your reply

14:33 #askacurator Do you see digital tools as a positive or negative?  (QR, Apps, social media…)


RT @HolocaustMuseum: @MarDixon Re: Digital tools: positive, but a new challenge as it takes time+$ to make a good digital experience. #askacurator

15:45 USA and Canada are now taking part and the tag is moving quickly.

🙂 RT @SumoJim: #AskaCurator is the UK’s top trending subject on Twitter. Take that pirates!!!


RT @BaysideScience6: Thank you @AskaCurator and all the museums involved. Bayside 6th Grade is loving their “Create-a-Question” Science Starter! #askacurator

Question at 16:28

@bearsinmuseums: Do you have any bears in your museum? #askacurator

Ha! RT @CVersailles: @bearsinmuseums But I’m sorry to tell you that the bear looses against the tiger : ( #askacurator

RT @ColbyMuseum: @bearsinmuseums Does a Polar Bear Teapot count?! Have a look and tell us what you think: http://bit.ly/OEWQiB

RT @quaibranly: @bearsinmuseums We also have a few, among them is this one: http://ow.ly/dPIUo, a toy that keeps bad spirits away from kids #askacurator

Mexico Do you ever work with museums in other countries? #Mexico RT @3museos: ¿Dudas sobre museos?, #askacurator bit.ly/OZPGkJ

#askacurator Have you had to adjust the way you curate during the recession?

RT @OhioHistory: @MarDixon So it’s a matter of doing what you can and taking things one object at a time #askacurator BL

 Andy Warhol is a personal hero to me so being able to tweet with Warhol Foundation is extremely exciting for me:

RT @TheWarholMuseum: In case no one believes me, here’s some proof that it’s actually me – Nick Chambers – tweeting! #AskACurator 


#AskaCurator Open data/source is growing into a hot topic.  What are curator’s views or do we need more items digital before we worry? 

RT @quiltstudy: @MarDixon As an international museum, it is one of our goals to share our collection and research worldwide. #askacurator

17:31 RT @MuseumsHeld: BÄMM! #AskACurator ist Trending Topic in #Deutschland. http://t.co/C9awvGkW

RT @bannedlibrary: @smithsonian #askacurator Can you not loan out Indiana Jones’s hat and jacket so they won’t make any more movies? http://www.smithsonianlegacies.si.edu/objectdescription.cfm?ID=125

That’s dedication: French medieval museum @museecluny are staying at work late to answer your questions! (And @CVersailles Bienvenue au château de Versailles)

17:52 #askacurator taking photographs still seems to be a hot topic. Majority seem to embrace it except for copyright issues (and no flash).

16:00 Snap shot

 RT @ani_DB: #askacurator day has been my favourite day on twitter ever. wonderful to interact with underappreciated safekeepers of wisdom & perspective.

A few Europe museums are staying late:

@MNAC_museu @CVersailles @museecluny You guys are brilliant! Any challenging questions today? #askacurator

RT @CVersailles: @MarDixon @MNAC_museu @museecluny Yes ! Not that simple to find a bear in our collections ; )

18:12  #askacurator Another popular question. Glad we have next generation ready to go RT @Alli187 Any tips for those wanting to work in a museum?

18:27 RT @chasmuseum: Oldest *artifact* on exh = 1 million y.o. hand ax http://instagram.com/p/Pw-PDfASa-/ RT @explorechs: #askacurator #Charleston

RT @skhan92: How many museums in the US have Egyptian artefacts? #askacurator

RT @OhioHistory: @abeesmom Our oldest human-made object is a 13,000 yo Clovis spear point in our Archaeology exhibit’s “Masterpieces” case #askacurator BL

18:33 Bears! +1 RT @HolocaustMuseum: @bearsinmuseums  We’ve discovered many bears in our collections & photo archives: http://ow.ly/dPSXu #askacurator

18:44 RT @PostalMuseum: @strip_tees #askacurator The most interesting part of the job is being able to touch stuff “behind the velvet ropes”! But we do use gloves.

Next Generation is a hot topic

RT @RiciNiSaorsa: @MarDixon @UDMuseumStudies With practical activities,making them learn info by discovering them with just little guideline

RT @Jewseum: @MarDixon Sure do! Through our Teen Art Connect internship program, and an installation highlighting teen photography CS/JG #AskaCurator

19:05 Web Trends

19:17 RT @mamont_perm: @AskaCurator @MarDixon An AskaCurator Day have mooved to America. An AskaCurator Night has begun in Europe! Thank you all 🙂 #askacurator

 RT @GettyMuseum: @Pralinerie Image search (Google Goggles + @TinEye) has had a huge impact – can like genius when researching unknown work #askacurator

New to Twitter?

Has anyone else signed up for Twitter just for #askacurator? I know @RenoMayCenter has (loving their tweets!)

RT @ayahyounis: @MarDixon yes  @SSabanegh did too 😀

RT @jennifuchs: @MarDixon Yes, @Picassomuseum did but they did not get many questions. #AskaCurator

19:52 #askacurator in 4 hours there have been approximately 4000 tweets. Amazing. And Thank you!

Charlotte asked Guggenheim: @Guggenheim Charlotte, DD age 10 asking: How many visitors do you get each day? How often do people ask you questions? #askacurator

RT @Guggenheim: @MarDixon Our museum gets about 1 million visitors a year. Our Gallery Guides answer questions everyday! http://bit.ly/MyRvrR

 20:00 #AskaCurator Popular Questions: How to become a Curator?  Oldest artifact(s)?  Best exhibition you installed.  No bears.  

20:05 RT @celkingston: @chateaumuseebsm: @MarDixon @Alli187 “Be connected to the world !” much better advice than “get an unpaid internship.”

20:31 #AskACurator How do you determine what to dispose of from your collection?

RT @haslemeremuseum: @MarDixon #askacurator thorny ?, depends on acquisition conditions, duplication, condition etc but should always be offered to other museum

RT @SSabanegh: @MarDixon Not easy, in our case we decommission exhibits if we can’t save them. #askacurator

RT @fortyork: @MarDixon Deaccessioning is tough & usually only happens w repeat objects and objects way outside our purview. Committee decides in the end.   No doubt. It’s hard to rid of artefacts, particularly those that have been donated. Plus, most cannot be sold for legal reasons!

20:32 RT @SFMOMA: Great #AskACurator advice to aspiring curators from @SFMOMA_Curator: Go see as many exhibitions at museums + galleries as you possibly can!

RT @deyoungmuseum: A1: (2 of 2) Developing basic business skills & working knowledge of social media & web is essential these days #askacurator cc: @dadalinski

20:39 RT @BuildingMuseum: Most unusual in collection? Old shoes found under the floor boards from Museum’s construction in the 1880s #askacurator http://ow.ly/dQa0b

20:46 RT @wepples: Ask a Curator Day is probably the best thing that’s ever happened to Twitter. #askacurator #Sothankful

RT @airandspace: @heydola Astronauts can take real ice cream (not freeze-dried) into space in a refrigerator these days, but no hot fudge yet. #AskACurator

20:54  @jannersdaughter: #askacurator What is the spookiest thing in your museum .???any museum please

RT @haslemeremuseum: @MarDixon @jannersdaughter #askacurator our mummy’s toes

RT @MAM_Chelsea: @MarDixon @jannersdaughter At @MilwaukeeArt there’s a super lifelike sculpture that always makes people jump: http://bit.ly/OFIIQo

RT @nature_jcp: @jannersdaughter We have a sheep tapeworm carefully wound around a glass frame inside an antique square jar @MuseumofNature

RT @LegionofHonor: @jannersdaughter Our Mummy of Irethorrou, of course!  http://yfrog.com/eshyhiuoj #askacurator

RT @PeaceMuseumUK: @MarDixon @jannersdaughter kinder transport suitcase  not really spooky very atmospheric and sad..

RT @arthostess: @mardixon @jannersdaughter
@askacurator Is a skull as exhibit spooky enough? But that s Vienna. Deathmasks can be bought on flea markets…

RT @arthostess: @mardixon @jannersdaughter @askacurator it s the skull of Kara Mustafa – lost the battle of 1683 for the Osman Empire against Austrian Emp.

RT @capefearmuseum: @MarDixon We have a 1920s wicker body basket from a local funeral home, used to transport corpses.  That one keeps us all awake at night

RT @sjmusart: @MarDixon #askacurator Most recent strange but cool collection discovry – Moon Museum work, lmtd ed of 1st art in space 

21:06 RT @MarDixon: #askacurator Curators – what have you learned from today?

RT @haslemeremuseum: @MarDixon #askacurator that the museum world is thriving with dedicated people keen to ensure museums move with the times

RT @S_Tudor: @MarDixon That there is a hunger for info re: the #collections stored in museums and this was a great way to get it out there #askacurator

RT @lapopessa: #askacurator has taught us that there are many unrecognized artists out there. Possibly for good reason.

RT @PostalMuseum: @MarDixon #askacurator A couple of things. 1, lots of people want to be curators. 2, lots of enthusiasm for museums in world.


RT @MuseumModernArt: @artfwd There’s “curating” & curating. 1 is choices, other is choices informed by scholarship. #askacurator

21:41 Collaboration.

21:53 @philamuseum Silly question – do you have any Mummer items? (Grew up near Philly & watched Mummers every year!) #askacurator

RT @philamuseum: @MarDixon Some…interesting photos! There may be a costume or 2 not yet online – we’ll find out for you #askacurator

22:08 Silliest question received (not TODAY) RT @PostalMuseum: “Is the flight suit you have at the Postal Museum the one Amelia Earhart wore on her final flight?” Seriously, it’s been asked! #askacurator

Great, isn’t it? RT @HeidiMalagisi1: i love the fact that i am talking to museums around the world at the comfort of my home #askacurator

22:17 Trends

22:28  Strong words: RT @Frenchybutchic: Really have to go now, but I’d like to inform the public at large museums are for collections, NOT about only organizing shows #askacurator

22:51  RT @erinblasco: They asked, we answered. Word cloud of our responses to questions for #askacurator: 


23:30 Signing off for the night.  One last graph.  Please note: Tweets will be archived tomorrow.

Articles & Blogs on the web

Archive of over 12,000 tweets

(312 page pdf, available in Excel).

Interview with @euradioenglish  http://tinyurl.com/bupg676 



  1. Your response implies that we had a ‘hidden agenda’ – what was hidden about lots of people wanting to ask questions on the subject – it looked like a pretty open agenda, surely?

    Sometimes omitting things from blogs like this that aim to reflect the proceedings makes as much of a political statement as including them.

  2. Pingback: Ask a Curator 2012 – Russian Museums « Форум Российских Музеев

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