My Takeaways and Summary: #AskaCurator Day 2013 AND THOUGHTS
The name Askacurator can’t change but it is open to ‘Museums’.  #AskaMuseum might alienate Art Galleries in some countries.  How about we get the word out now that #askacurator 2014 is open to EVERYONE in museums – sound good?

The museums who jumped in and answered questions got more out of it.   You can’t wait around to be asked questions.  There are plenty of general questions that are waiting to be answered.  Also, feel free to ask questions!

It was great seeing:
Museums/curators talking to each other.  For some reason, 2013 saw a rise in conversations between museums of all sizes and topics chatting with each other. 

Museums asking questions themselves.  I saw a few museums asking questions that they were curious about – not just related to their own museum but to the sector globally.  It was fantastic to see them recognize this day was a chance for them to find out things too!

A very heartfelt thank you to everyone who took part.  #AskaCurator is participatory and only works when we all get involved. 

See you in 2014?
@MarDixon / @AskaCurator


askacuratorDATA AND FACTS
622 Museums
37 Countries
26,000+ Tweets (archive of Tweets until 11am September 19th here thanks to Jonathan T!)

Heartfelt thanks to @chin_rcip  for sharing #askacurator stats with me: September 18,  27,311 tweets w/ a reach of 349.8 Million.

Please note:  I’m not one for number crunching, analytics or caring ‘what can be read from the day’ but understand that it’s important for those that took part to understand *why* and *how* it works.   For me, it is enough to say it worked because people said they enjoyed it.

I’ve done a few shout outs to see if anyone would mind running a Tweetreach report but no takers so far.  If anyone wants to do the numbers, please feel free!


I spent 19 straight hours (30+ hours total) with #askacurator.  To even try and list all the highlights would be impossible.  However, a few key tweets were powerful:

Hope #AskACurator @AskACurator shows how open and helpful we are. Not a bunch of ivory tower fuddy duddies! Via @CuratorPolly

That tweet was * exactly * what I wanted to.  And I was glad to see curators themselves ‘got’ #askacurator day.

It was important that curators/museums didn’t just wait to be asked specific question but to also dip into the tag and find questions to answer.  A few Re-Tweets helped get the conversations going.


@GNM_Hancock response to @erikajoy What collection object makes you laugh? #museumlol project

A favourite from 2012 returned for 2013: @erikajoy  What collection object makes you laugh? add to the #museumlol project! #askacurator

@jillienej: To any/all curators: Is there anything in your museum that you find so creepy/disturbing that you don’t like to work with it?

@LakeGeorgeArt: @jennifuchs @CndnCanoeMuseum There’s a Canadian Canoe Museum?!! Slap-to-Forehead! Duh, [Follow] #AskACurator comes through big!

@KimberlyHahnArt: If you could curate an exhibition, without regard for the audience, institution where you work, & money, what would you do?

@Michael_Hale: To all curators out there, what’s the biggest disaster you’ve ever had?

@curiousother: Curators in the Twitter world: How has the digital age change your practice? Making it more mobile, accessible, complicated?

@Andreabgood: How many different languages offers your museum (guided tours,audio guides)?

@Sascha_Foerster:  Is it allowed to take pictures of photographs exhibited in a museum and use them for a blogpost about them?

@zoydal: @MuseumRotterdam @AskACurator I hear of the “new” van Gogh. Was rejected in the 90’s. What took people so long?

@FrogCranky: #AskACurator @austmus Does nesting Tawny frogmouth hunt at night or does it’s partner bring it food day or night? Does M or F sit on nest?

@NicholsonMuseum: oo fun q @Michael_Hale_ What do you think @michaelmuseums? ‘What’s the most fascinating thing about Sir Charles Nicholson?

@Andreabgood: #AskACurator do curators think about which kind of visitors will be in the museum? #youth #kids #families @kidsinmuseums

‪@ScienceGallery It’s #AskACurator day! We’ve displayed radioactive artworks, restarted pig hearts, and held a funeral for an exhibition. Ask us anything.

@GabeMoshenska: Curators: how frequently do you shout “It belongs in a museum!” in the voice of Indiana Jones?

@michaelmuseums: Has any curator found inspiration for an exhibition via Twitter?


@MuseePompiers95: What is the thing you hate the most in your job? via @MemoiresduPatri

@kimbiddulph: Probably from @Rosieeatsjam about cheese horses! [NB @Rosieeatsjam: Why can’t families drink juice and eat snacks in spaces where corporate hirers/adults at events can drink wine and eat canapés?#AskACurator]

@wlate17: Best question “@DavidMentiply: Should museums be free? #askacurator”  Hope reply is YES. Museums there to instruct not just to preserve.

@BurgPosterstein: Favorite: Is it allowed to take pictures in the #museum? -Didn’t think of that, because everyone just takes them @TanjaPraske

@smbmuseum: Favourite question so far is from @erikajoy “What collection object makes you laugh?” 😀 #AskACurator

My personal favourite (when @erikajoy was leaving for sleep in Australia and UK was just taking off):
@LMuseums: @erikajoy Thanks for your great contribution to #AskACurator Would you like us all to sing you “Soft Kitty“?


@MsPenM: Hey @AskACurator you are amazing! Just had the most incredible, inspiring exchanges, and I only asked 1 question to #AskACurator  #brill

RT @NicolasLoubet: Dear @AskACurator, here is the #mapping of #AskACurator community

@mamont_perm We have found a new social media for us during #askacurator! It’s Telly – smth like “videosPinterest”. Thanks @ROMtoronto

@STOYTE: In all my twitter lifetime, today is the day I have had the best feed! #AskACurator is awesome!!

@__publicpervert: it is a big privilege to be receiving replies from some of the greatest curators in the world, I love this day!

@Guggenheim: @AskACurator Thanks for organizing such a great initiative!

@goyucel: A perfect example of digital cultural diplomacy by world’s 617 online museums from 37 countries  #digitaldiplomacy


Screen Shot 2013-09-19 at 22.31.53@polarmuseum:  From @cowgeography: My year 7 class would like to know ‘How cold would it have to be for a polar bear to freeze?’ Top question!

@OshawaMuseum: @AskACurator The q. we were asked by @AndreaArriet: What is the smallest artifact in our collection-a different question that made us think!

@BCRPM: @AskACurator  questions on the #Parthenon sculptures diverted  to ‘we’ were not in the right place at the right time

@TaylorRAldridg:  I asked a few museums what efforts they make to diversify their audiences. @GettyMuseum @LACMA @vmfa had great responses

@TodmordenMills: @AskACurator The funny ones, e.g. “Are any of you folks actually evil like most museum workers from Indiana Jones/Da Vinci Code/ The Mummy?”

@TCMIndy: Q: An exhibit you’ve always wanted to curate? | A: The stories kids tell their dolls & teddy bears when no one is around.

RT @TCMIndy: @MarDixon My museum also had a TON of fun with “Which object is most likely to come alive at night and cause mischief.” Some cute answers.

@TinctureOfMuse: Fave  Have you ever ‘accidentally’ taken a museum object home? @FirepowerMuseum had slept in a hotel room with rocket + grenade

@egdsgnr:  from @airandspace: if the Sun was as tall as you are, the Earth would be about the size of your thumbnail. #easytoremember

@cgilesmiller: It was – do you have to be an obsessive to be a curator?


How Mount Vernon encoruaged participation @VisitMtVernon
How Mount Vernon encoruaged participation @VisitMtVernon

@acediscovery Organise well in advance! Pin down curators to time slots + some questions are for wider staff than curators (that’s a good thing)

Ask us about our clocks! Reflecting on #askacuratorday at @amhistorymuseum

@arlingtonmuseum: “: Please feel free to share: …” When we trended, just for fun:

@trendinaliaUS: Did you know that #AskACurator was Trending Topic on Wednesday 18 for 3 hours in United States?

@MGNSW: PRT @mspenm: What a phenomenon #AskACurator  27 responses across the globe to my Q. Just goes to show the level of engagement huh?

@MarkBSchlemmer: If you still have doubts abt the magnitude & reach of tweeting as a museum professional, click #AskACurator & peruse 1000s of interactions!


Getty Museum: Our #AskACurator tweets now in Storify

Artist Paige Dansinger Pinterest board

Artist Paige Dansinger Storify 

@mamont_perm: @AskACurator @MarDixon and colleagues thank you for experience of #askacurator! A sample of #MuseumCurators for you

@CamUnivMuseums: We’ve just added this great blog post all about the questions we’ve been asked

Your Helpful Guide to #AskaCurator Day on Twitter / via @hyperallergic

@mohistorymuseum Teens Make History – our @TeensInMuseums did a great job designing one of our current exhibitions

@Guggenheim: In case you missed our #AskaCurator Q&A with James #Turrell Curator Nat Trotman, read the archive on @Storify

@koernigreich: @AskACurator #AskACurator 2013 im Museum Körnigreich”

@LACMA: Thanks for joining #AskACurator day! We’ve #storified all the #Turrell Qs for @Guggenheim @MFAH & @LACMA

@metmuseum: Thanks to everyone who took part in our #AskaCurator day Q&A with @alteveer! See an archive of the chat on @Storify:

#AskACurator | Peel Heritage

The blog of Christian Gries (cogries) #askacurator

What Talking

Museo Diocesano di Milano

Ask a Curator Day with Corey Keller, SFMOMA Curator of Photography

@EscherinPaleis: @AskACurator Our Storify of #AskACurator

@FlaviaDeNicola: Nice #AskACurator day overview, featuring in particular Italian community: Well done!

@cececebe Our #Askacurator Storify. 17 questions! 🙂

@the_archive: Congratulations on a very illuminating #askacurator yesterday @MarDixon – our #storify

@nadjanoodle: Catching up on yesterday’s #AskACurator by far best tweet went to @MuseumofLondon from @GabeMoshenska on storify

@L_Gouin: @mardixon #AskACurator #Storify for Canada Science & Technology Museums Corp. curators

@theRMG: We loved being part of #AskACurator day. Blog Post

@GWBooks: Here’s our recap of #AskACurator day Remember: we’re always here to answer your questions.

@jesse_a: We have put together a Storify for @I_W_M’s #AskaCurator experience. Great day yday – thanks!

@WomenInTheArts: Missed what @WomenInTheArts curators had to say on #AskACurator Day? Check us out on Storify  

@HornimanMuseum: Thanks to everyone who took part in #AskACurator yesterday – we’ve collected some of our Q&As here

@Nyctibiidae: @AskACurator Pinterest board

@TCMIndy Our compiled blogpost here:

@SFMOMA: What a great #AskaCurator chat! We’ve archived your questions + Corey’s answers her @SFMOMA_Curator

@corningmuseum: Behind the #Glass: #AskACurator Day Recap

Liveblog: Our favourite questions and answers from #askacurator Day via @amhistorymuseum

#askacurator a Palazzo Madama via @palazzomadamato

@harvartmuseums: We had blast participating in #AskACurator Day yesterday! Here are some of our favorite exchanges:

@erikajoy  #museumlol from golf museum to some of the world biggest natural history museums! #askacurator

@ROMtoronto does #AskaCurator via @wrdodger

#AskaCurator Day 2013 via @mcachicago

@jennifuchs My #AskACurator #Storify – see how over 30 different #museums answered my same 3 questions!

@erinblasco How’d your #askacurator day go? My little blog post on the deets from our end @AskACurator #musesocial

Ask A Curator Day at the Montana Historical Society via @mthist

@TheMuseumOfLiz: here’s a #storify of some of my more interesting #AskaCurator interactions @TheMuseumofLiz 

@jillienej: #AskACurator: Part 1 Curators tell me what objects they find creepy/disturbing

@hallwaymuseum A post from @FreerangeFuture focusing on some of the #digital questions from #AskACurator

@ChristiKraft: Tweets Question Diversity in Art World and More for Global #AskACurator Day

The Best of the Smithsonian’s Answers to #AskaCurator Tweets | Around The Mall: via @SmithsonianMag

Museum of Natural Science – Catalan Impression Recap

@DavidMentiply: #AskACurator Day Review 


Tanja Praske[Storify]

Museum Burg Posterstein (Germany)

Marlene Hofmann Blog


[Just let me know if you want to be added!]


  1. Pingback: #askacurator: wie, was, warum … Museen antworten » KULTUR - MUSEO - TALK

  2. Thank you for the great, great collection of summaries and posts to #AskACurator 2013 and for the great initiative! I have 2 more summaries: Museum Burg Posterstein (Germany): and my own:

  3. Pingback: #AskACurator Day | Hashtag Museum

  4. Pingback: Спрашивали куратора? Отвечаем! Отчет об акции «Ask a curator»-2013 | МАРТ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *