The Oxford Dictionary Online recently named “selfie” as its 2013 Word of the Year. Defined as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website”, selfies have quickly become the go-to way for people of all walks of life to document their every move.
Museums are no stranger to selfies. I’m definitely guilty of taking my fair share at art, science, and history museums. Based on the new tumblr, Museum Selfies, I’m not alone! And museums are increasingly encouraging people to document and share pics from their visits.
It seems like for as long as we have been able to reproduce images, humans have left physical proof of how our time on earth was spent. And if you consider self portraits (including the works from the Beach Museum of Art collection pictured below), visual artists have always been ahead of the selfie trend.
Happy Halloween! We’re celebrating by highlighting some of the eerie objects in our collection. If you want to see how other museums get into the spooky spirit, check out the #BOOseums hashtag on Twitter.
Ever wonder what it takes to maintain Dale Chihuly’s glass sculpture Chandelier? Our Exhibitions Designer, Lindsay Smith, tells us how it’s done.
Chandelier must be cleaned on an annual basis. The project has roots dating back to 1998, when it was noticed that dust particles would readily settle upon the individual glass pieces creating a dusty film, diminishing the chandelier’s color.
One to two days are needed to complete the project. Because of the location above the stairwell careful thought was needed to determine a structure for this cleaning. It was determined that this could be accomplished with several pieces of equipment that the museum regularly uses: a one-person electric lift, air compressor, soft wool or synthetic dusters, and rented painter’s scaffolding sections. The scaffolding is stackable up to three sections, plus it is narrow and adjustable in height to accommodate the elevation and width changes within the stairwell.
Working from the top of the chandelier down, the air compressor is used to blow away a majority of the dust particles. Then wool dusters are used to clean the top, bottom, sides, ends, and carefully between the individual pieces to the best of our ability.
The Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art furthers the teaching, research, and service missions of Kansas State University by collecting, studying, caring for, and presenting the visual art of Kansas and the region.