Yesterday was officially "Ask A Curator" Day on Twitter: members of the public were invited to ask museum curators questions about their profession, background, personal interests, and even how much coffee they drink! Over 1,300 international museums participated, including the FIDM Museum. Associate Curator Christina Johnson gamely answered questions all day from curious minds around the world. If you missed her responses, check out our recap below. Of course, Ask A Curator isn't limited to one day - feel free to ask questions anytime on social media or the blog!
How do you determine what exhibition to curate next?
It's an ongoing conversation with Curator Kevin Jones, our co-workers, and our community. Exhibitions take years to research and everyone on this planet has a finite number of those, so we want to make each one as meaningful as possible.
What's the first thought when preparing to curate an exhibit?
The first thought is always the object list, getting that group of objects together and moving forward from there.
If you could jump into an artwork and live there 24h which would you choose and why?
I would wear our 1907 Redfern court gown and top it with a Cartier diamond tiara. And since we're talking fantasy, I would make sure to go to Buckingham Palace and meet Queen Alexandra.
Court gown & train
Redfern, 1907 (London, England)
Museum Purchase, Funds provided by Yvonne Hummel
What is the biggest misconception people have about curators?
That all we do is research. I also juggle donor relations, budgets, storage, and media. Honestly, there's never enough time to sit down with a book!
What's something you wish the general public knew/understood about curation?
Even after years of study, and seeing thousands and thousands of objects, you still come across things you’ve never seen before!
What is the biggest compliment a museum visitor can give you?
This is the most beautiful exhibition I have ever seen!
I've always wondered how women's dresses of the past impact the ways you inhabit space?
Think about bustled gowns of the 1880s with a metal understructure to support the fabric. Not only did women take up tons of space in these, they also needed to know how to move while wearing them—you’d be a klutz if you didn’t have deportment lessons!