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Oct 16 2017 - 12:00am
Learning How to Look Differently
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Museum Hack leads unconventional tours of the World’s best museums in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and L.A.

Beyond Boring Art

Beginning at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, Museum Hack leads tours that showcase "un-highlights" of museums, putting an alternative spin on the standout pieces in their collections. The tours feature the untold stories of the art and artists, such as "Bad *ss B*tches of the Met," which celebrates the renderings of certain women throughout the museum. Museum Hack also actively engages with social media by allowing photos as part of the tour. The overarching theme of Museum Hack tours is to make the museum tour fun again, and help overcome what they call "Museum Fatigue," where visitors become tired and bored during tours.

Telling Tales of Art

Founder Nick Gray realized the potential of hacking museum tours after a museum date at the Met, where a friend showed him the art pieces that were of most personal interest instead of the ones that were most famous. He began to learn about the often untold backstories of lesser-known artworks and decided to share his knowledge with others. From this small start, Museum Hack has spread their cheeky and fun take on museum tours to cities around the U.S. The tours and their themes tell stories engaging to contemporary audiences, and in so doing, recontextualize older or underappreciated art pieces in a more relatable light. This is partly achieved by incorporating digital photography and social media, but also by encouraging visitor participation with and discussion of the art, which creates a more relaxed atmosphere in which to explore the collections.

Museum Hack thinks of its tour guides as renegades and describes them as "walking, talking encyclopedias who truly love what they do and can prove it!" As guides work with small groups to customize tours, often on the fly, it’s clear why they need to be experts with the art at a given museum. Beyond tours however, museums also hire Museum Hack to help them find new audiences and expand the reach of the art itself.

Image: via Unsplash
Posted in: New Learning TimesNL Sector|By: Caitlin Davey|39 Reads