TED Love: The Museum as Super Collider

Renegade Tours

We love TED Talks.  The ideas and passions for museums that shine through them inspire us.  Many of these ideas reveal new ways of seeing museums, including ones that resonate with our audiences.

We recently came across Julia Marciari-Alexander’s talk at TEDxBaltimore on how museums are like super colliders for society.  As “big things,” super colliders are designed to create collisions that help us discover the fundamental building blocks of life and the universe.  Can museums do the same thing?  Do the big ideas of museums help us discover small things about ourselves?

Julia Marciari-Alexander, Director of the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.
Julia Marciari-Alexander is pictured in the Roman exhibit of The Ancient World exhibits at the Walters Art Museum.  Image courtesy Algerina Perna/Baltimore Sun.

As Julia states in her enlightening and witty talk,

“In 1979, on January 1, I had a crazy moment of collision.  I walked with my parents, and my sister and brother, into St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.  I had the luxury of doing this. And I walked into this space which you see here in an 18th century painting…and in this place, I had a moment of wonder.  It was in this place that I learned, I discovered, just by being there, that places could speak. That objects can speak.”

Julia went on to describe how museums help objects speak, connecting audiences with amazing stories and ideas that can profoundly impact their lives.  By discussing the aspect of “place,” Julia invites us to consider how museums allow visitors to experience a particular place and bring communities together into one awesome collision. By using objects from the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, where Julia Marciari-Alexander serves as Executive Director, she invites us on a journey that is a super collider in itself.

Watch the entire talk in the video below:


Ready to tap into your museum’s super collider potential? Email us to discuss how we can help re-imagine your museum.

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