Most other paid tours are led by graduate-level students or those freshly wielding a PhD. The problem is that they tend to create a distance between the guide and the audience when they talk.
For example, they might use specialized words like neo-gothic, polychrome, etc., or assume the audience has a base knowledge of certain history.
Nobody wants to feel out of the loop.
At modern and contemporary museums, the guides tend to get a little more funky. They can be more personal, subversive, and “real.” Maybe that’s because the work itself is so blatantly challenging?
But in big, mega museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art it is rare to find REAL TALK. That idea of “meeting people where real people think.”
Art history can be super reductive. The older something is, the less we readily understand the cultural context around it.
And art in context is something we at Museum Hack feel really passionate about.
We like to remind people that the Greeks were often a riotous, drunken, colorful bunch. Yet we typically see the sculpture courtyard and don’t think of it as carrying that kind of vitality.
We know for a fact that learning is at its most optimum when it is:
- SOCIAL, and
On our Museum Hack tours, we want you to feel excited and curious about stuff.
We meet a LOT of people who have zero connection to the art world. Yet after our tours they feel comfortable to talk about the art with a certain glow in their eyes. That is success for us.
Mark and Nick were talking over tea today about what makes our tours different from other paid options available to tourists in NYC. (Mostly Mark was talking, and Nick was typing.) The above statements are some notes we came up with. We love talking about these sorts of things as we evolve and improve Museum Hack.