Friday Heirloom 75: The Life of a Musaller

Friday Heirloom 75: The Life of a Musaller

Check out the Highlights of November here

If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.

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Musallers stop to smell the flowers. Berkeley Rose Garden, 2016

(Writing this article from iPad has been a bit of a challenge, as I’m currently on vacation in Arcachon – I therefore apologize for any errors in formatting)

To be a millennial in museums in 2018 means to assume full responsibility of one’s condition. Because, more than ever, today’s museums have a duty to be political (*see bottom).

When it comes to museum going, I always feel like the more I see, the less I know. The more I learn about the world, the less I know about myself.

How did we get to the point where any detectable change in position or status, no matter how small, needs to be documented?

The life of a millennial in museums is no different. Pushed by the desire to be liked – maybe even have some control over his or her own life, something that at times feels to be missing – a millennial may find him/herself living the museum experience through the screens of his/her smartphone. Is it ok, you may ask? And what’s the meaning of this for museums? Are museums using this fully to their advantage, and considering it when programming or exhibiting artifacts? I believe the answer, for many museums, is yes.

Museums and millennials live for each other, in an ideal reality, in the ideal world of today. Not of tomorrow. Today. Think about the benefits of museums (some of which have been discovered only recently): happiness, health, even democracy!

It is true that museums have changed in the past few years, adapting to the needs of a more receptive, tech-savvy crowd. From yoga classes to Museum Hack’s badass tours, one can find many amusing things going on in museums.

So much so that, yes, some have started supporting the idea that happiness is the future of museums. There are a few sources currently out there proving that happiness may be the new business of museums (**see bottom), and that more and more of what people need to cure diseases is to go to museums. (There was a Canadian museum recently on the news the visit of which doctors prescribe for a healthier living – ***see bottom). Plus, following the recent American elections, I found out that cultural consumers are more likely to vote – ****see bottom).

Because, hey, if you’re going to make a difference in people’s lives, you need to make sure that your own mental and physical health are taken care of, first. And museums are perfect in that sense, since you can combine thinking and walking.

You need to do things that are stimulating for your brain, have stimulating conversations with strangers. You need to be around stars to become a star. You can do all this and much more in museums. And, after you’ve done it, you must use that privilege to help others get there.

The reason I run @imamusaller and this blog and the manifesto is to feel connected to my people, the folks of my generation. To be inspired by the many millennials who believe in the power of museums in creating a better world. It’s to see how they react to museums and to actively witness the changes their perspectives bring along.

I’m so pleased by the results. When I touch #imamusaller on Instagram I see stars! So many millennials have been receptive to my message. That, yes, millennials in museums are awesome and we need to see more of them. Because we are the future of museums!

I’m so pleased that I hope one day to bring all the photos together in a photo book that pleases the eye and the heart.

See it for yourself here: https://www.instagram.com/imamusaller/.

* https://www.aam-us.org/wire/theartnewspaper/museums-have-a-duty-to-be-political/

** https://medium.com/predict/is-happiness-the-new-business-of-museums-90fdcd0f522d

*** https://www.mbam.qc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/MMFA-Press-release-Museum-Prescriptions_Final-1.pdf

**** https://www.colleendilen.com/2018/04/04/cultural-organization-visitors-likely-vote-data/

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