Tuesday, December 21, 2010


On Monday, December 20 a Brown Bag presentation was held in the Rice Workshop for any museum staff who could attend. The propose of the Brown Bag was to provide an overview and update on Michael's Museum. The meeting was attended by approximately 25 people.

Jenny Schrider's model of the Michael's Museum exhibit, 11 x 17 sketches, a bowl of m&m's with a tiny train running on a track around the bowl, and a tray with little "take away" mementos for attendees sat on a table in the center of the room.

Team members presented the overview and update using a Power Point presentation put together by Katie. There was a question and answer period and the meeting ended with attendees sharing their experience with collecting as a child and/or currently.

Friday, December 17, 2010

UPDATE 12/17/10: Team Meeting

The fifty page Concept Design Paper is now complete.

At this meeting we reviewed some of the items in that document. We talked about some exhibit specifics like populating the high shelves, the look and purpose of the Curator's Desk, props for visitors to use as they experience the "curating" experience, and changing (monthly? quarterly?) exhibits from "Michael's Private Collection" and possibly a Visitor Adult and/or Child Collections." Jenny presented a 3D model of what the space will look like based on the sketches. Finally we discussed the CCM budget allocation for space preparation, additional exhibit piece fabrication, collections protection, and visitor disposable manulipatives.

Friday, December 10, 2010

UPDATE 12/10/10: A Visit to Michael's Museum

Today Jenny, Mark, and I met at the off site storage facility, to look through some of the cabinets from previous Chicago Children's Museum exhibits to see which, if any, could be "repurposed" for Michael's Museum. Then we visited "2050" where Michael's Museum is gently resting until the reinstallation in its own gallery on Navy Pier during May 2011. After the storage facility visit and over lunch at Manny's on Roosevelt Street, Jenny & I talked about each of the +100 collections and any special cabinet needs. The day was quite productive.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

UPDATE 12/07/10: Management, Programming, Gift Shop

Busy day for Michael's Museum at The Chicago Children's Museum today.

This morning Natalie and Louise presented the Michael’s Museum executive summary to the Management Committee.  Everyone continues to be very enthusiastic about the project.  An interesting note is that as management gets more familiar with the project their questions get more specific and and involved. Everyone liked the tag line – A Curious Collection of Tiny Treasures, so we will go with that. Amy commented that per the Public Space team work, Michael’s Museum reflects the “mind body provocation” tactic:  the visitor encounters the unexpected within Public spaces; stimulates inquiry and kindles wonder, fuels the imagination, and challenges mind and body experiences”

Today the Programming Sub-Team (Katie, Natalie, and Michael) met to talk about what kinds of activities and hands on experiences visitors to Michael's Museum would have. We reviewed the "plan" of the space and looked at how activities would be interspersed throughout the exhibit. We talked about the function of the "Curator's Desk" and how visitors could "pretend to be in charge" of Michael's Museum via various activities at that point. We discussed the importance of having pieces of the collection at all heights on the wall so little, bigger, and adult visitors could comfortably enjoy investigating the collections. We also talked about having "safe stools" for kids to stand on to get a closer look at things in the exhibit.

Michael and Jasime, manager of the Gift Shop, met to discuss a Michael's Museum presence in the Gift Shop. Besides specific suggestions about the type of items the shop could sell that would be part of the "Tiny Treasure" experience, we discussed the buyers involvement from the third party that runs the gift shop for The Chicago Children's Museum. We also talked about the mechanics of displaying and merchandising to make the MM Corner visible and inviting. Finally we discussed the possibilities of creating product on our own that reflects Michael's Museum.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tag Line

Looks like Michael's Museum has a "tag line." It is not absolutely final but looks good:

A Curious Collection of Tiny Treasures

Also watch for a new LOGO. The original one will be prominently featured on the Curator's Desk and will be included in the "History of Michael's Museum." But with the new look and feel of the space, to accommodate black and white print versions, to be more readable, and to be compatible with other Chicago Children's Museum logos, change is afoot! 

With the work of the Michael's Museum Core Team and Extended Team, Michael's Museum will not only be as amusing, amazing and astounding as the old version ...  IT WILL BE BETTER!