14 May Q&A with Flying Fish Staff – Tell Us About Your First Museum Experience
Here at Flying Fish, we work with museums around the world daily, and it can be easy to get used to that – we love our work! This month, we thought it’d be good to remind ourselves what led us to where we are today, as well as what we appreciate about the museums that play a vital role in today’s world.
Jay Brown, Principal and Managing Director
The first museum experience I remember was seeing the original King Tut exhibition when it came to Melbourne in the ’80’s. It was amazing, still the highest attended exhibition in Australia’s history (800,000). Today, I love seeing behind the scenes. Given we have relationships with our clients, we are very often given the grand tour, seeing their archives and collections, back of house etc. With this, we often have the opportunity to cast our eyes on items that never make it to the museum floor.
Trent Brown, Director of Operations
My first museum experience was at a gold mining museum in South Australia. I was probably 6 to 7 years old. I love going to museums today due to the way things have changed from dry/monotone content to today’s interactive, digital content.
Carrie Reid, Director of Sales
As a kid, the first museum experience I can recall is a visit to a small, local nature center. This institution was particularly intriguing to me as it was discovered on a wooded path a few steps away from the park I regularly visited with my family. The nature center was full of animal taxidermy, hides, and some live reptiles. This was memorable for me because an experience here activated my senses in a new way. Inside was a series of cubbies with a drape covering each opening and a hole just big enough for my hand. I put my hand inside, felt the mysterious item and tried to guess what I was feeling. Then I flipped up the top to reveal a turtle shell, a bird’s nest, a rabbit’s hide, a pinecone, etc. Today, I particularly enjoy discovering the great talent and intellect of the individuals (curators, designers) who have interpreted their collections and presented them in an interesting way. To me, it’s amazing how enjoyable and memorable an experience can be with even a mundane or small collection (remember the pine cones and animal parts!?). Also, the architecture of the museums I visit play a large role in my overall enjoyment, setting the tone for what’s to come. Much like the surprise of the nature center off of a wooded path, I find I have a much more enjoyable experience inside when the excitement begins outside.
Lissa Tenuta, Office Manager
The first museum experience I remember is visiting the Smithsonian in the early 70s. The doll house exhibit was a favorite, along with climbing on the statues of animals outside the Natural History Museum. We also loved the National Air & Space Museum where the Gemini space capsule was displayed; my grandfather worked on the design team for Gemini and we were always very proud to see it there. As for the present, I’ll have to echo Jay, I love seeing the collections and back of house. Being able to see all those amazing objects representing so much history is humbling.
Heidi Summers, Sales and Marketing Administrator
The first time I remember going to a museum was the Science Museum of Minnesota with my grandparents. I specifically remember running up and down the musical stairs and being grossed out by the sneeze interactive. Visiting museums today is fun because it provides opportunity to learn about a wide variety of concepts in unique ways, and the opportunities to experience a glimpse of other cultures without leaving my own neck of the woods.
Joel English, Exhibition Manager
My first experience (that I can remember) was at the Melbourne Museum. I was always fascinated with Animals as a kid, I just remember the excitement of every exhibit or “piece” on display that had anything at all to do with animals and dinosaurs. It wasn’t until a few years after I left school that I began to develop a real interest in history, in particular leading up to and including WW1. I found the human experience and ability to survive and push through such horrendous circumstances to be both inspiring, and a massive reminder to be grateful for what we have today. I really enjoy anything related to those eras and…….still, anything to do with animals!
Sam Easterson, Exhibition Designer
The first museum experience I remember was going to the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, CT. I liked it so much that I made my mom take me back there as many times as possible. I memorized all the artworks that they had on permanent display. I go to museums today because I think that they are magical places. I think you can do things with design in the museum environment that can’t be done anywhere else.
Bek Voller, Executive Assistant
I don’t remember my first museum experience unfortunately, but my favourite and most memorable museum experience is the Louvre Museum which I have visited both times I was in Paris. Today, what I enjoy about museums is that one place can tell a complete story about a period in time or a subject. And it’s always a great cultural experience.
Megan Flaherty, Graphic Designer
The first museum I remember is the Minnesota Children’s Museum in St. Paul. I enjoyed being able to interact with the exhibits and being encouraged to think about the world in a broader way. I enjoy visiting museums today to take time to take in objects in person, the way you can’t fully online. I like learning about pieces and subjects I wouldn’t encounter otherwise, and gaining a deeper understanding of places I travel to.
Ed Ballard, AV Exhibition Manager
My first memorable experience when I was a young kid in elementary school, was at the Ontario Science center in Toronto. There is a long corridor leading from the entrance lobby area to the galleries. This corridor has a long railing that is painted in different sections representing the different “ages” of the earth in a timeline, starting 4.5 billion years ago to present. What made an impression on me was humans only represented a very narrow band at the end of this 150′ railing. I think it’s important to be reminded how insignificant humans are to mother Earth. Now that I’m a little bit older, I find ancient human history fascinating. The Royal Ontario museum has had a few traveling exhibits pass through. One from the London museum on Mesopotamia. I was working a few feet in front of a very large tablet and it struck me, 3000 years ago, some dude was standing close to where I was to the tablet, with a hammer and chisel carving out the hieroglyphs. A lot of work and no spell check!