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I did it!

 
 
Eva
 
Reply Sat 5 May, 2007 08:25 pm
I haven't told anyone here on A2K that I've been doing this, but now that it's accomplished, it's time.

I was accepted into the Docent Internship program at my favorite art museum here in Tulsa last September. 40 people applied, only 20 were accepted. It involved nine months of fairly intensive training, including weekly 3-hour classes, outside research, practice tours, and in-depth evaluations by museum staff as well as mentors. It was much tougher than I ever would have anticipated. In the end, only 8 of us qualified.

I gave my first public tour a week ago today, and will officially "graduate" on the 24th. In addition to giving regular public tours for various groups and ages, I may also speak to community groups in the coming months and years.

This is something I've wanted to do for many years, but I always thought I'd save it for retirement. Last year I decided I was wasting time...I should go for it now. I'm glad I did. It's been a lot of work, but it feels like a major accomplishment.

Here's a link to the museum: http://www.philbrook.org
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 May, 2007 08:40 pm
Oh, Eva, that is so great. Memories of you in Chicago...

When the group of us went there, I nudged around the Art Institute mostly alone as I'm a Very Idiosyncratic art looker. I think I remember you and Walter and maybe RJB did too. I remember seeing RJB across the room staring at one of my faves, what was it, early on, Monet's train station....

I wished at the time I could have also gone around with JPB, twinning myself, as she is very knowledgeable. I'm so happy for you, that is terrific.

I remember looking at the Philbrook site before, will look again now.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 May, 2007 08:50 pm
For starters, why don't we put some philbrook shows on the upcoming gallery and museum exhibits thread. Looks like a good french sculpture one coming up.

I don't know if it is anti-tos for you to do it - I think not, but if so, I will, and re-energize myself to post more local-to-a2kers gallery and museum news. There is a tilt (over time) as it is on that thread, for US coastal cities and long established european and american exhibit spaces.
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martybarker
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 May, 2007 08:58 pm
Congratulations! What an accomplishment to be able to do something that you love.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 May, 2007 09:23 pm
How exciting!
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 May, 2007 09:36 pm
I know a lot of people would be bored silly with being an art museum docent, but this is a combination of several things I absolutely adore.

I love giving tours (I've given them for several organizations), I love public speaking and teaching, art history has always been one of my very favorite subjects, and Philbrook is my #1 favorite place in Tulsa. So this is an ideal fit.

I passed my final review with the "big guns" last week...with flying colors! Woo hoo!!!!!
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 May, 2007 10:53 pm
Doesn't sound even remotely boring to me, Eva. I think this is wonderful. I wish you well with your "docentitude." Enjoy.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 May, 2007 10:58 pm
It sounds wonderful. Congratulaions.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 May, 2007 01:20 am
That's really great, congratulations!
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kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 May, 2007 01:26 am
I'm happy for you, Eva. Congratulations, you big smartypants.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 May, 2007 06:26 am
Eva--

You've certainly had a year of adventure and growth--and you were interesting and charming last year, too.

Hold your dominion.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 May, 2007 07:46 am
Oh I love that museum!

I wasted a good chunk of my youth lazing on the southwest (?) field of their lawn.

I remember the happy day I found a print by a college pal of mine for sale in their gift shop. I still have it. He has gone on to become quite well known.

I watched a million foreign movies in what used to be that little annex at the end of the driveway.

I used to go there and walk around pretending it was my house. (Coincidentally, I am now related to the Phillips by marriage. Their lifestyle is not nearly so lavish anymore but they are a very interesting and fun family.)

And not to mention their permanant collection of Renaissance art.

I think it's amazing that you are a docent there. Our shools always took trips there and I thought the docents were the smartest people in the world. Have fun with this!
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 May, 2007 07:51 am
That's a real accomplishment, Eva, congratulations!
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Miller
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 May, 2007 07:52 am
Quote:
Hold your dominion.


Are you holding?
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 May, 2007 09:22 am
Congratulations, Eva!
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BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 May, 2007 09:54 am
Eva
Eva, I'm not in the least surprised that you were accepted as you are one smart, charming woman.

Congratulations!

BBB
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 May, 2007 09:56 am
Congratulations!

It's great to be able to do something like this - that you are so keen about. I always appreciate having a docent who's passionate about their subject.
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 May, 2007 06:06 pm
Thanks, everybody! It really does feel good.

I always thought that docent tours would be scripted, y'know? I think many I've taken at other museums were. But not so here.

We have to develop our own tours. Obviously it's not possible to see everything in one hour (the maximum amount of time most groups can handle.) So we have to develop a theme, preferably one that relates to either the group we're taking or our own personal background. Then we have to research a dozen or so pieces from different galleries that relate to that theme, so we can focus our tour on those. Then tie it together with transitions, make it interactive to engage the group, tell a little about the history of the Villa, etc., etc.

We're not expected to be art experts (thank heavens!) Instead, we're trained to help people enjoy their visit the most. A little lecturing, a little inquiry-based...

To give you a sample...

For my first tour, I capitalized on my marketing/p.r. background and chose pieces that told interesting stories about the way art has been bought and sold. I included pieces from French Academic (Salon), Early American Portraits, Italian Renaissance, Ming Dynasty tradeware, Taos School, Thomas Moran, Native American, African and Contemporary galleries.

In one hour, obviously, all I could do was give brief overviews. But that's what people want. It surprised me to learn that most people who take docent tours aren't really all that interested in art history!
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 May, 2007 06:18 pm
Boomer, I figured you'd spent time there, too. I used to pretend it was my house, too. Now I can do that "officially"!!! I can turn on the colored lights under the dance floor any time I please! (Boomer will know what I mean.)

Philbrook had an exceptional director for the past 3 or 4 years, Brian Ferriso. He was just snapped up by the Portland museum, so he's up near you now. Expect good things to happen at that museum. His replacement will start here next month. I don't envy him. Big shoes to fill & all...

When did you leave Tulsa? Philbrook went through a multimillion-dollar expansion in the early '90s. Everyone was scared to death they'd ruin the place, but they did it right. (As they usually do.) You'd be so proud. Check out the website for photos & map of the museum.
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 May, 2007 06:25 pm
Re: Eva
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
Eva, I'm not in the least surprised that you were accepted as you are one smart, charming woman.

Congratulations!

BBB



Hmm. I wonder if they'll let me accept tips. :wink:
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