Boca Raton Museum of Art
501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, FL 33432
In Mizner Park
T: 561.392.2500 F: 561.391.6410


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Museum News

Friday, October 23, 2009
The value of outside scholars for cultural institutions

Scholar Robert Duff discusses a framed burial mantle with Senior Curator Wendy Blazier of the Boca Raton Museum of Art.


Robert Duff has spent much of his life in South America collecting native textiles, ceramics and stone bowls. His scholarly acumen in regards to all things Pre-Columbian comes from his many years as a collector and exporter of South American artifacts. It is our great pleasure to welcome him to the Museum as an expert volunteer.   

Examining 19 of our Pre-Columbian textiles, Duff identified the culture, place and time period for many of our pieces. He explained things like, why a particular entity is depicted as wearing ear plugs, or how a Chimu feather mosaic band fragment is woven.  

The process takes time, as Boca Raton Museum of Art Senior Curator Wendy Blazier discusses the merits of each piece with Mr. Duff. It is not uncommon for museums to look to experts, leaders in their respective fields, for insight into the collection.

The Museum is a guardian of knowledge and culture as well as a repository for artifacts.  We welcome outside scholars with critical insight in regards to their chosen subject of study.

We will be showing about 40 amazing donations gifted to the Museum by collectors from all over the world in the upcoming African, Oceanic, and Meso-American Treasures: Selections from the Permanent Collection. The exhibition opens November 17 and remains on view through January 10, 2010, here at the Museum.

Not all of the pieces that Mr. Duff is researching appear in African, Oceanic and Meso-American Treasures, but if you visit us you will still get to see a remarkable cross-section of the gifts we have received over the years from these wonderful places. 


Posted by: Kelli Bodle, BRMA Curatorial Assistant @ 3:29:34 pm  Comments (0)
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Oh, the places docents go!

(L-R) Museum Educator Annette Seitles and docent-trainees Dr. Carol Weissman and Leslye Gellert look on while Registrar Martin Hanahan shows them our flat file cabinets.

Docent-trainees Linda Schottland, Dr. Carol Weiessman, Leslye Gellert, and Museum Educator Annette Seitles view a Divination Tray from Africa in our art storage room.


Above are photographs of a recent tour that Museum Registrar, Martin Hanahan, gave to our new docent-trainees.  Becoming a docent allows one to see behind-the-scenes and day-to-day activities within the museum. Boca Raton Museum of Art staff are very excited about the 2009 docent class. Currently, the docent-candidates are undergoing rigorous training, learning the museum's collections.

To become a docent, one must become a member of the Museum. Docents and members receive the same perks, such as 10% off in the Museum Store, free entry to movies and lectures, the membership magazine, and invitations to openings throughout the year. Besides becoming a member, the only prerequisite is a love of art. Of course, background in the fine arts, art history, teaching, or public speaking can be beneficial as well. 

Docent candidates must complete six months of training before they may give tours to the public. Claire Clum, Curator of Education, and Annette Seitles, Museum Educator, teach a course comparable to college-level seminar in order to adequately educate the docents.  They talk about the BRMoA collection specifically and also situate the works within broader movements and styles.  They teach how to utilize the Socratic method, the correct vocabulary when speaking about visual art, age-appropriate topics, and so on. This period of study and practice builds a knowledgeable staff of docent-trainees, ready to ameliorate our guests' experience. 

While the docents are trained in every aspect of our collection, they have the freedom to construct their own tours of the museum, based around a theme of their choosing.  The themes can be anything, such as formal elements like the color red, to historical periods like the Abstract Expressionist movement, to theory, like Poststructuralism.  If you see a docent in the halls who is not giving a tour, feel free to approach them for an interesting conversation on any number of topics. 

If you are interested in becoming a docent, you can contact the Museum Educator Claire Clum. If you have the available time, becoming a docent can add a new dimension to your understanding and outlook of the world. 


Posted by: Kelli Bodle @ 3:39:17 pm  Comments (0)
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