JAN 29, 2020

Microdosing museums

So… this title is probably not what you’re thinking. It has nothing to do with mind altering substances.1

I’ve found that I’m often reluctant to visit museums. Not because I don’t like them. But because the traditional visiting format doesn’t work well for me.

If I’m on vacation, spending half a day inside a museum seems costly. I want to be out walking around and exploring. Or even when I feel like I do have the time… I get burned out spending 3 or 4 hours in a museum.2 It is so much to take in. I can’t absorb it all and I have a “completionist” streak. Bad combo.

All this to say I love living within a 10 minute walk of the Peabody Essex Museum. Even better, admission is free for Salem residents.

This solves all my issues. Now I can pop in, explore one exhibit for 30 minutes, and leave. It is glorious.

This is exactly what we did a few weekends ago when we took Buckley on his first museum visit.

The exhibit we checked out couldn’t have been better suited for young children. Granted, Buckley is too young to know what was happening but his presence helped me be more childlike in how I viewed everything.

The exhibit was littered with thought provoking statements and quotes about life. Like these.

And various patterns and materials inspired from nature.

There were also some interesting structures you could explore within. Some contained videos or lighting fixtures. Harder to photograph, however.

All in all, it was great. Excited for many more short trips to the museum as a family.

As an unexpected bonus on our way out, I got to contribute to an interactive exhibit. You sit silently and meditate as you try to form a piece of clay into a perfect sphere. Once you’re satisfied, you add it to the collection. A peaceful way to wrap up the visit.

  1. Not that I have anything against this idea. It seems like it would also be a nice way to spend a day at a museum, tbh. Just not with a child. 

  2. Admission prices also tend to be high enough that I feel obligated to stay for a while.