I went to a college in the Midwest where double and triple majors were common. Alas, I graduated with a major in English only, though I dabbled at the thought of becoming either an Art History or Comparative Literature double major. Despite the shocked looks I received from classmates when I proudly proclaimed my ONLY major, I had the freedom to take classes across all disciplines, so I counted myself lucky and not hamstrung by the many prerequisites of other majors. And we special students were only a short walk from some great civic edutainment, as I like to call it, such as the St. Louis Art Museum.
So when I came across this program at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, the perennial student in me got all excited again. The program is called “Art Tours for Book Lovers” and it seeks to unite art with literature! According to the museum website:
“This program is designed for existing book clubs to read a featured book and then come as a group to the Museum to view art that relates to the book. An online Discussion Guide is offered for each featured book to facilitate conversation at the book club meetings and to enhance the tour at the Museum. Trained UMFA docents will guide discussion-based tours which last approximately one hour.”
Need I say, BRILLIANT!? Edutainment at its best, marrying two of my favorite things: books and art. And a close third: hearing everyone’s reaction to and subjective responses to art!
What would be your favorite book-art match?
Which begs the question, why aren’t more museums doing this? And why not children’s art museums or other museums? My goodness, the books shouldn’t just sit in the museum gift store. Patrons can partake in the magic of interacting with the world around books, kind of like an enhanced e-book but in real, analog life!
You can bet that the Utah Art Museum will be on my family’s list for a future Great American Roadtrip. Now give me that honorary one-person book club membership please.