Archives for category: Museums

Artist Yayoi Kusama's “The Obileration Room” is on display through March 12 at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, Australia. Photo Credit

This “domestic installation” would have caused me so much anxiety as a child – WHERE DO I PUT THE STICKER!? (is what I would have been thinking as I frantically looked for a place to stick my colorful, circle stickers. WHERE!?!?) Stickers are just so permanent…

Luckily, Australian children didn’t have as much trouble as I would have. Artist Yayoi Kusama let a bunch of kids in Brisbane at the Gallery of Modern Art do an extreme home makeover on her entirely white space. Kids were given colorful circle stickers and allowed to run wild.

The space is called “The Obileration Room” and is on display through March 12. at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, Australia.

I love the way this space looks. Would it be weird to re-create this look in my own kitchen???

Artist Yayoi Kusama's “The Obileration Room” is on display through March 12 at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, Australia. Photo Credit

Artist Yayoi Kusama's “The Obileration Room” is on display through March 12 at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, Australia. Photo Credit

– Ann Erling Gofus


The National Museum of African American History and Culture. Image Credit:

On Wednesday (22 February) ground was broken on the National Mall in Washington, DC  for The National Museum of African American History and Culture – the newest addition to the Smithsonian museum family.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture will explore the richness and diversity of the African American experience. The museum has been collecting artifacts and documents since 2005, and expects to open in 2015. Museum director Lonnie Bunch was quoted in an NPR piece saying that most major moments in this nation’s history have been shaped by race issues. The African-American experience is central to the American experience, he said, so the stories the museum will tell are for everyone, or every race (via

President Obama, who spoke at the ground breaking, said on Wednesday that the museum was a long time coming – I totally agree. The last Smithsonian museum to be built in DC was the National Museum of the American Indian in 2004. African American history plays such a large role in America’s story, it’s about time there was a museum in our nation’s capital exploring this history and culture.

Now all we need to do is wait 3 years until it opens.

– Ann Erling Gofus

Mark Twain Museum, Hartford

In “not so breaking news” (at least to those in the non-profit sector), the controller for the Mark Twain Museum in Hartford, pleaded guilty to fraud and filing false income taxes this past August.  How did she do it?  Through the use of ghost employees.  Up until 30 minutes ago, I was completely unaware of this (apparently) common scandal that happens often in the non-profit sector.  According to Easy Office Blog, “For those of us in the sector who have seasonal workers, or a large part-time staff, ghost employees can be a real problem…the bookkeeper simply “invents” an employee and pays them.  Management often doesn’t notice as payroll gets entered into the accounting system in a lump sum.”

Ghost employees "add up" via

How can you prevent employees from committing this fraud?  Well the most important way is having a pre-payroll register approved and signed by department head so that people and amounts can be verified and approved.  Other tactics may include:

  • Ensure the payroll preparation, disbursement and distribution functions are segregated.
  • Look for paychecks without deductions for taxes or Social Security. Completely fictitious employees frequently don’t have any.
  • Examine payroll checks that have dual endorsements. Although most of them are legitimate, two signatures could signal the forgery of a departed employee’s endorsement, which the thief also endorses and deposits into his or her own account.
  • Use direct deposits. This method, although not foolproof, can cut down on payroll chicanery by eliminating paper paychecks and the possibility of alteration, forgery and most theft, although it doesn’t prevent misdirection of deposits into unauthorized accounts.
  • Check payroll records for the presence of duplicate names, addresses and Social Security numbers.
  • On occasion, hand-deliver paychecks to employees and require positive identification. If you have leftover paychecks, make sure they belong to actual employees, not ghosts.
  • Be wary of budget variations in payroll expense. Higher-than-budgeted labor costs can indicate ghost employees.

Arguably, in smaller organizations, this type of fraud may be difficult to complete.  But, at the Mark Twain Museum, staff had been cut from 49 to 17 — two years before the fraud even started!  Suffice it to say, being smart about transactions of your organization and behaviors of co-workers is extremely important!

– Kate

On the 5th, The Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum went live. And now, two days later (I know, I know), Musely has a recap of the live press conference and the museum itself.On December 5th, I watched a live stream of the press conference announcing the launch of the Valentino Museum. Anne Hathaway was a funny host – she immediately revealed that she had been at the Kennedy Center Honors in the DC the night before and hadn’t slept – you could tell, she was a bit bumbling, but so beautiful and charming and the perfect spokeswoman for this innovative museum. And that dress she was wearing — so, so, so beautiful.

Anne Hathaway wasn’t the only celebrity to grace the stage. At one point, Anne pulled Hugh Jackman out of the crowd. Franca Sozzani, the Italian editor of Vogue spoke, and Amit Sood, the creator of Google Art Project, compared The Valentino Museum to the Google Art Project and how the Museum’s content is focused on fashion, art and culture. “Immersive experience, go deep into the work of the artist,” commented Sood.

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The Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum goes live on December 5. Photo Credit

On December 5th, The Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum goes live. This virtual museum combines many of my great loves: fashion, museums, technology and awesomeness. Hi-Tech AND Fashionable? Too good to be true!

Valentino’s virtual museum will include 300 iconic dresses from over 50 years of Valentino’s career. The pieces will be showcased in 3-D, animated galleries alongside sketches and design notes. The museum will also include an extensive media library of Valentino’s illustrations, ad campaigns, editorials, red carpet images and 95 fashion show videos.

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Here are the results of last week’s poll, and it appears that Musely readers are well traveled (or French).

The Louvre, Musee du’Orsay and the MoMA in New York all tied for the most visited museums by Musely readers. Not a single respondent had been to the British Museum in London or the National Museum of Korea in Seoul.

I’ll admit, this poll made me jealous. I’ve only been to 2 of these museums: Musee du Louvre and The National Gallery of Art in DC.
AND I’ve been to Paris TWICE and to New York City more times than I’d like to count. You’ve all put me to shame.

– Annie Erling Gofus

I think the Freer Sackler Gallery is one of the most under-appreciated museums on the National Mall.
It’s quiet, and has this incredibly intimate feel. Almost like you’re walking through someone’s very, very nice house. It’s an art gallery in DC I highly recommend.

In this video you can see behind the scenes goings-on at the Freer Gallery. I especially LOVED watching conservationists treat a Chinese hanging scroll. I will admit that my mind was slightly blown when the conservationists dumped a whole lotta water on the paper scroll.

Freer Sackler Gallery

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Been to the Louvre?
Yea? Well, stop bragging! We get it, you’re sooooo cultured!
Haven’t been to the Louvre? France out of your budget? Well, we have a solution to your problem (if your problem is an undying desire to visit the most visited museum in the world).

In the 1830s, Samuel Morse painted Gallery of the Louvre, a 6 feet tall by 9 feet wide painting that will be on display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC until July 8, 2012.

Samuel F. B. Morse Gallery of the Louvre, 1831–1833 oil on canvas Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago, Daniel J. Terra Collection. Photo Credit National Gallery of Art

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I love technology (that is, when it’s not freezing or dying or becoming obsolete). Thanks to technology we have the internet (and this blog!), GPS navigation, and the power to explore pieces of art at the Louvre without even leaving our desks (sacre bleu!).

The Louvre offers incredible, in-depth “tours” of paintings in its collection. The “Closer Look” feature allows the viewer to see details of the artwork magnified and explained through audio commentary and animation. Closer Look discusses the historical background of the artwork, and the artistic and symbolic features of each piece.

The portrait of the Marquise de Pompadour by Maurice-Quentin Delatour, photo credit Musée du Louvre/M. Beck-Coppola

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