I chatted with a Minnesota man at the gym where I work out here in Arizona. Last year he was part of a book club at the Minneapolis Art Institute. Each month the art gallery recommends a book to its patrons and then twice a week three different guides lead tours through the galleries visiting a dozen or more works of art in the Institute’s collection that the guides think have some connection to the book. Since each guide has his or her own personal interests and areas of expertise they choose different works of art to discuss with their groups. Some patrons come back several times to take tours with different guides. My gym partner said up to a hundred people turn up eight times a month for the tours.
I went on the Art Institute website to check out their list of books for the next few months. Some of the books are novels, some biographies and others are non-fiction. Another service the Art Institute offers is that groups of ten or more can choose a book of their own and a guide will read it and then customize a tour through the galleries based on their book. What a fun thing for a book club to do. And what fun for the guides.
I noticed that for this coming summer the Art Institute will be offering Inspired by Book Tours for youth as well. I have a part time job as an art gallery tour guide and I’d love to give tours like this.
Other posts about art and story…….