That exhibit ended WHEN?
July 26, 2010 6:52 PM   Subscribe

I'm tired of missing traveling museum exhibits. Are there any sites out there which aggregate museum exhibit start and end dates, preferably searchable by location?

I live about 90 minutes west of Boston... close enough to hear about exhibits that are coming to one museum or another, but not close enough to be reminded of them repeatedly until I get off my duff and go see them; the typical pattern for me is: 1) hear about the exhibit 6 months before it opens, & get excited. 2) Hear about the opening (maybe), and tell myself I'm really going to go this time. 3) Hear about it after it's gone, and feel like a jerk for having missed yet another exhibit.

Is there any kind of central web site out there that keeps track of museum exhibits? I'd love to be able to put in my zipcode and get an ICS feed of stuff going on in an arbitrary radius, so on any given weekend I could open up a calendar and see what's around. The ability to send myself reminders a couple of weeks before an exhibit closes would be pretty nice too.

I know the grown-up thing to do would be to just manually maintain such a calendar myself, but I thought it was worth asking in case something like this actually does exist.
posted by usonian to Society & Culture (9 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Well, all the Smithsonian's traveling exhibits are tracked (and produced!) by SITES, which has this nice "Visit an Exhibition" page.

Beyond that, I'd recommend just signing up for the freeemail lists at the 4 or 5 museums you find most interesting - the ones that host the exhibits you want to see - and track whatever they're doing. Some will be serving as hosts only for traveling shows, but others will be producing the shows that then travel elsewhere.

What you're asking for is interesting and it seems completely intuitive that someone should be doing it. However, the infrastructure has not developed to favor this kind of clearinghouse dissemination. Traveling exhibits are kind of designed and meant to fly under the flag of the host institution, redounding to their credit, even though they weren't created there. That's a pity and a lost opportunity. I will be thinking about your approach - your idea that they should be announced well in advance, and that you should be able to choose one from a list, like a band on tour, and see where it's gonna be and whether that's anywhere near you.
posted by Miko at 8:08 PM on July 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Most museum have email newsletters.
Get on the news letter for any museum in your area that you might travel to - then you will get regular up-dates on what is happening.
posted by Flood at 5:02 AM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Or if you do Facebook, be a fan of the museums on Facebook and then they will send updates to your news feed.
posted by aabbbiee at 7:55 AM on July 27, 2010

I am subscribed to a public Google calendar that does just that for Seattle and vicinity. Try searching for similar Boston versions?
posted by halogen at 10:26 AM on July 27, 2010

Response by poster: Yeah, I know this information is out there in various forms (email newsletters, facebook feeds, etc. from individual institutions.) I was just hoping there might be a central clearing house for it that would keep track of it for me and give me one place to keep track of it instead of a dozen. I'll poke around & see if I can find a calendar like halogen described for Boston.
posted by usonian at 4:21 PM on July 27, 2010

It seems that Google has disabled their public calendar search. I found this website, but unfortunately, I can't find a way to import all matched events to a separate calendar. Maybe someone could volunteer to write a script to do it?
posted by halogen at 4:43 PM on July 27, 2010

Best answer: All right, here it is: lets you subscribe to their event calendar (click on Subscribe to the right just above the search results, add to Google calendar), filtered for Boston metro and "art".
posted by halogen at 4:48 PM on July 27, 2010 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Wow, thanks! That's pretty darn close to what I had in mind, and looks really useful for other happenings too.
posted by usonian at 7:47 PM on July 27, 2010

Best answer: Artlog keeps track of art exhibitions and museum/gallery happenings throughout the art world.
posted by superfem at 6:28 AM on July 28, 2010 [3 favorites]

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