S: Getty Center, LA by Kristin Rey
FC: Welcome to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California, where the Wisteria are in bloom, and there are several amazing exhibitions on view. As usual, it is a bright sunny day
1: A visitor services employee greets guests as they exit the tram at the top of the hill and enter the campus. It's sunny and hot in Los Angeles, and he offers the guests umbrellas to shade them on their walk to the entrance building. He answers any question the guest might have including information about special programs, directions to various exhibitions, the garden or restaurants. His uniform is casual, which distinguishes his position from that of a security guard. He is the first person guests will interact with as they begin their visit. | (Visitor Services) Managers train train their staff to be a welcoming and helpful presence and respond to visitor requests and complaints in an obliging manner" (Schlatter pg. 94)
2: A sign welcoming and directing visitors to one of several exhibitions on view. This is made by designers who had input from the education department as well as facilities managers. | "Using software such as Vectorworks, AutoCAD, InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop, museum designers transform the content provided by various departments into engaging and accessible forms" (Schlatter, pg. 59
3: The desk where the visitor can pick up an audio guide to learn more about the history of the collection and specific works of art is located near the entrance of the orientation building. Curators often write scripts for audio guides, and at the Getty this is likely the case as the collection focus is historical art and antiquities. Audio guides can also be scripted by educators with input from visitor services managers. The audio guide desk will be staffed by visitor services personnel to answer questions about how to the device. Media specialists would have worked with the written script to create an interactive product that is both educational and (hopefully) entertaining.
4: One of several bookstores displaying Getty publications and other merchandise. The print/publications and museum shop staff manages retail operations. In the background are two security staff members, wearing typical security uniforms. | Within the Family Room, at the Getty Center, two docents welcome visiting families with young children. Docents are trained by museum educators | "The docent becomes a museum educator in acquiring the ability to mediate, interpret, and encourage visitors to participate actively in learning" (Glaser & Zenetou, pg. 89)
5: Security chief, and facilities manager together with museum leadership and the fire department will map evacuation routes. The Getty likely has an in house graphic designer that would have produced a map to their specifications
6: A temporary stage is put up in the courtyard. Facilities managers and special events staff oversee these activities. There may be sound equipment that will be set up by media specialists, and the lighting staff will likely help with the stage set up as well. | Facilities and special events staff ensure that visitors to the Getty for performances, and lectures have ample, comfortable seating for special events as well as daily museum visits
7: Wall text outside the gallery announcing an important exhibition is usually written by the curators in an art museum. The graphic designer was responsible for the color and graphics, and the transfer to the wall. The exhibition designer produces an overall concept for how the exhibition will look, including text and type color.
8: Opening night (Monday evening). People are gathered in front of Mural by Jackson Pollock. There is only one security guard by the painting, nervously making sure all these people kept two feet behind a yellow line. For this exhibition, it was the conservators that were central to the exhibition as what is on display is a painting that had undergone extensive restoration for several years by the conservation scientists at the Getty Conservation Institute. The painting is owned by the University of Iowa where it will return to in June. Exhibition designers would have determined the the background paint color for the rooms and specific lighting for the painting, as well as accompanying wall text and displays. Curators would have been involved with research and writing content relating to abstract painting, New York in the 1940's and related art historical context. | "The designer has the 'eye' to project how all the ideas of others, and the selected objects will appear in an exhibition" (Glaser & Zenetou, pg. 94)
9: A kiosk set up for visitors to take part in an evaluative survey of their experience at the Getty Center is positioned in the waiting area for the trams which will take visitors back down to their cars. Getty leaders, educators and marketing staff all want to know what visitors thought of programming, audio tours, the restaurant, etc. A Visitor Services Manager constructs and implements these surveys which also serve to evaluate attendance. Surveys help the museum know whether it is reaching its target audiences, and allows it to compile other information concerning visitor motivation as well as demographics. | "A Visitor Services manager is responsible not only for crowd control but also for ensuring that visitors have a positive and educational experience...Usually this position is found at mid -to large size institutions whose level of visitation requires a manager" (Schlatter, pg. 94)
10: Bibliography Schlatter, Elizabeth. Museum Careers, A Practical Guide, 2008, Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, California Glaser, Jane R. and Zenetou, Artemis, A., Museums: A Place to Work, Planning Museum Careers, 1996, Routledge, London, U.K.