Month at the Museum (of Science and Industry)

by Katie Bowell, Curator of Cultural Interpretation

When I was a girl, one of my favorite books was From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E.L. Konigsburg. In the book, Claudia Kincaid and her little brother Jamie decide to leave home and, searching for adventure, run away to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The plot develops as Claudia and Jamie work to solve a mystery around a statue of a marble angel, which may or may not be a Michelangelo original. While I’m not going to tell you how the story ends, I will tell you that since first reading the book I’ve always wondered what it would be like to live in a museum. I’m pretty sure the exhibits don’t come to life at night (at least they haven’t on the nights that I work late…yet…)

Well, she probably won’t get to solve any Renaissance art mysteries, but Kate McGroarty is about to start living in Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry for one month. Kate won the museum’s Month at the Museum contest, beating out over 1,500 other applicants for the chance to, in the words of the contest application,

live and breathe science 24/7 for 30 days…this person’s mission will be to experience all the fun and education that fits in this historic 14-acre building, living here and reporting [their] experience to the outside world.

Kate discovering she's the contest winner

Here’s Kate’s entry video

From October 20th through November 18th, you can follow Kate’s adventures in the Museum of Science and Industry through the project’s website, Facebook, and Twitter.

If you had the chance to live in a museum, which one would you chose? I think my choice would be a tie between the Te Papa Tongarewa (the Museum of New Zealand) and the Natural History Museum in London.

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