I came across the fantastic Some Rules for Students and Teachers, by Sister Corita Kent. With a little modification, I think they’re quite perfect for museum work, too:
- Find a place (or story or visitors) you trust and then try trusting it for a while.
- General duties of a museum visitor: Pull everything out of a visit/exhibit/museum. Pull something out of your fellow visitors.
- General duties of a museum professional: Pull something out of your visitors. Pull everything out of your fellow colleagues.
- Consider everything an experiment.
- Be self disciplined. This means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them.
- Nothing is a mistake. There is only make.
- The only rule is work. If you work, it will lead to something.
- Don’t try to create and analyse at the same time. They’re different processes.
- Break all the museum rules. Nothing is sacred.
- Try everything. Read everything. Go to everything. Save everything – it might come in handy later.
- There should be new rules next week.