top of page
  • Writer's pictureMia Schillace Nelson

An Ode to The Chicken Museum

Updated: Aug 4, 2021

In a year filled with more challenges than we could ever have anticipated, there have also been opportunites to explore and embrace the new and the different. Staying connected to one another virtually is new for many, and it's been interesting to see how we have all coped (one of our top favorites is windowswap where you get to see someone elses' window view, from anywhere in the world. Seriously, check it out!)

As professionals in the museum field, we have also learned to connect in novel ways, and to take this moment to ask ourselves, "what makes a museum, a museum?". There is something very powerful in the idea of bringing a museum TO people right alongside bringing people to our venerable institutions.

This idea has captivated me, and I've spent hours talking to colleagues who have already taken up the cause (check out omnimuseum or MICRO, they are doing some really interesting things.) I don't know where this work will lead us, but I am very excited to embark on the journey.

As a gift to you as we wrap up this most challenging year, I give you one interpretation of a museum: The Chicken Museum.

Vivenne Morgan, a photographer living and working in Minnesota, was kind enough to share her ongoing experiment with her "girls": Bunty, Anwen, and Betsy. What follows is her first hand account of the gallery "opening". I hope it brings you some joy, as it did for us. This is why we do this work, isn't it?

"It was -6 deg F last night and the chicken coop door was frozen shut this morning, which delayed the opening of the new gallery and teaching space. After several hours of defrosting the door, I hung the work and we had a literal opening. I tried to make some general remarks about current gallery artists: Picasso and Escher. I made an effort to talk about line and gesture, and of course process, but frankly when the meal worm hors d’oeuvres were passed out, the whole tone shifted down market, with a brief argument about the intrinsic value of the work, which Bunty won.

Anwen was the first to view the work, and she was the most attentive, staying the longest with each work. Approaching each work with delight, and paying attention to detail, Anwen might be trainable as an artist or cheap gallery assistent. Anwen was taken with MC Escher’s chicken with egg, and in a marked reverence for the work, the chicken, and the egg, and after a brief deliberation of which came first, she pecked at the egg.

Bunty (aka Golden girl) had a good look at the rooster, I think she quite fancied him. Betsy (aka Big Girl) took a little more than a passing glance at the work, and obligingly posed for the selfie with Chicken that looks most like you, then she set into the hors d’oeuvres. Where’s the wine? She complained, but a good time was had by all."


20 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page