1929: Education Programs
William Berkeley, who served as Director of the Museum from 1926–37, moved swiftly to make education one of the Museum’s top priorities. In 1928, the staff offered the first “Story Hour” for younger children, something we recently reintroduced. The following year, it initiated a regular series of illustrated talks for school children, starting with “The Private Side of George Washington.” During the summer of 1929, the Museum participated in the “Junior Summer Science School” in Trevor Park.
The Museum went on to actively cultivate relationships with local schools. An account of the Museum from 1933–34 explained that all schools working with the Museum were provided with “instructive inspection of its displays,” “talks illustrated by slides,” and “loans of Museum material to illustrate the lesson taught.” Meanwhile, the Women’s Auxiliary organized lectures for adults on topics ranging from “Indian Handicraft” to “The Flowering of Italian Art in the 15th and 16th Centuries.” So began a tradition of outreach and enrichment that has grown exponentially.
Today, the Museum offers a wealth of educational programs for diverse audiences. Our interdisciplinary, inquiry-based programs reach 73,000 visitors annually, including 25,000 students from more than 100 school districts throughout the New York metropolitan area. Additionally, every weekend and on select evenings, the HRM provides an array of activities designed to appeal to adults as well as children. The Sunday Scholars series, for example, brings visiting professors, curators, authors, and other experts to discuss timely topics relating to current exhibitions; Family Studio Art & Science workshops engage some of our youngest visitors in hands-on projects; and special events like Paint Night appeal to those who learn painting basics in a fun and social atmosphere.
“Our doors are open to every member of our community,” says Saralinda B. Lichtblau, HRM’s Assistant Director of Education. “Our mission is to make art, science, and history accessible to everyone, and to facilitate experiences of wonder, magic, and connection.”
Left image: Lecture room in Glenview, ca. 1930s.
Right image: Halloweekend program in Glenview, October 2017. Photo: Jason Green.