We all love museums, but sometimes we forget how great local museums can be. We may make plans to visit the large, well-known museums in big cities. These make for a wonderful outing, or even a great activity while vacationing in another country. But our local museums are so convenient – we can pop over during a lunch break and discover new artists or learn about local history.
Local museums are deeply involved in the local community. Museums of all sorts have transitioned to a twenty-first century model that moves away from the academic, formal repository of collections to a vibrant engagement with the community. Now they tell stories that compel engagement with the visitors.
I love our local museum, the Museum of Ventura County. They are a mid-size museum with welcoming facilities in downtown Ventura and an agricultural museum in Santa Paula, a short drive away. (I’m a wannabe farmer, so that is of particular interest.)
I recently photographed their exhibition, “In High Style: The Photography of Neal Barr.” I was so impressed with the fashion photography of this master photographer who worked in New York City from about 1959 to 2000. Not only was the work beautiful to see, but Neal Barr was at the opening – he actually was born and raised here in Ventura! Neal is a warm, charming person. It’s always a thrill to meet an artist and find that he or she is a wonderful person. That validates my respect for those artists.
Local museums can connect us to stories and people that we never knew about, even though they may be right in our own backyard. I’m so lucky to be able to photograph museum exhibitions on a regular basis – I see fascinating exhibitions that I might have otherwise missed. Take a little time to visit your local museum and enjoy what they have to offer. Better yet, why not support them further by becoming a member?
Exhibition photography of “In High Style” fashion photography by Neal Barr. Museum of Ventura County.
Museum of Ventura County exhibition, “Ayer y Todavia” – “Yesterday and Even Today.” Chicano artists working in painting, sculpture, photography and mixed media.
The Scientific Photographer
I help museums, organizations, artists
and collectors document their artworks