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Friday, 14 March 2014

Museum Myth - Canapés

One of our favourite pastimes here at The Ministry is to rebuff common perceptions about the Museum world. We like to think, as  young women working in the sector we have already challenged a few. Well, at least the assumption that the industry is run by old men stroking their beards. But sometimes we find ourselves in the strange position where our own preconceptions of the industry are braved.

Carrie wouldn't feast on communal nuts 
Having spent some time in the fortunate position of favour with press teams we’ve begun to receive invites to private views.  Thanks to an obsession with celebrity magazines and Sex and the City, I imagined that every private view was the glamorous affair of the Museum and Art World. Sparkly dresses would be worn, every celebrity and museum director would be present and along with the copious amount of food there would be canapés.

 Yes there are celebrities milling about in fancy dresses a hell of a lot of wine and sometimes fancy cocktails but to my dismay, canapés are amiss. Instead, the high bar tables are decked out with large bowls of olives and nuts for sharing. Now I’m not a particular freak about hygiene but communal nuts... come on we've all heard about that pub research. 

Without blinis and mini burgers the abundance of booze makes for some inspiring conversations, and a sudden confidence in one’s ability to interpret the exhibition creatively, and then walk up to a career crush to tell them all about why they should give you a job. But surely with this loosening of inhibitions, clumsiness can occur and in a gallery full of precious objects is drinking on an empty stomach the best idea?

V&A Always get the hottest celebs 
According to rumour the late nineties/ early noughties was the time for museum caterers and blinis filled galleries like children at half term. But with the continuous government cuts to culture and the arts the first effect was to remove mini food on silver platters from openings. Canapés have become a museum myth. Although some exhibitions do offer nibbles with the BIG parties (*cough cough* V&A) food has become an afterthought in many institutions private view budgets. We’re not complaining though, this is where cuts should be made, not in collections.

Just remember kids, take a pack up and have a sarnie before the opening, make the most of the free booze and tweet #drunkinmuseums. Please drink responsibility, we don’t want anyone stumbling into a painting do we?

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