You might not get a day off from work for Ask a Curator Day, but we can assure you, it’s a pretty big deal. On September 19, curators from across the world will be standing by the ready to take your questions and turn them into expert-crafted gold, or at least point you in the right direction. It’s as easy as 140 characters and a hashtag.
Using Twitter and the tag #askacurator, you can ask whatever burning query is on your mind. Experts from Sri Lanka to Switzerland will be fielding questions all day long. And, of course, the Smithsonian will be participating, including the American History Museum (@amhistorymuseum), the National Air and Space Museum (@airandspace), the Freer and Sackler Gallery (@freersackler), the National Museum of African Art (@nmafa) and the National Postal Museum (@postalmuseum).
On the American History Museum blog, meet the experts in advance of the event, including Katherine Ott, a curator in the Division of Medicine and Science who says, “Ask me about ephemera. It’s a weird word—and I love it.” Eric Jentsch, Deputy Chair of the Division of Culture and the Arts, meanwhile, can’t wait to discuss everything from pop culture to sports to one of his favorite finds, an Urkel lunchbox.
At the Postal Museum, historian Nancy Pope, curator of philately Daniel Piazza and curator of postal history Lynn Heidelbaugh are ready to take your questions.
And because good questions (hey, no such thing as a bad one, right?) deserve good answers every day, Smithsonian magazine invites all comers to “Ask Smithsonian,” where we’ll hook your musings up with the appropriate curator all year round, and possibly publish your name and your question in the magazine.