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Intro: Museums on TV

As we know, Hollywood often gets it wrong, whether it’s in the portrayal of cultures or everyday life in particular lines of work. This includes museum work and the fields that are related to it. Life isn’t necessarily as glamourous or action-packed as directors and writers would like to believe, so they bump it up a notch… sometimes into outer space. So, we want to talk about some of our favorite TV shows and movies (despite their portrayals) and the ones that make us groan at our screens.

We’ll be looking at pop culture classics such as the Indiana Jones Trilogy (we don’t count the Shia LeBouf one), new editions like Oceans 8 and Wonder Woman 84, and binge-able series’ highlights like Sherlock, Carmen Sandiego, and This is A Robbery: The World’s Biggest Art Heist from Netflix.

Popular culture is popular for a reason, and as much as we may not like it, it builds up the idea of museums for our publics. Between thefts, glamorization of museum work, and action-packed adventures, this is often the first lens people use to see museums. Portrayal matters because it shapes expectations, behavior, and general protocol visitors use when entering a space. On the flip side, these perceptions should impact how we operate museums and similar institutions, whether it is to feed into these perceptions or shatter them. So, join us for this special series where we share thoughts, ideas, and geek out over these museums on TV.

Sarah Hixson (she/her/hers) is an emerging curator and educator. If you have questions for her, comment below or send us an email to and she'll get back to you as soon as possible.

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