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The Printing Museum Is Listening

printing museum listening tour

If you’re a museum dedicated to printing, what do you do to stay relevant in the digital age? Well, The Printing Museum, a Houston institution dedicated to all things printed, has decided to ask the public.

Yesterday TPM announced a new program to involve community members in the planning of exhibitions, workshops, and special events—in other words, most of their programming. Called The TPM Listening Tour, this project will involve multiple small group conversations with Mark Osborne, the museum’s Executive Director. Osborne released this statement about the impetus for the Listening Tour:

The goals are a) to gain a better understanding of the needs of our community, b) to determine what role a museum dedicated to printing can play in our digital age, and c) to begin to chart a course toward becoming more accessible and relevant to those we serve. 

The Printing Museum (which changed its name from the Museum of Printing History in 2012), is an interesting entity that’s somewhat oddly housed in a former one-storey office building in Montrose. They have a collection of historical printing machines and letter blocks—so this is how books were made back in the day!—but what we enjoy most are their varied art exhibitions. Their current mission statement mentions the civilized world, freedom, and literacy, as well as art—which are concepts we can all definitely get excited about.

TPM Listening Tour conversations will take place in different locations, including restaurants, libraries, and at the museum itself. Osborne will act as facilitator for the discussions, and he will blog about the Tour here. Meetings will involve 8-10 people, but they’re invitation-only; if you’re interested in attending, call 713-522-4652 or email listeningtour@printingmuseum.org. Go here to see the program’s full schedule.

postcards from the trenches

Image from 2015’s Postcards from the Trenches exhibition at The Printing Museum

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1 Response

  1. Emmy Ezzell

    I’ve spent 40 years making books, as a designer and production manager. I like to remind people that while electronics have added new dimensions to books, a printed book will be completely accessible in 500 years, dependent on nothing more than daylight and a functioning brain, as long as it’s stored in a safe place. It’s the ultimate self-contained, random-access, retrievable storage device.

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