In association with the LGBT community of Montreal, a nude tour was organized for 100 visitors. The objective was to eliminate the difference between the individuals during their visit of the Mapplethorpe exhibit where sensitive and shocking subjects were presented. Docents were asked to lead tours.
Our docent from the NDSC, who led the a tour of twenty nude men, said: "When I started talking, I completely forgot they were nude. They were attentive, no remarks on the nudity issue, and were very respectful as if they were all dressed. It was the same for all the five docents."
This writer was worried about one thing. Montreal is in Canada, the fall can be chilly, and museums are chilly, so what about being cold? It turns out there was a wine reception before the tours where everyone was dressed and the heat was turned up a bit so no discomfort was voiced.
This seems to demonstrate that guides/docents are ready and adept to lead groups of all kinds. As usual, the most important focus of the docent is on the art and the engagement of our visitors with the art.
By Kristen Keirsey, NDSC Director and PR Committee Chair
Photo courtesy of The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. From the exhibition Focus: Perfection Robert Mapplethrope.