And now a message from our Director-Curator, T.H. Gray…
The Hysterical Society recently awoke from every museum’s nightmare – we went away and no one noticed. There were no comments or emails inquiring after our whereabouts (to be fair we don’t a get a lot emails even during the best of times). We just stopped exhibiting and the world didn’t seem to care. We almost didn’t notice ourselves.
We hardly noticed because we were so busy, we were getting nothing accomplished. You know the feeling. And like most of you, that lack of climax left us frustrated. You definitely know the feeling.
To make up for our lack of originality, we busied ourselves by bringing in traveling exhibits – pieces we had nothing to do with, but they filled space and, hopefully, kept your attention. To make sure we became part of your routine, we also tried to show on a regular schedule, every Tuesday and Saturday (bet you didn’t notice that either).
In looking back, those exhibits were repetitive and ineffective. Traveling exhibits seem to have no real cost. The problem is they were a huge time-suck. By the time we had found enough pieces to fill the next few weeks, there was little creative energy left. So we had to find more pieces to fill in, and on and on and on. This left no time to research and write anything original.
It didn’t help that other colleagues were sharing some of the same pieces, but getting lots more attention. It seemed as though we were all doing the same thing, which means the Hysterical Society wasn’t really contributing anything.
It was all very disheartening. So we stopped. Or rather, we never got around to doing more. We effectively closed for more than a year.
Before it was too late and this became permanent, the staff took a small retreat. We realized several things:
- We want to work smarter, not harder.
- We would rather create than copy.
- The only ones paying attention to the posting schedule was us.
In looking over our visitation records, it became apparent that seven of our top ten shows were original Hysterical Society creations, not copies of other people’s work.
So we’ve made a few decisions. Henceforth(1), the American Hysterical Society will:
- Exhibit our own work first and foremost, without regard to timelines or deadlines, but when shows are ready.
- Display historical pieces which fit our mission.
- Share a round-up of modern works (so you can share them at work and look like the office comedian – consider it our gift to you).
Like all museums, the Hysterical Society is chasing relevance so we can be an important part of your life. Our experience shows that the best way to do that is to be ourselves, no matter how silly or profane.(2)
1. Henceforth is used here to demonstrate our seriousness.
2. Experience also shows we’re most popular when we’re profane.
By the way, these are our top ten exhibits, based on discrete visits: