Museums often get the Brussels sprouts treatment. They’re probably good for you, but you’re not going to go out of your way to try them unless your mom really makes you. But now that you’re in college, you’ve ventured out into the world yourself. Perhaps you’re ready to try once-gross things.
So the next time a friend visits you on campus, try taking him or her to one of Hopkins’ many museums. Take advantage of the perks that $64K tuition brings. They’re all free, interesting and the perfect answer to “What now?”.
There’s a museum to match every need. For the younger high school friend with a short attention span, check out the Archaeology Museum located in Gilman. It’s the perfect place to quietly catch up while checking out really cool artifacts, spanning from 3,000 B.C. to 700 A.D. The museum features everything from Latin head stones to Ancient Egyptian art.
The museum features everything from Latin head stones to Ancient Egyptian art.
For a taste of real Hopkins nerdiness, turn right when entering the museum and find the drawer marked “Haupt Tablets.” Pull it out and discover small clay tablets, written in Akkadian, by Hopkins’ own Professor Haupt nearly a century ago. Sure, he was practicing writing in a little-used script — but he was really just passing notes to other professors. Each text is translated: be sure to read Haupt’s happy birthday wish to Gildersleeve. The tablets are cute, dorky and oh-so-Hopkins.
For the more art-inclined guest, take a stroll to the south end of campus and visit the Baltimore Museum of Art. It’s a fantastic collection of contemporary and classic art, much of which was donated by local Baltimoreans. On the ground floor is a gallery with lots of recognizable Impressionist pieces as well as a pleasant courtyard that ushers in awesome natural lighting. Tell your visitor you have to take his picture as they sit on one of the benches — they look so ‘candid’ and artsy, you’ll say. It’ll be perfect for his Instagram. Modern art more your style? Head up a few flights to the contemporary section where the abstract installments feel more MOMA-
Head up a few flights to the contemporary section where the abstract installments feel more MOMA-esque. If you’re up for a splurge, stop at Gertrude’s — the restaurant attached to the museum — for a bite. The vegetarian crab cakes are pretty awesome.
Finally, if your guest is Mom and you want to limit her opportunity to ask questions about your new significant other, or the Everest-style mountain of clothing on your floor or how that midterm paper you haven’t started is shaping up, take her to the Homewood Museum on the Freshman Quad. The stroll there lets you point out your first-year dorm, the library and the infamous Beach. Then enjoy a quick turn around the relics from the old estate (“Isn’t that lace nice, Mom?”).
In the Green Room, fawn over the display of tea paraphernalia and the delicate, spindly chair legs. Your mother will reminisce on how you once dressed up for high tea with your dolls and reticent younger sibling. Avoid the eye roll and instead point out the neatly cut finger sandwiches and conveniently be struck by an intense craving for grilled cheese like she once made you. Usher her to Carma’s and reminisce about your younger days when tomato soup solved everything. Make sure you add in that her soup will always be the tastiest (even if it isn’t).