The Art Institute of Chicago's Department of Security touts that their officers are trained to be customer focused. A challenging directive considering the responsibilities they have. Never-the-less, I have found them to be just that whenever I've confronted them with a question or alerted them to patrons using the flash on their cameras.
Last week we went to see the The Yoshida Family: Three Generations of Japanese Print Artists exhibition where I witnessed one of AIC's top-notch security officers in action. A child being a child was bouncing off the walls in between several of the incredible Yoshida wood block prints. The heroine in uniform kindly informed the parents to control their child. All were sorry and apologetic.
I complemented the officer on her tactful and friendly demeanor and a conversation ensued about the importance of children getting introduced to the arts at an early age. She told me she had an idea that she was going to propose to the museum's directors that would encourage art appreciation and education in children. Her idea was simple: upon exiting the museum every child would receive a small sketchbook and pencil. A great idea; simple, inexpensive and rewarding too.