Today, I stopped by the Boise Art Museum, which is hosting my Folding Paper origami exhibition. At the front desk, I met a friendly volunteer called John who was reading something very secretively under his desk. It turned out to be the Folding Paper catalog. He was a docent and wanted to learn all about the exhibition before he had to take visitors through it. I was tickled of course to find someone reading one of my publications so sneakily! I wandered around the other galleries exploring their other temporary exhibitions, which were beautifully laid out and showed a definite emphasis on material and craftsmanship. I really understood why they had been so keen to take this exhibition. I felt very impressed and honored to have an exhibition in this thoughtfully curated museum.
I first got to know Linda about 9 years ago. I was still working at Pacific Asia Museum but was planning to hand in my resignation after 9 years there. I was nervous about leaving and going it alone as a freelance Asian art historian. People with my skills are not on most headhunters’ to-call lists. The phone rang and it was Linda, the Director of Education at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, about an hour south of Los Angeles. She was looking for someone to write a curriculum guide about Chinese art and culture for her museum, as they were expanding their space and were planning on holding many more Chinese exhibitions there. “Actually I do,” I told her in a hushed voice and explained that I would be available in a couple of weeks. The timing couldn’t have been better. I left my job knowing that there was work out there for me.