We promote purposeful gathering and communal engagement around art and ideas by inviting artists to share their work in unconventional spaces and connect with thoughtful people in intimate and festive settings. We believe that the appreciation of art and the discussion of ideas should not be confined to museums, galleries, and academic institutions. Through our ongoing series of living room installations, salons, and excursions, The Society for Domestic Museology brings people together to celebrate art, artists, and intellectual exchange.
The Society for Domestic Museology began with a conspicuously bare patch of wall in the living room of our New York City apartment. With no paintings, prints, or other objects in our possession that seemed worthy of such prominent placement, we wondered: What if we turned our wall into a mini gallery and invited the artists among our friends to show their work? After all, we loved throwing parties and a party is always better when it includes something interesting to look at.
After convening a core group of creative and thoughtful people to discuss the possibilities, we conspired with our friend and neighbor Ian Sullivan to feature his work in an inaugural “opening,” in February 2014. An accomplished photographer and exhibition designer, Ian ranged well beyond our lone bare wall — just 45 minutes before some 25-30 guests arrived, he hung a large-format photo printed on plexiglass on the living room wall, installed an array of slide projectors beaming additional images on various surfaces around our home, and expertly afixed some museum-worthy wall text on the living room soffit. Guests arrived, viewed Ian’s work while chatting, drinking wine, and eating hors d’oeuvres we prepared, and gathered in the living room for an impromptu artist’s talk that set the template for future gatherings.
In the years since, we have collaborated with 17 artists to host a Victorian funerary feast, a real-time demonstration of egg tempera and gold-leaf technique, and a musical review featuring cardboard instruments, among many other thematic events. By generously sharing their work and creative processes, these artists have transformed our home, enriched our lives, and helped us to build a vital and growing community around collective engagement with art and ideas.
Who We Are
Heather Topcik is the founder, facilitator and chief curator of Society for Domestic Museology. Initially inspired by the problem of what to hang on a blank patch of wall in the Hell’s Kitchen apartment she shares with her husband and two children, she conceived and launched Domestic Museology with a vision for transforming domestic space into a communal exhibition and discussion venue for contemporary arts and ideas.
Join us! The revolution begins in the living room.
While the focus is on bringing people together in-person and in real time, this website will function as the digital archive of our activities. Here, you can learn about the artists we have hosted, find out about our events, sign up for our mailing list and even become a card-carrying member of the society.