Do you want to visit KVML or have a friend that would like to visit? Check out these “museum hacks” that will help you get your money’s worth.
- Unless you’re pressed for time, accept the offer of a tour instead of just looking around yourself. I know, I know, it’s scary to have to interact with a living person for several minutes at a time. But our tour guides are equipped with lots of extra knowledge about Kurt and his family. For example, you can look at a picture of Kurt with his first wife, Jane, but you’ll need a tour guide to tell you Jane attended Swarthmore College and won her class’s Best Personal Library award. (Oops. Secret’s out.)
- If you’ve been to the museum before and you remember who gave your tour, don’t be afraid to ask if you can have a different tour guide. Every staff member gives a slightly different tour, and you’d be surprised how much new information you can learn. (Just let them know beforehand why you’re asking for a different tour guide. We don’t want employees going home and crying into a tub of Edy’s Rocky Road.)
- Check out the timeline on the side wall. It’s a pretty epic timeline. It’s meant to represent the Tralfamadorian concept of time – that is, that time doesn’t look like a straight line but a map of a mountain range, that moments in time don’t fade but are present forever. Events in Kurt’s life are on the top half of our timeline, and world events are featured on the bottom half. (Due to space constraints, it appears as though nothing of note occurred between the crucifixion of Jesus and the publication of The Communist Manifesto. Kurt would at least have added in Shakespeare.)
- During your tour, you may see some of Kurt’s rejection letters and doodles on the computer in the corner. Page through more stuff on the computer when you have some time. We’ve got old copies of Kurt’s novels with notes on them, grocery lists, speeches, magazine articles. Kurt himself may have found no use for computers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of our digital archives.
- Ask about the clock sculpture in the back by the library shelves and the Billy Pilgrim sculpture by the door. Take some special time to look at Billy. Aside from the necessary specification that Billy is intended to be six-foot-three (the peaked-up hat on his head does its best to make amends), the statue is quite true to life.
- Examine the books in the library once the tour’s over. You’ll get a sense of Kurt’s taste in reading, and you’ll know what reading material might be available to you if you choose to become a member of the museum. Want to know more perks of membership? Scroll over “About” on the website’s main menu and click on “Become a Member.”
- Also check out the gift shop after your tour. We stock almost all of Vonnegut’s books and certainly all of his novels. You can also find special Cat’s Cradle and Slaughterhouse-Five T-shirts (among many other designs) and copies of our annual literary journal, So It Goes. If you or someone you know wants to submit art to the journal, look at our website for more information.
- Ask us questions! And not just about things you see in the museum. Ask us about why we like Vonnegut, what our favorite works and quotes are by him, what we recommend for you to read next. We want to talk about Kurt. That’s why we’re here.