Eiteljorg Insider: Five Questions with Madison Hincks, Manager of Guest Services

Eiteljorg Insider: Five Questions with Madison Hincks, Manager of Guest Services

By: Sophia Holt-Wilson, Eiteljorg Marketing and Communications Intern

Madison Hincks is the Manager of Guest Services at the Eiteljorg. She oversees the daily operation of the admissions desk and serves as an advocate for all the museum’s visitors. Madison says she’s lucky to get to work with an amazing Guest Services team that is passionate about the museum and serving Eiteljorg visitors. Their commitment and dedication to this institution has allowed them to expand the role and impact of the Guest Services department, ranging from efforts toward creating frontline evaluation to record holiday membership sales and increased collaboration with other museum departments.

Here are five questions to help you get to know Madison:

1. What is your favorite piece in the museum?

“One of my favorite pieces is by Cahuilla artist Gerald Clarke entitled Manifest Destiny (currently on loan at the Palm Springs Art Museum). The piece consists of a gumball machine filled with capsules containing dollar bills on top of a Neo-classical pedestal that promises the viewer one such dollar in exchange for a quarter. However, instead of receiving a dollar, viewers instead receive a slip of paper that states that manifest destiny was “a 19th century doctrine that justified the taking of Indian land by white settlers.” I love that it is bold and political and subversive of this romanticized idea of “manifest destiny.” I think it is important that museums be willing to engage with and exhibit “hard truths,” so I love this piece both for its symbolism and its ability to generate discussions about difficult topics.”

2. What is something about you that people would be surprised to know?

“I think that people would be surprised to know that I actually used to dislike art museums. I found them stuffy, unwelcoming and intimidating. However, one of the reasons that I was drawn to the Eiteljorg was because it differs from some of the stereotypical aspects of many other art museums. The architecture breaks from traditional Neo-classical museum designs, the subject matter and content is unique, and I love its focus on Native American culture and art. I appreciate that this museum has helped me change my perspective on art museums overall by demonstrating how art museums can and should be fun, inclusive, and engaging.”

3. If you could instantly be an expert in any subject, what would it be?

“I would like to be an expert on Greek mythology. I first discovered my love of history in 6th grade during a social studies class on ancient Greek culture and mythology, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I try to stay up-to-date on new publications and literature, but it would be cool to actually be an expert in the field.”

4. Do you collect anything?

“I do not actively collect anything, but I do like to acquire uniquely-themed Monopoly sets when I come across one. My family had routine game nights when I was growing up, so I love playing board games. My sister and I liked to make up our own rules whenever we played Monopoly, and it just became a habit to buy new Monopoly sets when they came out and come up with fun, silly rules.”

5. Do you have any tips for working from home?

“Stick to a schedule! It is easy to fall into an irregular schedule but maintaining a schedule similar to my normal workday has helped me stay focused and on task, and has helped me maintain some semblance of normalcy during this time.”

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