Night Shift: Museum Guard, Cincinnati Art Museum, Rob Farrell


Years on the job: 15

Shift: 4 p.m. to midnight

Working at night in the galleries, do you ever feel like the art is talking to you? It’s not as quiet at night as you would think. There’s the noise of air moving and heating units, AC units, and fans that circulate the air. Sometimes the mechanical units can make strange noises. There are ghost stories about the museum and I’ve had strange experiences that I can’t explain, but I don’t say that they’re supernatural. When we set up exhibitions that have videos; they run continuously and they don’t always tell us that. So when you hear voices talking, it can be unnerving.

What do you know that your daytime neighbors don’t? One of the things that’s always surprised me is the amount of wildlife in Eden Park at night. It’s pretty common to see herds of deer of a dozen or larger just walking—so many they’ll just stand in the road. They just stare at you. I’ve had to wind down my window and yell at them to move.

There’s also a number of foxes that live up here. One of the funniest things I can remember seeing [was] by Mirror Lake: There was a fox eating a pizza out of a Domino’s box. I’ve always wondered what they eat up here; now we know. They eat Domino’s.

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