About this blog

Whoops. Forgot this page again. As of 21 December 2020 I am the Tumu Whakarae | Chief Executive of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Aotearoa New Zealand's national museum.

There's been some change from the stuff below. Had to stop the radio (the hardest bit of becoming CE) because it's a bit conflicty now. Still tweeting (reasonably frequently), still Instagramming (quite often). Now using LinkedIn frequently, mostly to share the leadershippy type things that attract my interest. 


Hmmm. Let this lapse again, huh? It's late 2019 and I'm now Director, Audience & Insight at Te Papa

Most of the other stuff is still true - still on the radio, still tweeting (less frequently), still Instagramming (much less frequently). Still posting here, mostly weekly round up that save all the most useful things I've read recently for my future reference. And the occasional bigger piece as well.

After more than three years it's probably time to update this page again.

I'm still at The Dowse, still occasionally blogging on our site.

I'm still on the radio, currently doing a monthly appearance on Nine to Noon as visual arts commentator

I'm still on Twitter

I'm now on Instagram

But I'm currently (as of 8 January 2015) trying to spend more time thinking out loud here again.


In the interests of posterity - and humility - I'm keeping the last version of this page that I wrote, more than 18 months ago. The statement I didn’t like working in the art world has a particularly ironic ring to it, now that as of today (8 October 2012) I'm exactly three weeks away from leaving my job at Boost New Media and heading out to Lower Hutt for my new role as Director of the Dowse Art Museum.

I've been saying for the last few years that I wanted to get back into the arts, if I could find a position where I can make a difference. That's definitely what I've found. It's like all my Christmases have fallen on top of me, like rocks from the sky.

In my new role, I plan to start blogging on the Dowse site. But I hope to kept Best of 3 running, with the usual mix of radio show notes, random links, delight over exhibitions, bewilderment over the oddness of the world, book reviews and soppy poetry.

UPDATE: Goodbye to all that: On leaving one world for another. And a record of my first week in the job, in text snippets and pictures.


Today (15 December 2010) I got named on the shortlist for the best Personal Content website in the Onyas awards. (To my deep surprise, I won.)

As a friend noted, it's an honour to be self-nominated. It's also time to provide a bit more information about who I am and what I try to do here, so here's what I wrote in my entry form ....

Tell us about you - the person behind the site

My name is Courtney Johnston. I’m a project manager in a web development company in Wellington, but this blog is much more about my intellectual/imaginative life (if I can be permitted such an insufferable phrase).

I left university 7 years ago with a Masters in Art History, which – while I didn’t turn it into a career, because it turned out I didn’t like working in the art world – has given me an interest in the visual arts that surpasses a hobby. I’m interested in art – not just the physical objects artists make, but they way it’s shown, written about, sold and presented to people. Best of 3 is where I share my ideas, observations and opinions about the art world, and a few other topics I care a lot about.

Why are you nominating this site?

I think the best blogs walk a fine line between satisfying the writer’s desire to put words and thoughts out into the world, and satisfying an audience for those words and thoughts. I hope Best of 3 does something along those lines: I write primarily for my own pleasure, but with a definite sense that people are peering over my shoulder.

What is the purpose of this site?

Primarily, to act as a record of what I’m thinking and seeing and feeling at any given time. I started the blog 4 years ago as a way of recording my adventures learning about the web – every day, I’d tried to look at something new, and then blog about it as a way of digesting what I’d learned.

I quickly moved on to writing about what I love, which turns out to be art, the web and writing.

I do have a slightly evangelist streak. I know I spend a lot more time online than many of my readers. I try to use the blog to open their eyes to articles, people, trends and so on that they might not otherwise come across. And sometimes I use it to make a point. Like this.

Anything else you'd like to tell us?

I blog a lot, often just to share interesting things (I know a lot of my audience don’t use feedreaders, so I don’t want them to feel disappointed when they visit the site and don’t see new content).

But here are a few longer pieces that exemplify what I’m trying to do.