There are many aspects to putting together an exhibition, many people and things that have to work together from inception to opening and even beyond (think events and educational offerings). Placing all that carefully selected art is an art in itself, while taking it down is an exercise in care. Both involve physical labor along with creativity.
Above, Collections Curator Kate Worm and Collections and Galleria Manager Ronni Smith dress mannequins in period uniforms for last year's 1944 70th Anniversary exhibit, asking each other are the uniforms correctly assembled? are the mannequins arranged appealingly relative to each other and to the rest of the show? Smiles indicate satisfaction.
Various kinds of equipment are also involved, from the small (like hammers), through carts and ladders, to large (aerial work platforms). The enlarged Edgerton photo of Normandy, on the floor in the first picture, was installed using the platform; while the old Pepsi sign was attached using only hammer, nails, a level, and steady hands. The red rectangle saves space for another phoio enlargement.
Below, Exhibitions & Communications Manager Kristina Anthony confers about the placement of the pieces with Eddie Hamrick, the creator of all the objects in the current one-man retrospective, and then works with John Cheater on the best focus for the spotlights 25 feet above.
Taking down a show involves different routines, such as packaging up borrowed items according to recognized museum standards for return shipment. Also, in preparation for the next show, existing nail holes have to be carefully spackled, and paint has to be repaired if needed (though we rarely repaint whole walls, since that becomes too expensive). And then it is time to hang another show.
(All photographs on this and other HMA blog posts are by HMA staff unless otherwise indicated.)
Post by Karin Borei, HMA Project Coordinator, writer and editor as needed, and HMA blogger since our blog's inception in March 2015.