Thursday, February 18, 2010

On the Road Again

By: Chris Rossi, Associate Curator of Exhibitions
The last year has been devoted, in one way or another, in preparing our exhibition, Art of the American Indians: The Thaw Collection, to hit the road. (First stop, Cleveland Museum of Art.) This is no small task. Getting close to 150 objects chosen, conserved, cataloged, mount-ready, insured, packed and ready to transport is a Herculean feat.

Now we are down to the wire. Large wooden crates are packed and ready to go on the truck. We have 3 bins and 3 boxes of painstakingly made mounts, all meticulously wrapped and ready to go. Each mount is documented with a how-to description of what to do with the oddly shaped piece of brass or Plexiglas meant to support masks, rattles, textiles and the like.

In addition to the mounts, we have to pack tools. We took this collection to Paris back in the mid-winter of 2000. We ran into many travel problems, mostly having to do with taking objects created from natural materials such as feathers and hide through customs. But back in those pre-9/11 days it was easy and acceptable to saunter onto an airplane with a ratchet wrench and X-acto knife in your carry-on bag. Now all tools need to be shipped ahead with the artwork. I find myself continually adding stuff to my little red toolbox, as if I were going to do an installation on the moon! My coworkers remind me that they do have hardware stores in Cleveland, not to mention a topnotch exhibit department at the museum itself.

What’s in the Toolbox: Picture hangers and nails, nuts and bolts, acrylic paints, a saw, mylar tape, muslin twill tape, brass rods, shrink tubing, acrylic felt, 10 lb. Test fishing line, needle nose pliers, hammer, tape measure, small level, X-acto knife, metal ruler, file, needle and thread, museum wax, pencil.

We have a week to go–plenty of time to add more must-haves to the toolbox before the truck pulls away from the loading dock! Which reminds me, I should add a handful of lag bolts for the house post mounts…

No comments:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin