By Madisyn Rostro
Imagine having a whole picture gallery to fill objects within one week. That includes deciding what objects fit best in the space, are observable, creating labels for the objects, moving them from one building to the other, and hanging everything up and making sure it looks good in its spot. It’s a lot of pressure to get it done in one week, but the reward of getting people to see the exhibit is worth all of the stress. Especially going to the exhibit opening and seeing what people think about what we have done with the space. I have enjoyed hearing their comments about how beautiful the dress is and how well the exhibit has come together. I am beyond proud of how it turned out and I could not have done it without the help of the other curatorial staff.
These past two weeks have flown by a lot faster than I initially thought they would. The curatorial team has been busy working on several different projects and making sure they are done to the best of our abilities. Something new that I have learned is how to set up an exhibit and how to showcase it so that visitors will be interested in what they’re seeing. It’s also a good idea to make sure that the interpretation staff can also incorporate the information and to make connections for the visitors that our park gets throughout the season.
The curatorial team kept themselves busy getting an exhibit ready to be on view. We had a deadline of July 20th that was all in the back of our minds, but as Monday hit, we realized how fast we needed to work on this project. It first started with having the curator; Henry Duffy get the objects that he wanted to use for his exhibition out on a table. That way we can arrange them in a way that the viewer will find interesting and that they will be able to make connections. This step I feel like is the hardest due to the amount of time that we spend looking at different options on how to put everything together. Once we are all satisfied with an idea then we begin to form the label which explains the object itself. Creating the label in such a short time frame can be a bit of a task. Mainly because we must be careful not to smudge the ink on the paper and to cut the mat board with a beveled edge. We had several trial and errors trying to get the bevel just right and to make sure that there were no crinkles in the paper or making sure the mat board corners weren’t dented. The next step is hanging everything up in the gallery space and making sure that it looks good with the other objects. Sometimes when you hang things up on the wall you want to make sure that everything is proportioned.
After we completed all those steps, we did a few little tasks like cleaning the plexiglass for the cases, putting “Please Do Not Touch” signs on the objects stands for the chairs and the dress. We also cleaned the floors to ensure a clearer viewing. One of the last finishes was putting a bouquet in the entryway to add a little something extra for the visitors that come in. After completing this exhibit, I hope that the viewer will gain a deeper inside on who Augusta Saint-Gaudens was. I hope that they understand and appreciate how independent she became as her marriage wasn’t always the best. And that she enjoyed every bit of her life as she possibly could whether that be going out of the country and exploring or painting about her experiences that she was seeing while being away from Cornish.