Monumental Work

A trip to the Racine Art Museum last night provided insight into the monumental work required to exhibit monumental work.  In this case the program was the first 2009 installment of “Meet Me on the Patio,” a summer series of members and visitors events.  The subject of the program last night was Living Large – backstage at RAM, which focused, through the compelling tour discussion of David Zaleski, on the issues and labors involved with producing an exhibit like Bigger, Better More: The Art of Viola Frey, currently on display in RAM’s gallery 3.

Zaleski’s talk provided wonderful insight into the suffering of a curatorial assistant and great enlightenment as to the procedures, methods, and issues involved in dealing with any large exhibit, but especially in dealing with an exhibit of the large.  Some of Frey’s pieces are so large they may require 30 or 40 or more crates just to move.  Several semi-trailers were involved with this show, not to mention the flights back and forth for the specialists involved, the couriers, etc.

All in all a lovely evening at RAM|Art.  Programs like this are an invaluable part of the mission of any art museum, but especialy one which, like RAM, focuses on crafts and their more accessible nature.  It also engenders thoughtfulness on the part of the casual visitor when they know more of what goes on behind the scenes to get great art in front of them.

Hats off to RAM|Art and to David Zaleski for his great talk.

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