Behind the scenes with Norman Rockwell.
Exhibitions don't just magically appear on the walls of a museum-although we try hard to make it appear that they do. Consider the Newark Museum's "American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell," which opens to the public on Friday, February 28 at noon. This remarkable, thoughtful exhibition on the career ofAmerica's greatest illustrator was organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA. But there's a different kind of organizing that happens once the trucks arrive at the Newark Museum (in the snow, of course).
Our small staff of Registrars, working with their peers from the Rockwell Museum, have to open every single one of the dozens of crates for the exhibition, unpacking each one of the hundreds of individual pieces in the exhibition.
Every single object in the show has to be inspected and a written condition report has to be written, to assure that nothing has happened to the work during its travels across America.
Once condition reports are done, the two museums' registrars have to work with Tim Wintemberg and Seth Goodwin of the Museum's exhibition design department to place every work where it is supposed to go according to the unique design that has been created for Newark's exhibition galleries.
Chief Curator and host curator for the exhibition, Ulysses Dietz, has worked with Exhibition Design to create an exhibition that works for the themes of the show as well as the spaces in which Newark will show them. Tim Wintemberg has to consider what the visitor will see as he or she moves through the gallery-he has to make the show capture the imagination of the visitor, with placement, with color, with labels that have to be made the right size and printed individually and placed to make information easy to read and readily apparent.
Hundreds of hours of work by many hands go into the installation of every exhibition at the Newark Museum-even when another museum has done all the intellectual work to create the show.
Hung Up on Norman Rockwell
Published: March 26, 2014