Museum Assistant Ianthe Gergel (known as “E”) has been creating an illustration for the Tryst Café staff every week during the van Gogh exhibition as a way of saying thanks for the free weekend coffee they’ve offered staff members dealing with the crowds of visitors. And the rest of us get the benefit of these charmers, taped to the cash register, every time we stop in the cafe for a treat.
Starting with the government shutdown in October and the opening of Van Gogh Repetitions, we knew we were in for a busy season here. But it was one heck of a December for the Phillips as we welcomed 24,558 visitors (well above our budget attendance of 19,800.) The shop likely had its highest sales month ever, 21% over last December during our Degas exhibition. And the café was so popular, they had to fashion a sign announcing when capacity was reached. (And it has spent a lot of time on display.)
To all of our visitors and members (new and old), thank you for making this such a successful month. And to our colleagues on the front lines selling tickets and signing up members, checking coats, staffing and stocking the shop, making lattes and ladling soups in the café, and, most of all, keeping the artworks secure, THANK YOU!
Upcoming 2014 Intersections artist Vesna Pavlovic, whose work will be on view in late May, spent last week in the museum’s library and archive, exploring not only the collection but also the space. Head librarian Karen Schneider guided her through the materials. Using installation photograph negatives from 1960s exhibitions by Alberto Giacometti and Mark Tobey, she observed the results of combining images. She also experimented with the transparency and light of our skylight from the courtyard above.