Experiments in Installation: Part III

This is the third in a series of posts from University of Virginia graduate student Tom Winters on his class’s experience installing works from our permanent collection in the Main Gallery. See parts one and two.

Meryl Goldstein holds the hornet’s nest. Photo: Tom Winters

Alfred Stieglitz. 291 – Picasso-Braque Exhibition. 1915. Platinum print. 19.4 x 24.4 cm (7 5/8 x 9 5/8 in.) Metropolitan Museum of Art, Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, September 14, our second meeting at The Phillips Collection, and the selected pieces are now all in place. However, one more object is set to enter the fray. Professor Turner has procured a hornet’s nest, similar to one seen in a photo of the 1915 Picasso-Braque exhibit at Stieglitz’s 291 Gallery. As we troop through the Phillips with a large hornet’s nest in a cardboard box, we are met with puzzlement and mild consternation from many of the museum’s staff. Professor’s Turner’s protestation that “It’s been cryogenically frozen!” is the catchphrase of the day. The nest is swiftly ushered to conservation. Perhaps hanging this somewhat bizarre object from the ceiling would be not be the best idea. Perhaps the objectification effect of a pedestal is required.  We’ll see.

The class reviews their selections and decisions. Photo: Tom Winters

Tom Winters, UVa graduate student, Department of Art History

Experiments in Installation: Part II

This is the second in a series of posts from University of Virginia graduate student Tom Winters on his class’s experience installing works from our permanent collection in the Main Gallery. See part one here.

Photos: Joshua Navarro

During our first seminar meeting at The Phillips Collection, Friday, September 7, we emerge from the elevator, turn the corner, and encounter the Main Gallery for the first time, fortunate to arrive the moment at which works selected by Professor Turner are being hung. Our good timing affords an opportunity to do some improvisational rearranging. My own suggestion that we hang a group of four works in a diamond arrangement is met by the sort of kind incredulity duly reserved by nice people for only the most idiotic of proposals. Far more useful is the trained vision of Corey and Jennifer (I should note that Meryl was not with us on this occasion), whose former curatorial experiences harmonize with that of Professor Turner to reach a selection of works and an arrangement that we’re all happy with and, I feel, the Main Gallery space can be happy with. Currently on display around our lynchpin Tack are works by Marin, Hartley, Kandinsky, Sloan, Schwitters, Stieglitz, Matisse, Man Ray, Dove, and others. In the upcoming weeks some of these works may change as our thoughts evolve in relation to our themes. Wall texts and labels are in the pipeline.

Main Gallery installation featuring Charles Despiau, Head of Madame Derain, 1922. Cast plaster, 19 x 6 x 6 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1928.

Tom Winters, UVa graduate student, Department of Art History