Though the public is currently enjoying the temporary exhibition Angels & Tomboys, our curators and Exhibitions Department are already working on exhibitions that will not go on view until September and November. It takes months—sometimes years—to mount a new exhibition, and planning for those that are coming up at Crystal Bridges in the fall began as much as a year ago. In this post, Exhibition Coordinator Catherine Hryniewicz introduces you to the job. —LD
Hello newcomers to the Crystal Bridges blog! I am Catherine Hryniewicz, the Exhibitions Coordinator at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and it is my pleasure to be blogging for the Exhibitions Department.
We are a relatively new department here at the Museum and currently a small one, made up of myself and Niki Stewart, Director of Education and Exhibitions. Our function here is to coordinate the selection, planning, design, and installation of every exhibition from small one-room internally curated shows to large traveling exhibitions curated by other organizations. I don’t want that to sound like we are the masterminds behind the exhibitions, because we aren’t. Our role is simply to bring all of the necessary pieces together to complete each exhibition puzzle. This means that we ask a lot of questions of different museum departments: Is this exhibition right for us? Do we have everything that we need to make this exhibition a success? What will it look like? How do we make it accessible to our guests? (If you asked all of the departments involved, they would probably say that they are tired of our questions.) The key is that we keep everyone in communication. We share the answers to these questions with the right people and we make, or at least we hope we do, a potentially rocky process a little smoother for everyone involved.
As a little preview, I’ll direct you to this on Crystal Bridges’ YouTube channel about the installation of our current exhibition, Angels & Tomboys: Girlhood in 19th-Century American Art.
In my subsequent blog posts, I hope to give you all a little insight into our department. Only the most exciting things, of course! I’ll spare you the mundane details of expense reporting, budget planning, and supply ordering. I will, however, provide you with glimpses behind the scenes, previews of upcoming exhibitions, sources of our inspiration and address any of the aspects of exhibition planning that you, the reader, have ever wondered about. Stay tuned.