Erin’s Adventures in Museumland

By: deanna on April 6th, 2011

The Woodson Art Museum galleries are transforming this week. Good Design is being dismantled and Almost Alice: New Illustrations of Wonderland by Maggie Taylor and Mad About Teapots: From the Racine Art Museum are taking its place. Venturing into the galleries this week is a “down-the-rabbit-hole” experience; nothing is quite how it seems. The journey into a topsy-turvy world seems like an appropriate analogy considering our next exhibitions.
Maggie Taylor’s surreal, dreamlike vignettes of scenes from Lewis Carroll’s classic, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, encourage us to look for creative inspiration everywhere, as she did with old photographs and toys, animals, and everyday objects.
The whimsical, bold, and beautiful teapots in Mad About Teapots highlight Taylor’s imaginative worlds. The teapot forms range from a bellhop to a slab of weathered wood. Works in the galleries truly are inspiring and unexpected in this exhibition.
This behind-the-scenes transformation is one of my favorite time periods at the Museum. Precisely orchestrated events unfold, worthy of time-lapse photography: artworks off the walls, packed, and shipped; walls painted; walls moved; cases arranged; artworks laid out and installed; labels placed; and finally lighting set. Then it’s show time. 

(Watch the following YouTube clip of “Metamorphosis One” composed by Philip Glass – my installation soundtrack)
It’s a privilege to get a sneak peak; some of my co-workers prefer to wait to see the finished installations on Friday evening, right before the members preview party (Should we assume these people can keep surprises a secret and don’t snoop for holiday gifts?) not me; I like to take it in. Call it “Erin’s Adventures in Museumland.” I just make sure to stay out of the way and not overstay my welcome.

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