I have been watching a single daffodil grow at the Woodson Art Museum for the last six weeks. It was a sign of the changing seasons – the slow melt of winter giving way to the newly discovered warmth of spring and my first transition of seasons as a newly... Read More
Recently acquired by the Woodson Art Museum, American artist Charles Burchfield’s large-scale watercolor, Brooding Bird, radiates the power of nature: calligraphic strokes describe vibrating, leafless trees at the horizon line.
When I first visited the Woodson Art Museum in September to interview for the curator of collections position, I was struck by John Felsing’s Ghost in the Twilight, now on view in the Avian Celebrations exhibition.
Typically during the summer months, I’m happily organizing exhibitions to install in all the Museum’s permanent collection galleries. Covid-19 prompted rethinking installations to increase safety and social distancing. This fall, the west gallery where visitors usually peruse selections from the permanent collection will instead provide expanded space for Birds in Art so visitors can safely enjoy the 128 artworks comprising the exhibition. My next exciting challenge is preparing for March 6, 2021 when all the Woodson Art Museum’s galleries will feature works from the collection.
It’s not a secret; I love working at the Woodson Art Museum. What’s not to love? Each day I’m with fabulous colleagues, in a beautiful facility, surrounded by stunning artworks. Working with the Museum’s collection of thousands of historic and contemporary paintings, works on paper, and sculpture throughout forty years, I’ve curated more than 100 exhibitions. Where do I get the themes and how do I choose the artworks? That’s the challenge and joy. Rather than a recipe, it’s more like a jig-saw puzzle. The exhibition idea “picture” is there; getting the pieces in the right place is the goal.
The Perfect Situation is the title of a graphite drawing by Sue deLearie Adair that’s among recent acquisitions by the Woodson Art Museum and also encompasses the opening earlier this month of the 2019 Birds in Art exhibition. After months of work, hundreds of emails and phone calls, numerous Google searches, the production of a 134-page catalogue, artworks arriving from a dozen countries, and ultimately the installation in the galleries of 127 beautiful paintings, graphics, and sculptures, the Museum shares the exhibition with the public.
I often share my excitement about featuring the Woodson Art Museum’s paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and decorative arts in exhibitions. Because the care of those treasured artworks is vital, I consider the continuing research and education to ensure I’m using the latest techniques and proper conservation supplies equally fascinating and challenging.
As promised in my June 20 Woodson Wanderings blog post, here’s a sneak peek at another upcoming exhibition from the Woodson Art Museum’s inspiring collection.
It’s a relief when months of planning and managing a hundred details come together successfully. The final touches are being added to three new permanent collection exhibitions.