The Art of Curating

By: Jane Weinke, curator of collections/registrar on March 10th, 2021

I’ve seen the word curate used lately in many contexts related to the organization of food stands, merchandise placement in stores, and even selecting songs and musicians.

The term curate has long been associated with the art world. One definition is to select, organize, and care for a collection or exhibition. Certainly, it describes how exhibitions from the Woodson Art Museum’s permanent collection have been presented for decades. As I look at other definitions of the word, I see that merchandise, information, and more can be curated. Why not?

The Woodson Art Museum’s collection includes 14,000 artworks, and the curator’s challenge is to present those works in a meaningful way. Happily, the beautiful and varied artworks make many interpretations possible.

I’m always at the ready to curate exhibitions for any or all Woodson Art Museum galleries.

Beyond Artworks: Artists & Their Stories, which opened March 6, focuses not only on artworks from our collection, but also on personal relationships with artists, including how and why artworks were acquired.

The galleries also have a different look. Multiple works by each of twenty-five artists are grouped to allow comparisons of their subjects and styles.

I look forward to visitor comments about Beyond Artworks, on view through June 6. It’s always a thrill to know when this curator’s ideas hit the mark.

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