Monday, October 10, 2011

Shipping Hicks, Again

Our travelling exhibition, Sheila Hicks: 50 Years, has opened at its third and final venue at the Mint Museum of Craft + Design in Charlotte, NC. I wrote a post a while back about the challenges of traveling a show of this type. I was still trying to figure out how we were going to get this show to the places it was going. Now, as we near the end of the show’s run, I think I have managed to answer many of the questions I was asking at the end of that post.

Trucking the crates between venues required two tractor trailers: easily the largest show volume-wise the Addison has ever traveled. We were required to have a courier on one of the trucks, and I rode with the show from Philadelphia to Charlotte. Loading the trucks at the end of the show’s second venue at the ICA, Philadelphia was interesting, as their loading dock could not accommodate tractor trailers. We had no choice but to load in the sidewalk outside their front doors. Needless to say, getting some of the show’s massive crates down the sidewalk and up into the truck’s lift gate was indeed a challenge (see upper left). We left Philadelphia late afternoon and pulled into the Mint’s loading dock early the following morning. Sadly, I didn’t get much shut-eye despite the truck’s surprisingly ample sleeping quarters.

I’ve also travelled to each venue to oversee installation at the beginning and packing at the end. Installations were adventures, as each crew at each museum had to figure out the best way to display the objects in their unique settings. Just trying to figure out how to hang things from their ceilings required considerable planning, thought, and effort each time, while Sheila herself added her advice as to how things should look.

The Mint’s installation is certainly different from the other two. I’m always amazed how each museum interprets the same show for a unique experience. But it is beautiful, thanks to the Mint’s gorgeous new galleries, and, of course, the art itself. Sheila Hicks: 50 Years is up until January 29th when I return again to pack it up one last time and return the objects to their lenders. I encourage you to see it while you can!

Posted by:

James M. Sousa
Associate Registrar for Collections and Archives

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