Monday, December 12, 2011

Getting Ready for January

January is going to be a busy month here at the Addison. Not only are we closing five shows and opening three new shows here, but we’re closing and opening two other shows on the road. To prepare for this flurry of art movement, I’ve been spending the last few weeks working with shippers and contacting art lenders to arrange for their objects to be picked up or returned to them.

The shows closing at the Addison are fairly straight-forward. Christopher Cook’s artwork will be returned to him, and Lorna Bieber’s work will be returned to her. The other shows closing are culled from our permanent collection and the artwork will be returned to our storage areas.

Alexi Worth (b. 1964)
Desktop, 2011
acrylic on nylon mesh
27 x 36 in. (68.6 x 91.4 cm)
Courtesy DC Moore Gallery
The three shows opening at the Addison are another story. Open Windows and Land, Sea, Sky are made up of artwork lent by multiple lenders. This is not a matter of asking each lender to “send” their objects to us by a certain date. The Addison contracts with specialized art shippers to pick up the objects at each individual lender, pack them, if necessary, and bring them here to the Addison. In some cases, the shipper can gather the objects at their warehouse before trucking them here. Sometimes the objects need to come directly here from the lender. Some things can be wrapped in bubble wrap and cardboard, some require crates. It depends on the lender’s wishes and the needs of each object. And, of course, each lender is available only at certain times for their pick up so trying to schedule multiple pick ups using the same truck can be maddening. The John Marin show is also made up of different lenders, but our co-organizer, the Portland Museum of Art, is thankfully handling the logistics of shipping that exhibition to us.

These shows are easy to gather compared to our American Vanguards show which opens at the Neuberger Museum of Art late in the month. This exhibition has artwork from no less than forty-one different lenders scattered across the country. American Vanguards opens January 29th, the same day our Sheila Hicks show closes at the Mint Museum of Craft and Design, where the artwork will be dispersed back to its twenty-five lenders, also widely dispersed.

Doing the math, I realized I’ve had to schedule over ninety different pickups and drops off with our art shippers for January and early February. That’s a lot of e-mails and phone calls that result in a lot of truck mileage! But the results are worth it when a visitor comes to see an exhibition of a group of objects that have never been together before. We encourage you to come see what we've gathered here next month!

Posted by:

James M. Sousa
Associate Registrar for Collections and Archives