Posts Tagged ‘exhibitions’

I now think postcards are cool.

July 22, 2009

It’s been a while since I’ve been here! Today marked the opening of the “Mailed from Maine: Vintage Postcards from the Kennebunks” exhibit. I’ve been working non-stop on this for about three weeks now, and not only do I know a whole lot more about the history of postcards, but I’m proud of how it turned out. Today was also the test run of how it actually looked to visitors, as an ElderHostel group tried out the interactives (and were also most interested in finding the bathrooms…).

The museum director, Tracy Baetz, gave me the chance to lead this exhibit. I chose the postcards; rearranged the gallery; took down the previous exhibit; researched postcard history; wrote labels and designed them; printed them all out and mounted them on mat board and then hung them; chose to enlarge certain graphics; figured out how to hang incredibly heavy double mat board with fishing line (the word here is frustration); built two interactive elements; and wrote the press release to the local newspapers about the exhibit. Today I had an interview with a writer for the Biddeford Journal-Tribune.

The interactives for the exhibit tests visitors’ knowledge of what they learned about postcard history by asking them to inspect a collection of six postcards and put them in order by print date; I developed an answer key that’s interactive in itself, three flip cards with mini- images of each postcard sits beside the timeline. The other interactive allows visitors to “pluck” postcards from a nest (because we’re suggesting that postcards were the early version of Twitter) and try their hand at reading the messages on the back of each postcard. No one panick! These postcards aren’t real – we’ve produced hi-resolution scans of every postcard (front and back) and laminated them. I think this interactive is great because it shows that this exhibit isn’t just about the decoration on the postcards…it’s about what’s on the back, and what people were saying.

The real adventure took place a couple days ago whilst hanging a seven foot strip of vinyl lettering for the title of the exhibit. It seems that it could be simple, but as I’ve learned, it’s not. It looks great after the fact though! To add another of the five senses to the exhibit (instead of just sight), a loop of big band swing music is playing throughout the room and really infuses a sense of fun into the exhibit. I’m loving my job here and appreciate all the experience the staff is giving me!

The vinyl lettering after about an hour of applying it. I chose this font because it mirrors font on the backs of many postcards.

The vinyl lettering after about an hour of applying it. I chose this font because it mirrors font on the backs of many postcards.

Cheers!

Hangin’ with Doby

June 8, 2009

I waited in the Celeste Bartos Forum for the 2:00 tour of the Schwarzman Building to begin.  With my librarian-esque attire and NYPL name tag around my neck, I was approached by several people asking if I was the tour guide.  After telling everyone in the group that I was an intern on her first day, the docent appeared to show us around.  The library is right out of Hogwarts, with secret compartments and underground tunnels filled with books.  Civilians are not permitted to retrieve materials, rather there are people called pages underground who receive a piece of paper detailing what book you want via air tube.  Something tells me the pages are really house elves.

One of my projects for the summer is to turn past exhibitions into traveling exhibitions for the various branch libraries (there are 87 branches).  Most exhibitions are written in an elevated style, and I will have the task of making the content fit for a K-12 audience.  These traveling exhibitions have the ability to make the research library’s collections available to a wider audience.  We hope they will enrich the knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the collections while supporting the Library’s primary mission as an educational resource.

Additionally, I have been searching the library’s digital archives for ideas to create brand new, original traveling exhibits.  It looks like Berenice Abbott’s Changing New York and The Pageant of America: A Pictoral History of the United States will have many connections to the New York City curriculum.  There are really some amazing things on NYPL’s digital gallery!  I’d be surprised if the two images listed below don’t entice you to check it out.

Bomb exploding inside a whale.

Bomb exploding inside a whale.

Gumard, sapphirine, Trigla hirundo from The natural history of British fishes : including scientific and general descriptions of the most interesting species, and an extensive selection of accurately finished coloured plates. (1802-1808)

Gumard, sapphirine, Trigla hirundo from The natural history of British fishes : including scientific and general descriptions of the most interesting species, and an extensive selection of accurately finished coloured plates. (1802-1808)

P.S.  For serious, you all are in my dreams almost every night.  I think my brain is detoxing.  Miss you.