Monday, December 28, 2009

Clearing out the Gallery

Our first exhibit closed on December 19th. Over the past week, I've been engaged in taking it down, or deinstalling it. With 140ish silk fish and 60+ photos, that's a lot of material to taken down. This is what the gallery looked like on the last day of the exhibit. Very full, very vibrant.

When taking down the exhibit, the first thing I did was to re-attach the tags to each of the hanging fish. Then I went around, cutting down the thread we'd used to hang the fish with. After recording any changes to the condition of the fish, I returned them to their original boxes and will be repacking those boxes inside their crates when all the fish are down.

The second step has been to take down the framed photos. I noted any condition changes and repacked the images. Thankfully, this didn't involve going up and down a ladder countless times, like preparing the fish did. All in all, the process has gone really smoothly, and I expect to finish deinstalling tomorrow. Here's what the partially deinstalled gallery looks like right now (click on the image to get to a larger version).
RoM deinstall

Note all the hanging threads we used for the fish, and the stick-um on the gallery walls from the labels. We'll deal with gallery clean up last.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Photo Friday: Petrified Wood Projectile Point

I've spent a lot of time with archaeological lithics in my life. As an undergraduate, I spent 3.5 years working with and studying lithic debitage. In the collection here, we have about 6000 pieces of chipped stone tools - projectile points and scrapers, mostly. This week I've been photographing some projectile points and processing photos that our intern, Leila, took earlier this month.

I was really struck by the beauty of these tools. They're made from a variety of materials. Around here, you sometimes see projectile points worked from petrified wood. There's quite a bit of petrified wood in the area. There's even a petrified forest nearby (which has a pretty neat museum/interpretive center down the road from it). I think it's just wild how a tree becomes fossilized and then becomes a tool when worked by a skilled craftsperson.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Photo Friday: New Acquisition

Since the Museum of Culture and Environment began running workshops last spring, we've had higher visibility. Over the summer we received three new donations. This piece is one of them. After some delay, we've attached a label to it and it is now fully integrated into the collection.

At the moment, we don't have a great deal of information about piece, except that the owner before the donor may have been a librarian in Peru. Intriguing!