Friday, February 26, 2010

Photo Friday: Beyond Black and White

Tigre Masks: Beyond Black and White

It's been a crazy month here at the Museum of Culture and Environment. A week ago we opened our second exhibit: Beyond Black and White: The Stories Behind Our Masks. We're especially excited about the exhibit for two reasons: it features lots of amazing masks from our own collection and we were able to work with CWU's Diversity Education Center.

The photo above shows our two tigre masks in their case, and you can see the reflection of the toro mask in the reflection. In the background are 20 masks created by students in conjunction with the Diversity Education Center.

From a collections standpoint, this exhibit was our first real try at mounting objects for exhibit, and we went for a fairly low tech approach. The tigre masks are supported by a custom carved block of ethafoam, with a small piece of volara under the chin to cushion the pressure point. Simple, but effective. Some of the other pieces were much trickier.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Class Project, part 1

One of the really neat things about having a museum as part of a university, particularly a university with a museum studies program, is that students have a chance to participate in the collections work. Every year, the museum studies program offers a class on curation and collections management. As part of that class, the students choose an object to research, catalog, and rehouse, if appropriate.

This year, the students are working on a collection of textiles. The textiles have not been researched or housed. In fact, when they were moved last year, they were in a stack in a box. That stack was transferred to the compactor storage, where it's stayed for the last year.
Textile project

To prepare for class today, I took the textiles from storage and laid them out in the collections workroom. The students each choose a piece to research and rehouse.
Textile project

I'm really glad the class will be working with these textiles. They need new storage - the flat storage is putting a lot of stress on the fibers, particularly on the knit pieces, which are meant to be three dimensional. I'm also glad these pieces are being examined, because I discovered that the ink used to mark the pieces is fading, in some cases quite badly.
Textile project

So I'll be replacing those labels that are fading before we finish this project completely. It should be very interesting to see what sort of information the students can find on these pieces.