Athens, Ga. – Have you ever wondered just what goes on behind the scenes at an art museum or why visitors aren’t allowed to touch works of art? The Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia will reveal some of its secrets through hands-on displays in the exhibition “Tools of the Trade,” which runs from Jan. 30 to March 16.
Organized by Carissa DiCindio, curator of education, and Tricia Miller, head registrar, “Tools of the Trade” will examine how an exhibition is put together at a museum. Interactive displays will show what archival materials are and why museums use them, reveal the inside of an art-shipping crate and let visitors write their own object labels. Audiences will learn what the symbols on the outside of an art-shipping crate mean, how to measure properly for hanging a large number of works on the wall and what happens to a work over time when people touch it.
“Tools of the Trade” will flip the museum by focusing on art handling, exhibition design, conservation and interpretation, giving participants an inside look at the operations of the museum. Visitors will be able to investigate materials, perform the daily duties of museum staff and design their own mini-exhibitions in these interactive displays.
“This exhibition will invite visitors to engage with materials through play and will demonstrate some of the ways that art, math and science intersect in the museum, said DiCindio. “We are looking forward to turning the museum inside out in the galleries.”
Related events include the museum’s quarterly reception, 90 Carlton: Winter, on Feb. 4 at 6:30 p.m. ($5, free for members of the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art and attendees of the Henry D. Green Symposium of the Decorative Arts; a public tour led by DiCindio and Miller on Feb. 10 at 2 p.m.; a “Behind-the-Scenes” film series (“Gerhard Richter Painting” on Feb. 11 at 7 p.m., “National Gallery” on Feb. 25 at 7 p.m., “Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present” on March 3 at 7 p.m. and “Le Mystère Picasso” on March 10 at 7 p.m.); and a Family Day on Feb. 13, from 10 a.m.-noon. All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.
Partial support for the exhibition and programs at the Georgia Museum of Art is provided by the Georgia Council for the Arts through appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. The council is a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Individuals, foundations and corporations provide additional museum support through their gifts to the University of Georgia Foundation. The Georgia Museum of Art is located in the Performing and Visual Arts Complex on UGA’s East Campus. The address is 90 Carlton St., Athens, Ga., 30602-1502. For more information, including hours, see georgiamuseum.org or call 706-542-4662.