Hello bloggers! Last week was pretty hectic packing, moving, and loading the dinosaurs to send to their new location in Florida. This involved wrapping the dinosaurs in foam and saran wrap to keep them safe during shipping, and then hauling them from the exhibit room to a loading truck and then waving goodbye! It’s been great having this exhibit here at the Clinton Library, but now we move on to COCA-COLA! I am so very excited. Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell, and other artists will be featured, as well as original bottles of coca-cola and other great objects for display on the history of Coca-Cola.
I feel as if I always learn something new every time I show up to work here at the Clinton Library. This is a great reason to have a graduate assistance job while you are in school. I am able to learn what I do and do not like about the museum world, and then figure out how to apply what I do like into a future job. In addition, I also gain additional experiences in order to not only add to my resume, but to learn the vast amount of assignments you can have in a museum setting! Small things like how to hold a fragile, one of a kind object may seem like an easy task, but I definitely would argue the opposite! Throughout the last year and a half at the Clinton Library, I have learned so much and I am very glad that I have this blog to explain it all!
One thing I learned this week is how to mat a framed picture. We have some great original pictures that were sent with the collection, and they cannot go into just any frame. They need to go into a beautiful frame with UV protected glass and matting to accentuate the picture. And we did exactly this. Stephanie taught Joseph and I her skills at matting, and from there we were able to gain the knowledge and even show off our own skills with a few pictures! Math skills do come into play with matting, and it does take a bit to understand in order to perfect the skill. Luckily, Stephanie is a great teacher.
The first step in starting to mat a picture is to understand that you are not in a rush. There is a strong chance, especially in the museum world, that the picture you are highlighting is very fragile, rare, or important. Maybe it is even a one of a kind picture. In either case, it is not in your best interest to try to cut the board used in the matting process without first measuring. (Unless you have high tech equipment, anyway.) As you can see, we only had a cutting board and some rulers to use. This is probably the norm for most museums. The second step is measuring! Once you know how much room you will need in the border, that is when you draw your lines. Most important!! Make sure that you put your picture up and compare it to the lines BEFORE YOU CUT! If you do not do this, you may cut the board too big for the picture, which means it is completely useless to you. As long as the picture fits in the lines you drew, you can now cut.
The razor in the cutting board for matting has been angled at 45 degrees so that the picture is highlighted with a beautiful board. It accentuates the picture! You can see with the picture to the left the lines we drew, and the picture held in place to make sure that it fits before we cut. After we cut, we then put the picture back behind the cuts and determined where it fit the best. You’ll notice that we taped the picture into place. Some of the pictures were originals, and therefore we created a pocket for the picture to rest in so that it was not sticking to the tape on the sides. If the picture was one from the Clinton Library museum that we printed (not an original!), we used the tape without the pocket. This is also important to note because when you receive an incoming loan, it is not yours permanently. Since it is on loan, DO NOT do anything to the object or picture that could potentially damage or leave a residue. You can easily destroy or damage a picture by being careless or rushing, so pay attention to every step until the final picture is safely in the frame! Then, all you have to worry about is hanging it…
These are a few behind the scenes example of what we do here at the Clinton Library to get ready for an exhibit opening! Come by the Clinton Library to see the Coco-Cola Exhibit for yourself, and maybe you’ll see me around, making sure everything looks OK and safe!
Until next time!