Gallery 17 Reinstallation

October 30, 2013

gallery17_tunnel_install This fall, the contemporary gallery is undergoing a major renovation and reinstallation. Dedicated to the Museum’s holdings of contemporary American art, the gallery offers a representative overview from 1960 to the present. Nearly 400 works of art have been added to the contemporary holdings since the Museum reopened in 2005, necessitating a reorientation of the gallery and the addition of temporary walls to accommodate the expanding collection.Reconfiguring the gallery afforded the chance to delve into the Museum’s holdings, identifying works of art not regularly on view. A focus wall will be dedicated to the display of these works, including the 2011 gift of prints and drawings by Beth Van Hoesen, which will be featured first. Careful study also revealed the need for conservation and two works, Rafael Ferrer’s Neon Corner(1971) and Jimmie Durham’s Red Turtle (1991), were recently conserved for the reinstallation.

Works of art will be arranged chronologically in the space, beginning with the aftermath of Abstract Expressionism. Examples from The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection will represent Minimal and Conceptual art as well as the exploration of new imagery in the mid-1970s. The display will continue with an examination of identity and politics in the 1980s and 1990s, concluding with examples of the most recent trends in the new millennium. New acquisitions from the Centennial Juried Exhibition will join Museum favorites in this dynamic reinstallation of the contemporary collection.

Such an ambitious project is a collaborative effort, and the curatorial team has worked with staff Museum-wide to consider installation, interpretive strategies, and enhanced security. Curators and Museum preparators often make use of gallery models when considering wall placement and this project was no different. Scaled versions of walls and individual works of art were arranged within the gallery 17 model to determine precise measurements and the desired layout for the space. As a result of this intensive planning process, the gallery will feature nearly double the number of works previously installed. In addition, a resource space has been created for quiet contemplation and reading. The gallery will be closed during the renovation and will reopen on Friday, November 29 in time for the holiday season.


Margaret Winslow,
Associate Curator for Contemporary Art



This Curator Corner was posted on October 30, 2013.

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