Mend Our Broken Art opens next Wednesday, May 19th, and things are pretty busy round these parts as a result. As a fun warm-up to the exhibition (and for those of you who aren’t Norfolkians), I thought I would post daily exhibition snapshots. These will include items on display as well as candid snaps from the installation process.
For those of you who are still shady on what MOBA actually is, well, read on.
Mend Our Broken Art arose from a great need. In 2006, it became evident that our small staff did not have the resources it required to care for the Sloane Collection. The decision was made to reveal our broken art: everything in our collection that was dirty and degraded was put on display for the public to see, in hopes that the community might pitch in to support our conservation efforts.
With your help, the Hermitage has already raised over $20,000 and contributed toward the total conservation of 31 objects. That is a tremendous accomplishment, but our work is not yet done. This year’s MOBA is refocusing on more than just objects: this year, an entire room is available for adoption. Residual water damage is just one of the problems plaguing Mrs. Sloane’s beautiful dressing room, and until the fragile space is repaired it must remain closed to the public. The paintings featured in this exhibit will be included in our new second floor painting gallery once conservation treatment is carried out. Some of the finest pieces in the Sloane Collection are on display in these galleries.
It is not often that a museum empties its closets into a public gallery. It is not often that a museum reveals its stumbling blocks. It is not often that a museum appeals to the community in a way that breaks down the division between staff and visitors. There is no smoke and mirrors here; just a group of people trying to do the very best they can for the objects in their care. Take the time to enjoy our exhibit and please consider making a donation toward our conservation fund. No amount is too small.
And, as promised, here are some shots from today’s work. As you can see, Kate and Colin do all the heavy lifting around here.
… while I just stand around and point (looking not unlike Darth Vader).