As a registrar responsible for installing some of our more complex traveling exhibitions, I know that each museum will have its own style when displaying our shows. SITES encourages this variety; it's good to have an exhibition look different at every venue. But the inventiveness of each museum's choices never fails to impress me--every time I work on an installation.
For example, take the SITES tour of Ancestry & Innovation, from the American Folk Art Museum. At the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, curator Margaret Lynne Ausfeld and preparators Jeff Dutton and Brad Echols chose a bright blue for some of the gallery walls. The blue was "Madonna" from Benjamin Moore, and, when I first saw it, I was curious as to how the pink quilt by Mary Maxtion would look against that deep sky blue with the Bessie Harvey sculpture, "A Thousand Tongues Can Never Tell," in front. Well, as you can see from the photograph below, the color contrast is something special.
The wit of Margaret Lynne's installation is also special. Her insertion of Clementine Hunter's "Funeral" between the revelry of the two versions of "Saturday Night" made for a sly commentary on the aftermath of too many wild nights.
So, thanks to the excellent staff at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, including Pam Bransford, Emily Thomas and Alice Novak, with the museum director Mark Johnson, for a wonderful installation and a great experience.
--Cheryl Washer, SITES registrar