Curating at the Lilly: Week Twelve

Well, my time as a Public Services Intern has come to an end. I’ve finally finished writing the labels and my curator statement, and all has been planned for a successful installation. I’m relieved to hear from Conservation that they’ve checked and prepped all the materials I selected; everything is safe and ready to display. It will likely go up some time during the second full week in August.

It’s been fun exploring the process of creating special collections exhibits. I am so grateful to all the staff and faculty at the Lilly who have been so helpful and supportive. It is an honor to be given the opportunity to curate an exhibit in such a prestigious and amazing institution as the Lilly. This internship has allowed me to learn even more about the collections and boosted my confidence in my ability to execute a full-scale exhibit. I can’t wait until Six Degrees of Sir Francis Bacon is up on display! It really is a dream come true to see this exhibit through from start to finish.

I think if there’s one thing that I’ve learned through my experience, it’s that a quality exhibit requires a great investment of time and planning ahead. Also, no exhibit is a solo project. Even if an exhibit has only one curator, that person must still be able to coordinate with and effectively communicate their vision to their colleagues — exhibit design specialists, website managers (for publicity), tour guides, etc.

Finally, to make up for the lack of visual dimension to this blog, I’ve added some photos that summarize my exhibit planning process from brainstorming to gathering and marking-up the items to display. To see how it all comes together, you’ll need to visit the exhibit at the Lilly for yourself!

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