Friday, November 30, 2012

Spit? Really? The Registrar said that?

Our Registrar, Barbara Lovejoy has a great job- she gets to touch the art and live with it every day.

Most museums only have 5 to 10% of the collection on view at at time. The rest stays in the storage area. She keeps track of over 4,500 works of art and makes sure that the vault is in excellent order and the conditions are perfect for art objects. She knows the collection, where everything is at all times, and makes sure everything is put back where it belongs if it is removed from the vault.

She oversees shipping and keeping the artwork and frames in good repair. She ensures that we keep the collection for posterity, protecting it from excessive heat, light , humidity as well as form pests and dust.
Here she is examining a new gift, a painting by Alvin Fisher entitled, "Roadside meeting." Notice she wears gloves to handle the work.

Need to clean a work of art? Sometimes conservators use spit! It's a mild enzyme solution that's readily available. More secrets next time.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Amy Nelson Wins Mobley Award

Amy Nelson, Our Director of Grants and Community Assets, has won the Terry Mobley award for a development professional. Amy is  an art historian and educator,and has worked a the art museum for 10 years. Congratulations,Amy,seen here with Terry Mobley and myself.!

Why are These Artworks Here?

I asked our gallery attendants, who meet the public every day, what questions people ask most often. Judith Brin said "They ask, why are these paintings in the museum to begin with?" So I asked Judith, who is also a docent, to explain.  You can see her answer here:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Art Museum Wins Design Award

The Art museum has won the Silver award for "best marketing campaign" for our materials for the exhibition See Blue: Art from the Permanent Collection., given by the Southeastern Museum Consortium.

The campaign was created by our Coordinator of Publications and Public Relations, Dorothy Freeman. Dorothy previously won the gold award for her work on Hoofbeats and Heartbeats: The Horse in American Art in 2010. We are lucky to have her on our team!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Lalla Essaydi Speaks

Tomorrow, November 16th, famed photographer Lalla Essaydi will speak at UK.  A native of Morocco, her works reflect her early life where public spaces were defined by men, and women were confined to the private region of the home. By using calligraphy to cover her subjects, she breaks with convention.

Learn more at

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"When I was Growing Up"

Today I met with an executive from Merrill Lynch in Lexington, Mollie Brennan. She told me that when she was growing up in Campbellsville, a small town in the Southern part of Kentucky, there were no field trips to museums.  She said that when she grew up , and went to the Louvre in Paris with her husband, she saw the Mona Lisa, but did not know anything about art, so she did not know what she was seeing. She said she wishes she had been to this museum as a child.

Our teacher outreach reaches 19 counties, and thousands of school children come here from surrounding counties. We don't have the Mona Lisa, but this painting by Bougereau is pretty nice!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Museum Geek Blogs

Here's a very interesting blog about museums from Australia:

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

New Equipment Increases Storage Space

As our permanent collection grows through gifts and bequests, the demands on storage have increased.  Our painting rack storage capacity was full! With funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency, we ordered new painting racks that will fill spaces between existing racks. Here you can see the paintings being removed, new racks arriving, and the racks being installed!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Examining the New Arrival

When a painting arrives in its crate, the staff does not open it for 24 hours, giving the work time to "acclimatize."  Our registrar, Barbara Lovejoy, waited at the museum last evening for the arrival of this painting  Harvest Moon, Giverny and we could hardly wait to see it! Here she examines it, taking notes on the painting's condition.

A recent gift, this was painted by Theodore Robinson, an American Impressionist who worked with Monet in Giverny. It will be on view in January!