today is the New Bedford 1950’s Car Rally Day…or something. It was pretty eventful. I’m sorry I couldn’t get an audioclip of the 1950’s cover band that was blasting all evening, but here are some cool cars instead:
I love this Mustang.
Angriest car I’ve ever seen.
My Corvair! In a show!
I have a really cool job. They put me in a big storage room, and I go through a list of accession numbers and pull incredibly valuable maritime prints and stack them carefully on a table for the Classic Prints exhibit the museum is putting up in a few months.Then the Conservator comes by, and we look at each print and he teaches me about what needs to be done with regards to framing, touch-ups, and general conservation for the prints.This process involves everything from matting and cutting, mounting, frame choice, mold and spot removal, UV protection, tear and corner repair, handling and manipulation of works, and identification of media.We go through each print and do this, and then he has me practice locating these features of the prints myself.It’s a really neat, detail-oriented job.Then, for “homework”, I go read a big book on how printmaking works, another on identifying prints, and another on how one goes about forging prints.
Once my Director/Curator gets back (he is out for the next week, though I’ll be meeting up with him next weekend for the Northeast Action), he and I will go over the same paintings, discuss their historical and artistic relevance, and decide for certain which should go in the exhibit. (I have a whole different set of books to read for this, one of which I just finished, Herman Melville’s Picture Gallery was written by the man himself, and was fantastic). In a nutshell, today I read a book about the art Melville is referring to in chapters 55-57 of Moby Dick (“Of the Monstrous Pictures of Whales”, “Of the Less Erroneous Pictures of Whales”, “Of Whales in Print; in Teeth; in Wood; in Sheet-Iron; in Stone; in Mountains; in Stars”, respectively), then I went and physically found and handled the drawings Melville was referring to, and discussed their condition with the Conservator. Scha-wing!
I did manage to come up with the proper Latin version of the phrase my Conservator wanted on his wall (“Preserve today for tomorrow”): Conservate hodienum diem crastino!
We also got into a heated discussion in the registrar’s office with the other day-interns about what does one save when a fire hits a museum (god forbid!). This quickly degenerated into an argument about whether or not one would give his or her life to save a work of art. I was surprised to find that the registrar, the gatekeeper of the museum’s artifacts would, unquestionably—be it the Pietà or even the Mona Lisa—save her own life over the art. The Conservator and I felt that we’d definitely prefer the existence of a great work of art to our own; where would civilization be without the Aeneid, or Shakespeare, or—horrible to even think—Moby Dick?
Did I mention the wall of harpoon guns and jarred whale oil I found?