Get a rare glimpse behind the
scenes at museum open house
Why are museums cold and dark? What's behind all those locked doors?
What do they keep in their storage rooms? Who are all those people running
around with white gloves on? And, most importantly, why can't we touch anything?
In celebration of "The Art of Collecting: Recent Acquisitions at
the Michael C. Carlos Museum" (Nov. 8, 1997 through Jan. 4, 1998) visitors
can get answers to these and any other questions they have about how museums
operate, as the Carlos Museum opens its labs and storage rooms for a unique
series of educational programs. Rather than a traditional opening, the museum
will sponsor a daylong "open" open house from noon to 4 p.m.,
Sunday, Nov. 16, for members and visitors to explore parts of the museum
not ordinarily open to the public. Light refreshments will be served throughout
There will be opportunities to tour the museum's storage rooms and speak
with curators and registrars about collections, their histories and the
objects that don't make it into the galleries. A visit to the conservation
lab will provide insight into activities that preserve objects in the museum's
care. Guests also will be able speak to members of the exhibition design
department for a glimpse into their work behind the scenes.
Entertainment will include a visual and aural treat-an Egyptian gallery
performance of Aida by the Capital City Opera. In addition, live bluegrass
and classical music will be performed throughout the afternoon. Children's
activities will reflect the museum's holdings and will include making Egyptian
mummy masks and Grecian column hats. In addition, there will be a contest
for children to design the 1997-98 school tours museum sticker. Demonstrations
of the Carlos' award-winning website and database will round out the afternoon
The museum also will sponsor a four-part public lecture series on art
conservation. Local art conservators who work with paintings, paper and
objects will talk about past and present projects and answer questions about
preventative care of collections.
The exhibition itself highlights significant new additions to the museum's
permanent collection and will provide an opportunity to display just a small
portion of the more than 1,500 objects that have entered the Carlos permanent
collection since 1993. Since that time, the Carlos has acquired a major
collection of sub-Saharan African art, important new works of art on paper,
a beautiful collection of ancient American metals, and significant additions
to the classical Greek and Roman and ancient Near Eastern collections.
Museums exist to collect for the purposes of preservation and education;
the "art" of collecting is conserving, storing, studying, displaying
and teaching. Through educating the public about all aspects of what museums
do, the public will be strong advocates for those institutions devoted to
the preservation of natural and cultural treasures.
For more information, call 727-6118.
to November 10, 1997 Contents Page