From the Curators

Reflection on “The Workshop and the World”
Valerie Lazalier
Chief Curatorial Assistant

 

It’s hard to believe that the prints I first saw a year ago as tiny 2″x2″ slide images are now hanging in the gallery. Of course it required a lot of work to get the exhibition to this point, but the show looks so great that it was definitely worth the effort!

As a curatorial assistant for this exhibition I mainly worked on researching a portion of the prints that are featured in the exhibition, but I also was part of the group which decided which prints to bring to Truman and gave some input on how the exhibition was set up. Researching the prints in the show was an exciting challenge because I had never extensively researched printmakers or printmaking before this project. Also, as an art history undergraduate student, the works I usually study are extensively documented and there is significant existing scholarship available from which I can draw for course assignments. With these prints, however, the amount of information I was able to find forced me to think creatively about how I could present relevant information to the public even if basic questions like “what exactly is going on in this print?” couldn’t be answered.

Additionally, it was much different to approach research knowing that the information I found was going to eventually be compressed to a small paragraph with room only for the most essential and interesting information. I’m used to having (what I now consider) the luxury of unlimited page length to make my point, but writing for an exhibition forced me to really focus in on what information was going to most interest gallery patrons.

Overall, researching and writing for this show was a great learning experience, and I have enjoyed working closely with my fellow curators and the gallery staff to make it all come together. Having already been to see the prints many times since the show opened, I would definitely recommend the exhibition to anyone who has the chance to see it!

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