SOLD! Exhibition – the final push!

It’s all hands on deck for building and installing the design for the SOLD! exhibition at The Bowes Museum – only 2 weeks to go now before SOLD! opens! The Exhibition is live on The Bowes Museum website – see SOLD!

Over the past few weeks all of the exhibition interpretation panels and the object labels have been composed, and all the exhibition image panels have been decided – the ‘proofs’ of the interpretation and image panels came back from the designers this week – the consensus is that they look great! – We’re not showing you them of course (yet)….you’ll have to wait and go to see SOLD!

I couldn’t believe how hard the exhibitions team at The Bowes Museum work during the process of taking down the previous exhibition (a fabulous exhibition called ‘Catwalking: fashion through the lens of Chris Moore’) and installing the next exhibition (SOLD!) – it is pretty much a 24 hour a day job…with all the work concentrated into a few short weeks. Here’s Vin, Simon and George starting to move the museum cases into the main exhibition space at The Bowes Museum, ready for the museum objects arriving.

Vin, Simon and George, installing cases for the SOLD! exhibition.

The exhibition space is starting to take shape – we’re starting to ‘place’ the exhibits in the correct order in the space; below is a photograph of one side of the exhibition space with photocopies of the object interpretation panels, fixed to the walls with masking tape, indicating the location of each object in the exhibition. We’ve gone for a dark grey and black colour scheme (which seems to be very fashionable for exhibitions). The exhibition space might look a bit messy in the photograph, but on the day I took the shot, we’d only just finished taking down the thousands of cardboard tubes that were part of the Catwalking exhibition – you can see a few remaining on the floor – I don’t think I ever want to see a cardboard tube again!

 

SOLD! being installed at The Bowes Museum

Here we have another photograph (below) of one of the walls in the exhibition space, with the photocopies of information on each of the objects in the exhibition, placed near to where the object will be situated – in this section of the exhibition, which focuses on 19th century antique dealers, you can see how we are placing the museum loans in sequence – the suit of ‘ancient armour’ sold by the dealer Samuel Pratt to the Tower Armouries in London in 1840; the 15th century Venetian glass goblet, sold by the dealer Henry Farrer to the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A Museum) in 1854; the 15th century silver-gilt chalice sold to the British Museum by the dealer John Webb in 1855; and the 16th century ‘Raphaelware’ dish sold by Henry Durlacher to the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A Museum) in 1857.

SOLD! install at The Bowes Museum – object placement labels.

 

And as I say, it was all hands on deck for the short time frame to take down and then install exhibitions – here’s Jen and Sarah helping out in re-painting one of the plinths that is going to be used for SOLD!

Jen and Sarah repainting a plinth for the SOLD! exhibition at The Bowes Museum.

 

And Catherine (below) carefully removing the masking tape which had been used in the previous exhibition from the floor.

 

Catherine, in deep concentration, carefully removing masking tape from the floor in the SOLD! exhibition.

 

It was an exhausting day, but it’s thrilling to see all the hard work coming to fruition.  Next week the install continues, and we have the exciting prospect of building and fitting out the ‘Old Curiosity Shop’ of 1850 in the exhibition space – Simon and I, and the rest of the Bowes team are really looking forward to that!

Watch out for blog posts on ‘behind the scenes at the museum’ next week as the installation of SOLD! continues!

Mark

 

 

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