Counting Down to the Spiro Opening. Behind the Scenes with Eric Singleton, Ph.D., our Curator of Ethnology.

Posted on February 9, 2021 by Tim in

We are just days away from the opening of our upcoming exhibition “Spiro and the Art of the Mississippian World.” It opens this Friday! And let me tell you, folks, the gallery is busy and buzzing with all of the little details that go into making an exhibition of this importance happen. Lots of stuff I never even thought of. Luckily, Eric Singleton, Ph.D., our Curator of Ethnology had a plan. Seth from Marketing wanted me to remind you that if you missed some of my earlier “blogs” about Spiro that we have a “link” to the ones you missed: CLICK THIS LINK

Tim: Everything is looking great in the galleries, but there’s so much to do with just a few days left. How long does it take to put together an exhibition like this?

Eric: If you start at the conception of the idea for the exhibition, this one took almost a decade. When you get closer to the actual event, we are talking months or even years of working out details like coordinating with other museums or private owners to curate the objects to loan agreements and schedules to creating mounts and display cases. Every “t” crossed and “i” dotted.

Tim: Wow! And how do you decide where to display the items in the gallery?

Eric: The goal is always to give people context so they can understand the importance of each piece and how and why it is there to tell the story of the exhibition. We do that by putting pieces together that are similar and complement each other. I start by putting together a 24:1 scale model in advance to make sure the complete story is being told and the weight of each object makes the maximum impact.

Tim: I love the scale model. It’s so cool to see all the planning. Speaking of planning, these pieces came from all over the country to be here. How hard is it to transport them? It’s not just bubble wrap, right?

Eric: There’s definitely more to it than bubble wrap. Each piece needs to be custom fit into its container to prevent movement. Also, humidity is a concern. So the containers are sealed with monitoring devices to make sure they are kept in the safest and most ideal environments so they are preserved for future generations to share and learn from.

Tim: I can’t wait until Friday for everyone to see this. Very cool. Thanks, Eric.

The exhibition opens February 12th, but if you’re a Museum Member you can come to an exclusive event on February 11th and get early access to other cool exhibitions like this one.  Become a Member today! 

This important exhibition would not have been possible without the generosity of our sponsors. Thank you.

Tim

About Tim

Director of Security & Operations Services (and sometimes social media)