A Productive Week at the Museum June 18, 2013 | By Jenna Kloeppel
In mid-May, I returned to the National Museum of Wildlife Art to take part in the final phase of a project I had worked on during the previous summer as the McGee Curatorial Intern. Having conducted research and written labels and essays for this summer’s exhibit, entitled Ancient Traditions: Pueblo Ceramics from the Whetzel Collection, I was thrilled to go to Jackson this past month to help install the exhibit and to participate in docent training and public programming.
The nuts and bolts of installing the exhibit were intensive; I left the Museum most days feeling like I had done a major Teton hike rather than the more sedentary tasks of constructing and sewing stands and mounts for the pottery, cleaning cases for display, and arranging labels. Reflecting on the week, I realize that the sense of exhaustion I experienced arose from the intellectual challenges of creating a physical realization of something that had been – until that point – something much more abstract: an exhibit in the making.
As my work, alongside that of members of the curatorial department, culminated on Friday afternoon with every piece of pottery safely displayed where we had envisioned it, every label edited and neatly mounted in a case or on the wall, and three paintings hanging in a thoughtful installation, I felt immensely proud to have been part of this beautiful undertaking. I am thrilled that summer visitors to the Museum will have the opportunity to see this remarkable collection.
Jenna Kloeppel, 2012 McGee Curatorial Intern