the act of hanging art

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Milja

Member
Finland, Finnish
Hey everyone!

I've been searching for the correct term in English for the 'act of hanging art' in exhibitions etc. It can't be as simple as "art hanging", can it?

As in, e.g., "The art hanging of the exhibition was done by mr. X"

And I don't mean the mechanical part of hanging artworks with art hanging systems and equipment but the artistic plan behind the hanging: e.g. how far the artworks are placed from each other, which paintings are put in the same room etc.

Hope somebody gets what I mean.

And thankyou in advance!

Milja
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Hello, Milja. In thinking about "the act of hanging art", several verbs come to mind, but I think that "arrange" and "display" are the most common:

    He arranged the paintings in the exhibit.
    He was responsible for the details on how the paintings were displayed.

    You might also try "design": He designed the exhibit to feature paintings by contemporary painters first.

    Other members will probably come up with other suggestions, but those are the verbs that occurred to me. :)
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    In the really big galleries the term 'curator' is used. The verb is 'to curate'. It means devising every aspect of the exhibition. Otherwise 'organiser' would have to be used.

    'The curator of contemporary art is now concerned with the whole physical and intellectual experience of an exhibition,' explains Teresa Gleadowe, head of the RCA's curating course. Simply doing bucket-loads of art historical research is not enough. In the ground-breaking 1972 exhibition Documenta 5, Harald Szeemann - perhaps the first major freelance curator - dumped aesthetic categories and instead arranged the art through themes like 'Idea' and 'Individual Mythologies'.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/theobserver/2003/mar/09/features.magazine47

    Hermione
     

    Fabulist

    Banned
    American English
    And from "curator" there is what I think is a back-formation: the verb, "to curate." I have seen references to someone having "curated" an exhibit. This seems to cover management of the entire process, including research, acquisition of objects or artifacts by purchase or loan, writing of labels, and arrangement of the works of art or other objects. It could include deciding on the arrangement of works for a specific exhibit within a specific space.

    I've seen "curated" used somewhat as follows (in, say, an obituary or biography of a curator): "He curated the museum's path-breaking exhibit of the works of the Dutch master portraitist, Rupert de Vries."
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    There is also a preparator who does art hanging and perhaps more.
    From that, what would be the word corresponding to Mijla's action "the artistic plan behind the hanging: e.g. how far the artworks are placed from each other, which paintings are put in the same room etc."?
     

    tamerlane

    Banned
    Russian, English
    http://www.artlex.com/ArtLex/Pr.html#anchor8282125

    I've been looking for it in this art dictionary. "Curator" seems to be the right word.

    Preparator "...assists in the arrangement of art objects within collections study and storage areas..."
    "A principal museum preparator typically directs and coordinates the installation schedule of art exhibitions in several galleries; advises the curatorial staff on installation methods, and initiates new methods."

    "Curator - a person who is responsible for collection building, care, research, exhibition, and writing. Curators often work with community members to determine interests and needs, which will be reflected in special exibitions, and result in the meeting educational goals."


    I'm just wondering if there is someone like an interior designer whom curators may consult with on such a matter.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    "the artistic plan behind the hanging: e.g. how far the artworks are placed from each other, which paintings are put in the same room etc."?
    This would be the curatorial team, in major galleries. I can't see any reason why curators would work with "interior designers". It's totally different. Of course they would often if not always work with living artists.

    That's interesting about a preparator having a role in art exhibitions. I have only encountered the term in connection with scientific exhibitions.

    Hermione
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    ...

    That's interesting about a preparator having a role in art exhibitions. I have only encountered the term in connection with scientific exhibitions.

    Hermione
    From the links given, and others, a preparator seems to be someone who is responsible for exhibits, for getting them ready for exhibition and for their "care", generally.
     
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