Notes from the Fore-Edge:

Notes from the Fore-Edge:

History, Politics, and Practices in Museum Studies

Making the Exhibition

The class discusses book cradle design with Alessandro Scola (right) at the Department of Conservation and Preservation at Johns Hopkins.

At the beginning of the semester, our class set out to create, curate, and design an exhibit featuring fore-edge paintings from the Marion and Henry J. Knott Collection. In preparation, we first focused on learning the history of art museums and the ways they interact and shape public memories, values, and identities. We then began researching fore-edge paintings and studying specific works in the collection, and ultimately selected seventeen examples ranging in size, age, and subject for the exhibition. On a visit to the Department of Conservation and Preservation of the Sheridan Libraries at Johns Hopkins University we discussed book cradles for the installation and learned about the variety of environmental factors we needed to consider, including the temperature, lighting, and humidity of the exhibit space. Following this initial stage of work, each class member created a proposal that defined goals for the exhibition and specified how the installation would be laid out, how the books would be displayed, and what kinds of text panels and labels would be needed. We also weighed themes and topics to feature in the exhibit and thought about how we could most effectively engage visitors. Through many discussions, hard work—including physically moving cases around—and much deliberation, we combined our proposals and developed our ideas to create the exhibit you see today. We hope you enjoy the
fore-edge paintings!

Prototype fore-edge book cradle with mirror to display split painting as designed by Senior Book Conservator in the Departmet of Conservation and Preservation at JHU, Alessandro Scola.

We are grateful to the many people who contributed to our successful realization of this project. We wish to extend special thanks to the Knott Family, Kim Bannister, Kyle Bauer, Sarah Espinosa, Andrea Hall, Chris Lonegan, Molly McGath, Mark Pollei, Barbara Preece, Heather Raedeke, Alessandro Scola, and Matthew Treskon.