The Museum Store has a dedicated staff person whose primary responsibility is “Product Development.”
Julia Jackson is the Museum Store’s creative brain-power and organizational manager behind items like the Roy Lichtenstein Crying Girl V-neck T-shirt shown at left (I get so many complements when I wear mine and it’s really soft, too!) and the Calatrava-inspired “Wings” earrings that I love.
Here is a simplified breakdown of Julia’s design and organization process:
i) Identify an artwork and a medium onto which it will be reproduced.
ii) Gain approval from the curatorial department on both the artwork and the medium. For example, the curators might get upset to see Abbott Handerson Thayer’s An Angel on a shot-glass, but it does translate beautifully onto a gilded ornament like at right.
iii) Consult with Stephanie Hansen, the Museum’s Rights and Reproductions Coordinator, to determine whether artistic reproduction rights will be required.
If so, Stephanie will give Julia contact information for either:
(a) the artist
(b) the artist’s estate, or
(c) the Artists’ Rights Society (ARS)
iv) Negotiate fees and acquire rights with above (a), (b), or (c)
v) Contact a local Marketing Consultant who will put Julia in touch with a product manufacturer that is capable of making her vision come to life.
vi) As the item moves through the production process, Julia is continuously in contact with the Curatorial team and the artist’s representative to ensure that the artwork is being reproduced faithfully. Stephanie is again a great resource for color-checking!
Sooo, seems pretty simple and straightforward, doesn’t it? Whew!
When it comes to developing products for changing exhibitions, Julia works closely with the Art Museum’s talented Marketing and Design team, along with the coordinating curator of that particular exhibition. Together, they sift through images of the featured artworks to determine which will best represent the exhibition as well as create attractive, lasting mementos for visitors.
Which “Summer of China” poster is your favorite?
If the Museum had the rights to reproduce any work of art in its permanent collection, which would you most want to take home with you?