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Art Behind the Scenes Curatorial Exhibitions

Making an Exhibition, Part 2: Research (with Travel!)

"Grete Marks" display at the Jewish Museum Berlin. Photo by the author.
“Grete Marks” display at the Jewish Museum Berlin. Photo by the author.

As I moved through the stages of putting together the Milwaukee Art Museum’sĀ Grete Marks: When Modern Was Degenerate exhibition (on view September 6, 2012 – January 1, 2013), I began by researching the designer through secondary literature and compiledĀ a list of 417 Grete Marks ceramics and watercolors in institutional collections.

Those tasks I could do mostly from my office in Milwaukee, thanks to great library services and generous colleagues at other institutions.

However, to build relationships with curators for borrowing artwork, to meet with Grete Marks’ daughter Frances Marks, and to personally examine objects so that I could make informed decisions about which of the ceramic vessels we might want to request for loan to our exhibition, I needed to take a research trip to London and Berlin.

It was a tough job, but someone had to do it…