Curating a Blake exhibition: Part 2

      No Comments on Curating a Blake exhibition: Part 2

By Sarah Jones

Part 1 of Michael Phillips’s description of organizing the Ashmolean Blake exhibition of 2014–15 appeared last week. Here is the continuation.

SJ: Once you had the framework of Blake as apprentice and master, how did you determine which other works you wanted to include? What came next?

MP: First I needed to see the galleries that would be used for the exhibition. I also needed to obtain a floor plan to use at home to be able to check the wall space available for hanging exhibits and the floor space available for display cases.

There were four large rooftop galleries that had recently been built as an extension to the Ashmolean specially for temporary exhibitions. The three largest galleries would be used for the exhibition proper. With the help of the museum’s designer we established that together they could exhibit upwards of 200 objects of the sizes I had in mind. The much smaller fourth gallery would be used for ticket and catalogue sales, but there was also space to do something rather special to complement the exhibition. Here I would set up a nineteenth-century star-wheel rolling press and on specified days, as visitors exited the exhibition, I would print impressions …read more