Adventures in Installing Sadie Crockin

Posted on January 14, 2011 by

Since starting my job as Outreach Coordinator in October I have slowly taken on more roles and responsibilities in the museum. One of my newly acquired jobs is scheduling our traveling exhibitions. With support from the Baltimore Chapter of the League of Women Voters, the JMM created a small, but powerful exhibit titled “VOTE! The Life and Work of Sadie Jacobs Crockin, 1979-1965.” The JMM and the League created this exhibit about Sadie Crockin, a champion of many causes including women’s suffrage, in honor of the 90th anniversary of the League of Women’s Voters in Baltimore.

A photograph of Sadie Jacobs Crockin.

My first step when taking over the scheduling for this exhibit was to become familiar with the content of the exhibit and the exhibits physical structure. While I am more than comfortable learning about an exhibit and relaying this information to diverse groups of people, I am far less comfortable with physically installing and de-installing exhibits. The curatorial department at the JMM assured me that this exhibit would be easy to handle, but I had my doubts.

A few of the exhibit, properly installed.

Needless to say, it took several hours of mentorship from our curator, Karen Falk, to learn how to handle this exhibit.  Thankfully for me, but not for the rest of the staff, we had to deinstall and then reinstall the exhibit for a large program we held in the lobby. Also, I was very luck because Deborah and Elena committed to being on “Team Sadie” for my first installation at the Women’s Heritage Center.
So on a cold and windy morning in January I braced myself and the team for a day dedicated to Sadie. After deinstalling the exhibit at the JMM, we drove in Deborah’s van (which managed to fit the six foot poles) to the Women’s Heritage Center on Lexington and Maryland.

Deborah’s trusty van led the way.

Then the real challenge began. Without Karen there, I became the “expert” on installing the exhibit. Using my sketches and notes I had to remember how the poles fit together, what rings went up, what poles had spaces, and many other details you would never notice if you were looking at the completed exhibit. The exhibit is much more complicated than it looks, especially for a team of educators who are far from being experts in the art of exhibit set up! BUT, after several rounds (which included several failed attempts) we managed to successfully set up the exhibit on our own!

Strategizing

In action

And finally, success!

The Sadie Crockin exhibit will be at the Women’s Heritage Center until February 9th. In March it will be traveling to the Main Branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library and then onto Baltimore Hebrew Congregation. A more detailed list of locations and times will be available shortly. If you are interested in hosting this exhibit please visit our website or contact Rachael Binning at (410) 732-6402 ext. 234.

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