It Takes a Village

A blog post by Education and Programs Intern Eden Cho. To read more posts from interns click HERE.

Unfortunately, not all exhibits are permanent, and in the case of The A-Mazing Mendes Cohen, there was an expiration date. That date was Monday, June 15, 2015 when Minotaur Mazes came to pick up their traveling exhibition, and Mendes Cohen would be on his way to a new adventure in Texas. The morning began early as everyone from the museum’s Deputy Director, Deborah Cardin to the summer interns were breaking down the a-mazing maze.

First, Joanna Church, the Collections Manager, and the conservators, moved out the fragile and valuable objects such as Mendes’s flag. Pictured here is one of the conservators using nitrile gloves to handle objects.
First, Joanna Church, the Collections Manager, and the conservators, moved out the fragile and valuable objects such as Mendes’s flag. Pictured here is Sanchita  Balachandran, curator & conservator, using nitrile gloves to handle objects.
Laying out the panels
Next came down all the panels, both graphic and green, and they were carefully rolled as to not leave any crease marks.
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The interactives that all the visitors love to play with were unscrewed from the exhibit, and packed carefully in Styrofoam or even blankets. They were placed in the crate carefully and strategically so that damage would not occur during transportation.
Things got serious when Tracie Guy-Decker, the Associate Director for Projects, Planning and Finance (right), began using a power drill like a boss.
Things got serious when Tracie Guy-Decker, the Associate Director for Projects, Planning and Finance (right), began using a power drill like a boss.
Then the poles were strategically unscrewed and pulled apart bit by bit. For people without a lot of arm muscles (me), the struggle was real.
Then the poles were strategically unscrewed and pulled apart bit by bit. For people without a lot of arm muscles (me), the struggle was real.
The poles were also placed in the wooden crates tactically so that when it would be ready to set up in Texas, the poles that would be going on the floor (the foundation) would be the first to come out of the box. That way, the exhibit can literally be built from the bottom-up.
The poles were also placed in the wooden crates tactically so that when it would be ready to set up in Texas, the poles that would be going on the floor (the foundation) would be the first to come out of the box. That way, the exhibit can literally be built from the bottom-up.
Once we were sure everything was loaded, the top of the crates were screwed in. By Tuesday morning, Mendes Cohen was ready to leave the Jewish Museum of Maryland.
Once we were sure everything was loaded, the top of the crates were screwed in. By Tuesday morning, Mendes Cohen was ready to leave the Jewish Museum of Maryland.

For a smaller museum, we often rely on each other to succeed, no matter what position you have. This was made clear when almost every department head, conservator, intern, and a museum educator, graciously set aside their day to pack up an exhibit. It may not necessarily take a village to de-install an exhibition, but it’s certainly more fun to.

Stay tuned for our upcoming exhibit, Cinema Judaica, opening Wednesday, July 1st!

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Exhibits Interns Museum Stories

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