One of the perks of having an exhibition on view is the excuse to go into the Museum’s galleries every day (one of my curatorial responsibilities is to regularly check on my exhibitions). After poring over the 700+ works in the Tim Burton gallery exhibition, I often make it a point to visit other shows (to bring my mind out of the Burton zone, as I call it), whether to take in my favorite painting (Piet Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie Woogie, by the way) or to check out a new special exhibition. Read more
Needless to say, coming up with the idea that a Tim Burton exhibition might be a worthwhile endeavor was not enough in itself to make it happen. The next step was to create a project proposal. So even before speaking to the Museum’s Exhibition Committee or to Burton himself, we set about the task of developing a thesis for the show. Read more
Whenever Ron (Magliozzi, my co-organizer) recounts his “eureka” moment that spurred him to curate an exhibition on the work of Tim Burton—while watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on a Sunday in 2005, as described in Ron’s first Burton post—it always takes me back to that Monday, when he excitedly approached my desk to chat about his weekend. The first thing he said to me that morning was, “You know who we should do next? Tim Burton!” Read more
Months before an exhibition opens we meet to plan out any related online features. Since we’re a small team we often get developers or designers to help for bigger sites. For the Tim Burton exhibition, we worked with the Brooklyn company Big Spaceship, who built the site for our Contemporary Voices exhibition in 2005.
Having nearly broken my VHS copy of Beetlejuice from overuse while growing up, I knew the project would be an exciting one for a design firm to sink their teeth into. In the words of Big Spaceship, “Having the opportunity to work with MoMA for an artist as admirable as Tim Burton was amazing. The quality and imagination inherent to his art speak for themselves—we’re particularly inspired by his breadth of work and desire to experiment.”
One of the most exciting parts of the process is the concept meeting with the designers. After an initial meeting to discuss the exhibition, the crew from Big Spaceship put together three different directions for the site, and we sat down together with the curators to pick a design to build out. We asked them to talk about the three directions they proposed. Read more
If I were to begin with a formal history of the Museum’s eighty or so gallery exhibitions on filmmakers, film studios, and international filmmaking since 1939, this might make for a dull start to our Burton blogs. Instead, here’s my personal story of how MoMA’s Tim Burton began.
In fact I can tell you the precise moment when the idea popped into my head. It happened on July 31, 2005 (my birthday by the way), at an 11:00 a.m. screening of Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Kaufman Astoria Stadium 14 Cinema in Queens, NY. Today, now that all of the single-screen neighborhood movie theaters I spent my childhood in are gone, my favorite place and time to go to a movie is a large multiplex at the earliest morning screening when the melancholy of the deserted, over-sized spaces somehow speaks to my feelings of nostalgia for past movie-going experiences. Read more
To help promote MoMA’s Tim Burton retrospective, we asked Burton himself to animate the MoMA logo for a thirty-second video that would be used to promote the exhibition on television, at the Museum, and online. Tim quickly came up with a concept utilizing stop-motion animation, and he asked Allison Abbate, his producer on Corpse Bride (2005) and the upcoming full-length version of Frankenweenie, if she could help pull things together. Read more