The Exh Files: Part 11

Everything you have always wanted to know about how exhibitions get done, but you’ve never dared ask. The Exh Files bring you into the belly of the monster, not only to shed light on the curatorial process of Talk to Me, but also to cast the spotlight on the unsung heroes and heroines whose work is critical to the success of a show. For the duration of the exhibition, twice a week we will post three profiles of MoMA colleagues that were involved in the making of this show, and of many other MoMA exhibitions.

Rebecca Roberts


Title at MoMA: Senior Assistant Editor.
Been working at the museum for: 5 years, 2 months.
A brief bio: I’m Canadian, born to American parents in Nova Scotia, where I grew up and eventually went to art school. After graduate school in Toronto and various jobs in publishing there, I moved to New York in 2007, and I have been editing at MoMA ever since!
Passion outside of MoMA: books, food, cats, friends, things I find on the street, and working on my blog, Manna from Brooklyn (featuring books, food, cats, friends, and things I find on the street). Current self-improvement projects include Latin study, learning how to knit, and attempting to become a semi-competent touch typist (since typing is what I do all day).
What I did in Talk to Me:
A big part of my job at MoMA is to edit all the written material that goes in the galleries–wall texts, labels, extended labels, warnings, etc. My work, in essence, is to help the curators express their ideas as clearly as possible and prevent any errors (mine or anyone else’s) from making it onto the gallery walls. For Talk to Me I worked with Paola and Kate to edit the introduction to the show, the texts on the labels, and the texts that explain the different sections of the show. Then, together with Sam Sherman (the graphic designer), we rechecked and perfected the texts and labels and got them ready to be produced and installed in the galleries. There is lots of written material in the show and it deals with complex objects and concepts, so it was a big project and a really interesting one—I Iearned a lot about a world of design I had only encountered the edges of, as a consumer.
Curatorial Team says:
 Rebecca works on several shows at any time and her job requires a lot of flexibility and agility–not to mention energy.

August Heffner

Graphic Design

Title at MoMA: Assistant Creative Director, Department of Advertising and Graphic Design.
Been working at the museum for: 2.5 years.
A brief bio: Born in Missouri, educated in Kansas, lives in Brooklyn. Teacher of Typography and Visual Communication. Works at MoMA by day, works in Bushwick by night.
Passion outside of MoMA: Graphic design for other clients (, teaching, blogging ( & friends and raising money for artists with food (
What I did in Talk to Me: Worked with the amazing Sam Sherman on the graphic design/visual identity of the show and created printed, outdoor and digital advertising.
Curatorial Team says:
During the first phases of the planning of an exhibition, several meetings happen where the key components come together to brainstorm. The Graphic Design team is essential and participates since the beginning in the making of the show.


Virginia Woolf, Emily's favorite writer


Title at MoMA: Editor, Department of Publications.
Been working at the museum for: Almost six years.
A brief bio: Born and bred New Yorker.
Passion outside of MoMA: A few weeks ago I was being interviewed during jury duty, and one of the questions was what did I do in my spare time. My answer was that I had no spare time, and I ended up on the jury. So beware. I love to read and to bring my four-year-old to MoMA and see art through him for the first time.
What I did in Talk to Me: e-mailed Kevin Slavin eight hundred times, also edited the exhibition catalogue.
Curatorial Team says: Emily, Emily Emily, how can we count the ways?  We so loved working with you on the catalogue.


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