The Exh Files: Part 9

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.  

Sara Bodinson at her desk


Title at MoMA: Director, Interpretation & Research
Been working at the museum for:
almost 12 years.
A brief bio: Born and raised in Kansas City, I studied Art History and Film Studies at Smith College. I started at MoMA as a Film Department intern and since then have had three different positions in the Department of Education. Last year, I wrote my MA thesis about The Arab Image Foundation, a photography archive in Beirut.
Passion outside MoMA:
This summer, exploring Brooklyn on my new bike!
What I did in Talk to Me:  With my colleague Stephanie Pau, I reviewed the wall texts, editing them to make sure they are accessible to MoMA’s wide range of visitors, including designers or those who know a lot about design to others who know very little about the topic.  It’s always fun to work with curators and editors to determine the right amount of information to convey the exhibition’s ideas, and in this case, support the incredible range of concepts and strategies embodied by the objects on display.
Curatorial Team says:  
Sara said it best, it is a good collaboration, albeit not always an easy one. Our meatiest back-and-forth this time was about the word parkour, which is part of the main wall text, also featured on the home page of our web site. The curators wanted to keep it, arguing that the word was the only one that could convey the right meaning, and that sometimes it is not such a bad thing to push the visitors outside of their comfort zone.

Stephanie Pau


Title at MoMA: Associate Educator, Interpretation & Research
Been working at the museum for:
just over 1 year.
A brief bio:
  Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, I studied Anthropology (Archaeology emphasis) at the UC Berkeley, followed by graduate work in the M.A. in Museum Studies program at San Francisco State University. Prior to joining MoMA, I spent nearly a decade at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where I honed my skills in digital media, educational technology, and museum interpretation (alongside a few random stints in the Registration department). I also worked in the Botany department at the California Academy of Sciences and spearheaded special projects at the Hearst Museum of Anthropology.
Passion outside MoMA: Exploring the “wilds” of my new(ish) city; urban foraging and mushroom hunting; cooking and eating anything and everything; hiking; surfing; woodland creatures; finding the perfect soup dumpling.
What I did in Talk to Me:
 Working with Sara Bodinson (Director of Interpretation & Research), I reviewed the exhibition texts with an eye towards accessibility in both content and design. Nearly 3 million visitors stream through our doors each year, comprising an incredible diversity of personal experiences, needs, and knowledge. My job is to collaborate with curators, designers, and editors to develop compelling ways of storytelling through text, media, and physical displays, which may serve the broadest possible audience — from visitors who have little or no art historical knowledge to those who could teach us a thing or two; visitors with special physical needs or who are blind or partially-sighted. Each exhibit, including Talk To Me, is a new and unique opportunity to learn and experiment alongside colleagues from all parts of the museum. Curatorial Team says: Well said, Stephanie! Nothing to add here, just a reference to the post above–Sara Bodinson.

Lynda Zycherman


Title at MoMA: Conservator of Sculpture
Been working at the museum for
: I haves been at MoMA since 1984 (more than 26 years).
A brief bio:
I was trained as an archeological conservator at the Metropolitan Museum and the Freer Gallery of Art. I made a 3,000-year leap from ancient technology to modern and contemporary sculpture in 1984, when I joined the MoMA’s Sculpture Conservation Laboratory.  My research interests are Minimalist sculpture, Fluxus, early 20th century bronze sculpture and Picasso plasters.
Passion outside MoMA
: Outside of MoMA, I am a gym rat, a baker, an Angry Birds addict, and a traveler.
What I did in Talk to Me
: I prepared loan objects for display.
Curatorial Team says:
The role of a conservator in an exhibition like Talk to Me goes well beyond simply preparing loan objects for display, Lynda is modest. It entails giving advice on positioning and mounting, assessing behavior of materials under the light and climate conditions available, and overall protecting the objects from the curators’ irresponsible behavior and unrealistic expectations.

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One Comment

  1. polo la martina
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    I don’t know the answers. However I do agree with Uncle Ben increasing the money supply.