Episode Three: “Sky’s the Limit”

The Museum moves toward temporary closure in preparation for its reopening installations.
Sean Yetter September 27, 2019

As visitors make their way through MoMA’s spring exhibitions, curators continue work on the Betye Saar show for the fall. The conservators take time to clean works that are rarely taken off the gallery walls, and those that rotate in and out of the Sculpture Garden.

The table of contents below outlines what’s included in this episode. If you’d like to see the names of speakers, titles of artworks, and running dialogue, turn on closed captioning by pressing the “cc” button at the bottom right corner of the video.

Table of Contents

0:07 - Senior paintings conservator Anny Aviram dusts Georges-Pierre Seurat’s The Channel at Gravelines, Evening, Marine avec des ancres (1980) and Henri Rousseau’s The Dream (1910).

2:15 - Conservator Michael Duffy removes restoration layers from the 1940s and ’50s from Rousseau’s Sleeping Gypsy.

3:49 - Director of exhibition design Lana Hum examines and adjusts the scale model of the upcoming Betye Saar exhibition.

4:18 - Curator Esther Adler and chief curator Christophe Cherix walk artist Betye Saar through how they’ve organized the exhibition.

5:45 - Fred, one of MoMA’s volunteers, hands out tickets on one of the last UNIQLO Free Friday Nights before temporary closure.

6:37 - Christophe Cherix consults Betye Saar on colors for the walls of her exhibition.

8:34 - Ellen Moody, associate sculpture conservator, supervises the removal of Tony Smith’s Moondog (1964) from the Sculpture Garden.

The eight-episode video series At the Museum offers a behind-the-scenes, cross-departmental view of MoMA’s staff preparing for the Museum’s reopening in October. Watch other episodes from Season 2 here.