BEHIND THE SCENES WITH AN ART INSTALLER

Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins:

I’m often aware of the many invisible hands and hearts behind any given Mass: the people who launder and iron the altar cloths, who replace the flowers and candles, who polish the vessels.

With theaters and museums opening, I thought of my friend Tom Duffy. As a Senior Art Preparator at LACMA, he’s one heart and pair of hands behind the exhibits we museum-goers will soon, once again, be allowed to drink in.

Tom has been making his way in the art world since 1996. He started in LA, first at the Skirball, then MOCA, moved on to the Toledo Museum of Art and the Everson Museum in Syracuse. Then he spent “a very informative, enjoyable three years of my journey” at at LA Packing, and was then at the Broad, the Getty, and since 2018, LACMA.

Depending on the institution, he might be called a preparator or an installer or a carpenter or a light designer. At LACMA, he and others similarly situated are responsible for just one aspect of the installation.

READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.

TOM AT THE BROAD
credit: Jennifer Gutowski

2 Replies to “BEHIND THE SCENES WITH AN ART INSTALLER”

  1. Betsy Acciani says: Reply

    I love this look at what happens before before we get to the museum. And the thrill for the people who are part of the setting up of exhibits. I didn’t know any of this background, and now I’ll appreciate it for the rest of my life.Thanks, Heather.

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      I feel the same way, Betsy–if I thought about what goes on behind the setting-up-a-museum-exhibit-scene at all, I would have imagined two or three people tops…I love the way Tom defers to, celebrates, and honors the members of his teams–he’s very special.

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