When you visit the 22nd Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition, you'll see a flawless display of more than 100 costumes. Of course, those mannequins didn't dress themselves! Today's post, written by FIDM Museum Registrar Meghan Hansen, describes all the pre-planning that happens in the weeks before the exhibit opens to the public. It's the first of three posts offering a behind the scenes look at this beloved annual exhibition.
When I tell people I am a Museum Registrar at a fashion museum, I am usually met with kindly nods or blank stares. And the next question, "So you design clothes?" Or perhaps more closely to the truth, "You're a curator?" While I'm fortunate to work at an institution that gives me such opportunities (and I have curated a few small installations in our Perfume Gallery), that's actually not part of my job description. As registrar, I do the "boring" paperwork—loan forms, inventory, insurance, accessioning and de-accessioning collections, and so forth. But there is a whole world of excitement and variety to this job, that isn't immediately apparent from my job description. I thought I'd fill our readers in on what a registrar does, in the context of our current exhibition, the 22nd Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition.
Let's imagine we're on a movie set: who is in charge? The director, you say? The director is certainly the creative boss of a movie production, but the real bosses are the producers. They choose the script, find the funding, make the budget, hire the director and other creative "above-the-line" types, and run the day to day operations of the filming. The producers may never put their hands on a camera or give notes to an actor, but they are responsible for getting the film shot, edited, and distributed.