The FIDM Museum blog is excited to introduce a new column called "Confessions of a Curator." In this feature, our Curators Kevin Jones and Christina Johnson will speak directly to our readers about their current research projects, the challenges and joys of curating, and the process of building a robust fashion collection. Go behind-the-scenes with the Curators as the Museum prepares for upcoming exhibitions, and learn about their personal career paths. We also want to hear from you - if you have questions for our curatorial team or suggestions for blog topics, feel free to get in touch with us by commenting on our posts or sending an email.
We hope you enjoy this first installment of "Confessions of a Curator" by Christina Johnson!
I’ve been thinking a lot these days about the time I spend at the Museum--what I enjoy doing and what I could do without! Probably because it’s my thirteen-year work anniversary this month, and my time here has gone by quicker than I could have ever imagined. One of the activities I enjoy the most here is curating exhibitions. Right now, I’m working on ManMode: Dressing the Male Ego for our History Gallery. It will include nineteen mannequins and invisible mounts, plus four cases of objects spanning three centuries.
Left: Snakeskin and metallic leather oxfords, Lincoln's New York, 2007, Gift of Lincoln's New York, 2007.904.1AB
Right: Metallic leather and silk brocade boots, possibly Harry William Morris, England, 1890s, 2012.5.5AB
I’ve found curating an exhibition often boils down to three basic activities: visualizing, organizing, and interpreting—all of which are fun for me.
Curator Kevin Jones and I collaborate on most exhibitions, so for this one, we started with the really basic idea that we wanted to showcase some of our best menswear (knowing LAMCA’s Reigning Men was opening this year certainly influenced that decision!). First, we brainstorm about what objects could be included, and then visualize what looks good together.