Student Journal: First thoughts on The Narratives of the Nationality Rooms

 

Student Journal: First thoughts on The Narratives of the Nationality Rooms

Kendall Dunn, 13 November 2017
 
After many weeks of editing floorplans, dictating objects to each group, and writing labels ten times over again, the show is finally open! All of these tasks could not have been completed without the help of every person in this class. We all contributed small things, that resulted in a beautiful and well-thought-out exhibition. This past week, the whole experience really came to life on Thursday night. We hosted our opening reception, showing all of the work that has built up for months now. During these two hours, we were able to observe visitors walking through the gallery and admiring our objects. I found myself looking at the eyes and facial expressions of viewers. Everyone seemed super excited when a visitor approached their object. It’s almost as if we were on view ourselves, through the objects we had chosen. Our intended flow of the exhibition seemed to be accomplished. Visitors walked through the front gallery, transitioned to the hallway, and finished in the back gallery with all of the watercolors. I think people were most surprised when seeing the watercolor towards the end of the exhibit. The show’s opening attendance reached over 150 on Thursday, which we are all so pleased about. After talking with professors and other Pitt staff members, it seemed like there was nothing but positive thoughts regarding the organization and the differences between each of the objects in the show. Yet despite the diversity among the different, people still understood that they all collaborated in telling a story.

Now that we are past the opening of the exhibition, the next step is to speak about the gallery talks that will be given over the next couple of weeks. I believe that the most important aspects of these gallery talks will be explain the whole process of making the show. Because not all of the Rooms in the Cathedral of Learning are represented in the show, we all want to communicate the fact that there weren’t objects and documents available from every Room. We want to make sure we are representing the Nationality Rooms as a whole. Therefore, we should not individualize them, or suggest that one Room is better or more important than another. Our goal is to explain why the Nationality Rooms were designed and constructed in the Cathedral of Learning on the University of Pittsburgh’s campus. I am excited to see even more visitors view this exhibition, and to talk more with individuals regarding all of the decisions that were made to get to where we are now.

Categories: 
  • Undergraduate Work
  • UAG