Thursday 24 September 2015

Every nook and cranny

As I was planning for my trip around museums in the States, I found myself doing a lot of schedule-shimmying, trying to account for museums closed days (which usually fall on Mondays, Tuesdays and/or Wednesdays). Given I went for an ambitious 7 cities in 24 days (I know, woe is me, right?) the scheduling got quite demanding at times, and there are places I had to drop (Boston and Chicago in particular) because I couldn't get to the all the cities when the museums I want to see are open.

As I've travelled around, I've asked people why their museums are closed. Answers range from habit, to cost (for gallery attendants, though people who gave this answer were often of the quiet opinion that this was just an excuse) to the usefulness of having a day or two where it was just staff in the museum.

While I've been travelling, this post appeared on the Guggenheim's blog, about the cleaning that goes into keeping the building looking immaculate. The Guggenheim is a relatively human-scaled museum for New York (once again, I hit it when the iconic spiral was closed for installation) and all those visitors apparently take a real toll.
"It requires a good dose of effort from a team of two to four twice a week,” Boucourt says. After the weekend crowds have departed, the galleries are repainted before the museum opens again on Monday mornings. Thursdays, when the museum is closed to visitors, the paint team does a more thorough pass."
They can't possibly mean that the *whole* galleries are repainted, but there's clearly a lot of work being done on the areas that visitors brush against, bump into and sit on.

Meanwhile, just when you think that everyone angle on the Broad has been covered and there couldn't possibly be another story: an interview with Hector Garcia, owner of the window-washing company contracted to keep the museum invisibly clean.