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Did You Know?

A blog from Membership Manager Rebecca Rice:

Behind_Round2

I’ve been working at MASS MoCA for a year, and I’m still fascinated by the museum and the long industrial history of our campus.  For example, did you know that Arnold Print Works, which operated on our campus from the 1860s until 1942, produced cloth for Union Army soldiers’ uniforms during the Civil War?

Or that we’re constantly defying physics and gravity with our art?  In 2004-2005 we suspended nine cars from the roof of our Building 5 gallery for artist Cai Guo Qiang’s exhibition Inopportune.  Currently, you can see Anselm Kiefer’s 42 ton sculpture Etroits sont les vaisseaux on our 2nd floor.  We had to reinforce the floors (already built incredibly strong to support the industrial machinery it used to house) just to keep it from crashing down into the gallery below it.

There’s also lots of unrenovated buildings that are a dream for a history geek and pack rats like me (read Gene’s blog entry to hear more about these spaces and see some great photos of old Sprague parts and peeling paint).

One of the best resources for learning about this stuff is the great staff at the museum, some of whom have been working here since before the museum opened 10 years ago.  I love hearing about the crazy antics of artists and the impossible things we’ve made possible over the years.

That’s why I’m so excited for Behind-the-Scenes at MASS MoCA this Saturday, June 20th.  Now members will have a chance to discover all kinds of new things about the museum. And whether you’ve been a member since we opened in 1999 or just joined yesterday, you’re sure to have fun learning something new.

Tons of great people are giving the inside scoop on their department, including Joe Thompson (our director) talking about founding the museum; Richard Criddle (our fabrications and installations guru) telling stories about our impossibly huge art and showing us the workshop where he creates it; Sue Killam (head of performing arts) taking us backstage at the Hunter Center to walk the halls once roamed by Philip Glass, Joan Baez, and Yo La Tengo; and Cortney Tunis (education coordinator and expert tour guide) leading a kids tour of the LeWitt galleries and an architectural tour of our campus and buildings not open to the public. Plus, Lickety Split will be doing a Herrell’s ice cream tasting!

The full schedule is available here. All members are invited to as many of these activities as they want for free. Space is limited, so reserve your spot by calling our Membership Department at 413-664-4481 x8112 or emailing rrice@massmoca.org. Not a member but want to participate? Join online or at our Box Office on Saturday.

Posted June 17, 2009 by Brittany Bishop
Filed under Architecture, BLOG, Staff
1 Comment »

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One Comment on “Did You Know?”

  1. Alec Says:

    Great funfacts Rebecca! The staff is amazingly friendly and knowlegeable here, making it all the more easy for me to learn about the history here.

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