Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Installing "A Blessing to One Another" Part II or Hey! You! Put on Your Gloves!

The Coolest Artifacts!: A Collections Staff Conversation

Jobi: Last Monday we started to install the artifacts in A Blessing to One Another. Usually when it comes to handling artifacts (or teaching interns how to do so), I pretend that I am holding the Queen of England’s Crown in front of her. I put on white cotton gloves, make sure the path is clear, support the object from below and the side, walk slowly, and transfer it carefully to the case.

The first artifact we installed in this exhibition is kind of like the crown for this exhibition: the cane that Pope John Paul II used when he went to Israel in 2000.

It looks plain, but you know who used it. And you can definitely tell that it was used – it has scuff marks! Which I just think is so cool. I don’t know why! (Excited giggles everywhere.)

Jobi: I felt like I was really presenting an important piece of history when I installed it.

Jennifer: Handling Pope John Paul II’s zucchetto was kind of the highlight of my week! I got to condition report – and install-- the white skullcap (beanie) that he wore. I also condition reported the biretta – the fancy red hat he wore as Cardinal.

Jobi: But your father doesn’t think it counts as touching it because you were wearing gloves!

Jennifer: It still counts! Much cooler than having a picture in The Catholic Review.

Former intern Brittney probably didn't know what she was stirring up!

Jobi: I don’t know. I was pretty excited when I got the facebook message from Brittney Baltimore (BHU intern, 2010): "Got my Catholic Review in the mail today and opened right to your center fold!" Karen and I are putting the case over the Papal Coat of Arms. That was another really cool artifact to handle.

Jennifer: Yes, it is cool, but I like working with clothes. It’s like the cane, too. Its something that is used and touched all the time. Alone that’s cool, but when you know the person, and they are kind of important in your life, and it was Pope John Paul II who wore it or used it has a meaning that sticks with you.

Make sure to come and see "A Blessing to One Another,"
which opens to the public TOMORROW,
with a free public opening at 5pm,
here at the Jewish Museum of Maryland!

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