As my Museum Project, I chose Metropolitan Museum’s exhibition titled “Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible”. A reason why I chose the exhibition was not only I love The Met and I wanted to maximize my membership, but also this exhibition is interesting enough to give me inspirations and creativities for the project.
In this the exhibition, we can see 270 art pieces, and they are all “Unfinished” some sort of level. For example, some of paintings were unfinished because the artist could not keep working. Some of them were unfinished because the client loved to see unfinished piece so that the client could tell how the artist developed the painting. Therefore, the most interesting and important thing was for audience to understand which art pieces are unfinished unintentionally and which ones are not. In the exhibition, The Met marks a special sign (rectangle with diagonal lines; see “Photos”) for visitors to know “unfinished”. Then, this sign became a motif for my promotional pieces.
During developing my promotional pieces, I visited three times to the exhibition:
- First – it was a general visit to make sure I would have enough inspiration to create promotional pieces, and love to work on the exhibition.
- Second visit – I wanted to choose main three art work for my poster, brochure, and invitation.
- Third visit – I attended an exhibition guidance tour (one hour) so that I can have extra information. In fact, this exhibition tour helped me to understand the exhibition more deeper than before.
Form & Function
When I started thinking how to develop promotional pieces, I thought that each promotional piece should have intended audience:
- The poster: for general audience on public display. Function is to get attention; easy to catch eye & easy to read. Information: exhibition title, date, and museum location (The Met Breuer). Size: 24 inch square
- The brochure: for visitors of the exhibition in the museum. Detailed Information used in the exhibition. Information: introduction, daily/extra event information, publication, accessibility, audio guide. Size: 8 x 5.25 inch
- The invitation: for museum members to their home. It can tell The Met treats members special so that members are willing to continue to renew their membership. Information: introduction plus membership information, and introduction of The Met Breuer, which is a new The Met’s branch used to be Whitney Museum. Size: 5.25 inch square
For the brochure especially, I wanted to follow The Met’s standard size (a half letter size) since I was imagining to put the brochure in their shelfs. Also, I was thinking how visitors hold the brochure during exploring the exhibition, how members feel when they receive the invitation, and how people see the poster on the street.
Three Main Art Images & Theme Pantone Colors
Main Art Images: I chose following main three Images for the poster/the brochure/the invitation:
- Madame X (Poster) – Marble sculpture by Auguste Rodin in 1907
- Sun Setting Over a Lake (Brochure) – Oil painting by William Turner in 1840
- Untitled (Invitation) – Oil painting by Luc Tuymans in 2002
Pantone Colors: I chose two theme Pantone color from the main art images.
- Light blue from the Tuymans’ painting (656U – C10/M3/Y1/K2)
- Light orange from the Turner’s painting (2015U – C0/M13/Y30/K0).
Each individual art piece in the exhibition has really interesting story behind. I couldn’t choose one main art piece, so I chose the three art pieces that at least I knew their behind stories.
In deed, a reason why “Madam X” was identified as unfinished is it was unfinished by the client, but unfinished by the artist. The client (Madam X) wanted to change her nose but the artist (Rodin) refused. About the Turner’s art work, I can tell his work is done or not even I’m not an art expert because he always always put his signature when he thought it’s done. In other words, if his work doesn’t have his signature, Turner still wanted to make some changes. For the Tuymans’ still life oil painting, it is surpassingly and unexpectedly about 911 incident. Also the center of the painting doesn’t have any oil paint (bare canvas), which makes it “unfinished”.
I checked some information out side the exhibition as well. For example, I wanted to know a style guide of The Met, but I couldn’t find it on-line, so instead I found a style guild of the British Museum. According to the style guide, the British Museum uses nine-grid system for their materials. They use Baskerville for the logo, and Akzidenz Grotesk for main text. Addition to that, I checked Disability Access Symbols by Graphic Artist Guild because I wanted to add some universal design concepts – everyone can enjoy art no matter what challenges people have.
I was imagining a situation if the exhibit could have promotional pieces I designed while was developing concerts and/or making mock ups that didi’t match both side prints. I had many ideas I wanted to add to my promotional pieces but I couldn’t. However, I found that I really enjoyed creating those promotional pieces in the end.
Unfinished (The Met Official Site) – Unfinished