Since the beginning of the course in October, the group has worked on the selection of exhibits, on the themes addressed by the exhibition narrative, and has researched the single exhibits to learn more about their material history, their provenance, and their current state of conservation.
Looking at the drawings in the Prints and Drawing Study Room and in the conservation lab
After selecting the works from The Courtauld Gallery and the Drawing Matter Collections, each student researched a different drawing for an extended essay. This photo shows the group discussing about the works in the Courtauld Prints and Drawings Study Room.
Planning the hang with Google SketchUp
We then decided how to approach the exhibition narrative – the story we wanted to tell about Ornament in eighteenth-century drawings – and whether we wanted to arrange the works chronologically or thematically. In the end, it seemed more logical, considering the space constraints and the significant gaps of our selection, to address a different aspect of drawing on each wall. Using cut-outs and virtual models, we tried different solutions until we came up with the final idea for the hang.
Putting up the works and installing the pedestals
The exhibition starts with the preparatory drawing for the frontispiece of the second edition of Laugier’s Essay on architecture (published in 1755). Motifs are grouped in the first section of the exhibition to lure the visitor into attenting closely to ornamental detail. In the architectural drawings that follow, the visitor could see the same motifs arranged variously in the design of the interior or on façades of buildings. From the exterior the visitor moves into the garden, a privileged site of ornament’s inventiveness. The last group of drawings, arranged on the last wall, takes the theme of the frame as ornament’s and the exhibition’s limit.