Reconsidered: Works from the Collection

Computer drawings developed in the planning of Reconsidered: Works from the Collection.

On April 6, the Akron Art Museum launched a new exhibition titled Reconsidered: Works from the Collection. The show allows the museum to display works from the permanent collection that have not recently been on view and to create an interactive experience for visitors. Reconsidered was conceived in response to disruptions in shipping and loans from other institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic. While unexpected, these circumstances have given the museum an opportunity to look inward, dive into its permanent collection, and present great works of art that some visitors may never have seen. The exhibition features two rotations of artwork: starting dates April 6 and June 17. With this show, the museum hopes to explore new ways of educating the public and to offer a behind-the-scenes look into the process of documenting collection items.

In the gallery, Reconsidered will feature only basic labels for the works in the show, listing artists, titles, and dates. The narrative portion of each label will be online, with QR codes directing visitors to a webpage full of additional information. While there, visitors will be able to ask new questions, and curators will regularly update the page with the answers. Through this interactive element, museum staff will learn more about what visitors want to know, while sharing the information that the public finds most interesting. Printed copies of the webpage will be available in the gallery, and handwritten questions will also be welcome.

The last element of Reconsidered is photography. Many of the works featured in the show have digital images in the museum’s collection database that need to be updated and color corrected with newer technology. Visitors will be able to check out the process of taking updated photographs. As works are showcased on view, a professional art photographer will be in the galleries rephotographing them. This process will take place during open hours for the public to watch in a safe and physically-distanced fashion.

Reconsidered: Works from the Collection will be on view in the museum’s Karl and Bertl Arnstein Gallery until August 22.