Quarantine Curiosities:
A Museum Porter Explores the Arts at Hamilton
Dick Morgan, Museum Porter
Photo Credit

Janelle Rodriguez

Quarantine Curiosities

Embraced by a warm welcome, I joined the Wellin team in October of 2019 as their new Museum Porter. As the Museum Porter I am responsible for the overall cleanliness, appearance, safety, and light maintenance of the museum as well as other specialized projects such as cleaning in and around art objects on view. Coming from a military background with multi-faceted experience in trades and no formal education in the arts, I quickly found myself to be out of my wheelhouse. The team integrated me to all the inner workings of the museum, eager to share their knowledge and encourage my participation on current projects. Now, as the Covid-19 pandemic forces us to work from home, I wanted to take the time to learn more about Wellin and museums in general. 

By suggestion, I started out reading Innovative Approaches, Honored Traditions by Katherine Alcauskas, written to highlight the Wellin’s permanent collection and celebrate the museum's five year anniversary. I found the reading to be very informative thus presenting further curiosities. Taking what I had read and recalling the historical timeline, A Chronological Chart of Ancient, Modern and Biblical History by Sebastian C. Adams, on display in our spring exhibition SUM Artists: Visual Diagrams and Systems-Based Explorations, I brought the idea of creating an art timeline to the team. Not only did they encourage my participation in such a project, they insisted I head it up.

Therefore, I sought out additional information from multiple facets and dove enthusiastically into the next suggested reading. Turning to my colleagues for direction on continued research materials, On The Hill 1812-2012 by Maurice Isserman, was suggested. It was clear to me by now, there is no shortage of information or events to compile a very lucrative historical timeline. 

As my research continues and the development of the project starts to take light, I can’t help but wonder, “How far can this go? Are two timelines a possibility? Can we turn it into a digital timeline? Is there a way to use it as a training tool? Perhaps even incorporate it into a show?” Had the Wellin team not accepted and encouraged my involvement and contributions none of this would have been conceivable.

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