George Grey Barnard Exhibit Part I

Hello friends!

I’m back at it again with another art exhibit!

The George Grey Barnard Exhibit has been up at the museum since the early 90s and while its stayed relatively the same, this room is my favorite place in the whole museum. Many of the works convey grief and loss, but the stark white of the space makes them seem incredibly stoic. Early in morning when the light from the sun is just hitting the sculptures, its a quiet meditative space, perfect for reflecting.

For many years, the bulk of information on the artist has been out of the line of sight. While  the sculptures tower over the viewer, what little exhibit content we have can be found only on the picture frame stands scattered around the room on various bases. We recently received a grant to fund our new signage.

Photo Jul 05, 9 47 14 AM

First things first: Where can we put the interpretive boards?

The Gallery is full almost all year around with paintings from various community art shows. This poses a unique problem. Where can we hang the panels if the wall space is prime real estate for temporary exhibits? We need a way to distinguish the temporary exhibits while still paying homage to the work of Barnard.  I decided to use one of the shortest walls to display the photos and interpretive boards for the gallery. This will be the permanent space explaining the life of the artist and why we have so many of his sculptures.

Photo Jun 23, 3 21 00 PM

I measured the area, drew it out, and began to toss around design ideas.There is just SO MUCH information about Barnard. Every time I delve into our files I find more incredible tid bits about this innovative artist.  I thought I might be able to squeeze the major points into approximately five boards to cover all the information, two photos for the boards, and two signs- one for each entry in the exhibit. The boards are:

  • George Grey Barnard-title board
  • A Traveling Man– his life and schooling
  • The Artist’s Muse– Barnard’s love for Lincoln
  • Large-Scale Works– his two giant projects
  • The Artist as Patron– The Cloister Museum

Photo Jul 07, 3 24 51 PMPhoto Jun 23, 3 11 45 PM

For the design I chose a simply black and white look. As I discussed, I enjoy the understated and subtle design of the gallery. The white on white punctuated by black fonts and labels is a simple and classic look. I wanted not only a simple and classic feel,but also a timeless look for these panels. The best inspiration for this look that I couldn’t get out of my mind was Chanel No. 5.


These are the boards I came up with. It was VERY hard to scale down the info to a readable amount. I know many of them have a lot of content, but I’m hoping they multitude of photos I chose will balance out my wordy prose.

Side note: I have learned that even the smallest of things in Photoshop take quite a lot longer than you think they will (at least for a novice, like me) This simple design took awhile to nail down but I’m very happy with the way it came out.

I am currently working on the labels and I will be doing another post when this exhibit is complete.

Thanks for reading!



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