Any museum would be incredibly lucky to have an installation crew as talented as ours. When they transform the layout of a gallery from exhibition to exhibition we all feel like we’re on an HGTV reality show.
On that talented team is preparator and artist Jason Teraoka. When asked to name his favorite work of art in the museum’s collection, Jason—whose 1965 Mercury Comet Villager is the envy of the museum staff—chose the Greco-Roman period ‘Falcon Mummy Case.’ Here’s what he said about his staff pick:
I have a long list of favorite pieces, but I chose this one because of a peculiar interaction I had with it. As a preparator (art handler) at the museum, I come into physical contact, at one point or another, with almost every art piece and artifact on display or in our collection. I get to spend quality time with a great number of them.
One of my responsibilities is to fabricate the brass display mounts that secure the objects while on exhibit. For this particular piece, because of its irregular shape and antiquity, the mount I made for it was rather involved and took a few days to get just right. I had been alone with and handling this piece for three days straight.
The morning after I finished the mount, my wife woke up and told me about a dream she had. She described us being in Egypt in another time past and we were wandering around a museum full of Egyptian antiquities and mummies. I never discussed what I was working on with her and was shocked at what she told me. I felt I brought “something” home with me. Superstitious or not, that was weird! It taught me a lesson in respecting the objects I work with and being aware of their intended purposes.