In the Air
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In the Air – Art+Auction's Gossip Column

Tumblr Blog Collects Galleries and Museums’ Candid Installation-in-Progress Photos

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How many art handlers does it take to move a Pollock mural? How about to install a monumental Oldenburg sculpture? How many Gagosian interns do you need to keep a Hirst spot painting level? How many men does it take to carry one of Robert Therrien’s enormous folding chairs? These questions and many more are answered on the fascinating Tumblr “wrapit-tapeit-walkit-placeit,” which, as its title intimates, documents the many tasks with which art handlers are faced.

The site, which crowd-sources the vast majority of its mostly-wonderful behind-the-scenes photos from museums and galleries’ various social media outlets, while others are provided directly by art handlers and visitors or bystanders who happen upon mid-installation exhibits.

Highlights include Leonardo’s tightly wrapped “Mona Lisa” being sent back to the Louvre after World War II; two MoMA staffers suspended over the museum’s atrium preparing the Cindy Sherman installations on its sixth floor; and a team of art handlers at the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg dwarfed by a gigantic Gottfried Helnwein photo portrait. ARTINFO headquarters even make a fleeting, dimly lit appearance in one of the photos…

[Art.sy/Twitter]

— Benjamin Sutton

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