Behind the Scenes: Photography

By Keith Freund, Collections Information Coordinator

Most of the photography we do to document our collection at the Akron Art Museum is accomplished in a studio setting with the highest-quality equipment. We hire a photographer and set up a professional studio in our storage areas and galleries to capture our prints, paintings, and sculptures looking their best so that we can share them online, or use them for print material. But we’ve also found it helpful to document the objects as they move, are shown in exhibitions, or are conserved. These photos have not only proven helpful for our preparators, curatorial staff and scholars, but we’ve also recently found that the public enjoys seeing their favorite pieces in a different context (Alexander Lieberman’s Contact III for example).

Installation of ‘Seer (Alice I)’ by Kiki Smith at the Akron Art Museum

The Akron Art Museum recently acquired Seer (Alice I), a fantastic new sculpture by Kiki Smith, and completely redesigned one of our galleries to showcase this work. We documented the installation of the piece, especially since it is quite large and heavy and the odd proportions required special consideration. This way, our preparators can reference these photos for future moves and our Collections Manager can consider them for preservation issues.

More photos and information about Kiki Smith’s sculpture is available on our Knight Foundation-funded Online Collection at