Building Baseman’s House

How exactly did we build Gary Baseman’s house in our Getty Gallery for the exhibition, The Door Is Always Open? It probably would take about fifteen separate blogposts to describe it and I’d still be leaving things out. So, by sharing some behind-the-scenes images, I’ll try to show how we went from this:

IMG_2956…to this:

IMG_2903…to this:

IMG_3688Hopefully, this will help explain why we decided against this:

(The initial design plan called for using pre-made movie set flats such as the one shown here)

The initial design plan called for using pre-made movie set flats such as the one shown here

…and opted for this:

(he design team used period furniture and windows along with home moulding and trim to create their own “sets”.

The design team used period furniture and windows along with home molding and trim to create their own “sets”

There are so many good discussions to have it’s hard to know where to begin. From how best to use the furniture from Gary’s parents:

 (l-r Tom Mullen and Daniel Warren prep the dining room chairs for refinishing).

L-R: Tom Mullen and Daniel Warren prep the dining room chairs for refinishing

…to installing old windows in new walls:

 (l-4 James Obed and Brett Hatcher work on the the living room windows).

L-R: James Obed and Brett Hatcher work on the living room windows

…to what subtle difference in color will best capture the Fairfax District’s look:

(Paint swatches are applied directly to the gallery walls in order to see how they will look in various gallery lighting situations).

Paint swatches are applied directly to the gallery walls in order to see how colors will look in various lighting

There was a wide variety of tasks that aren’t usually part of a museum exhibition (but are becoming the norm for us).

Driving piñatas and installing them:

Hotchachachas loaded comfortably into my trunk.

HotChaChaChas loaded comfortably into my trunk

Waiting for installation in the backyard.

Characters waiting for installation in the backyard

Considering how best to “wallpaper” a room with Gary’s illustrations:

l-r Cathy Aurora and Christina Williams layout just a fraction of Baseman’s commercial illustrations.

L-R: Cathy Aurora and Christina Williams lay out just a fraction of Baseman’s commercial illustrations

…as well as how best to apply real wallpaper:

A test file of Baseman-designed wallpaper goes up in the Den.

A test file of Baseman-designed wallpaper goes up in the “den”

So even though some folks were lying down on the job:

The Pep Boys wait to be installed in the Office.

The Pep Boys wait to be installed in the “office”

…a hard-working crew inspired by the artist:

The title “wall” is installed.

The title “wall” is installed

…made sure the Door was always…
IMG_3745

Posted in Behind the Scenes, Design, Exhibitions, Museum and tagged .

About Tom Schirtz

Tom Schirtz is Head of Exhibition Design and Production at the Skirball. He’s also an artist, graphic designer, photographer, writer, Air Force Veteran, and onetime short order cook. As a printmaker and curator, he has worked with the likes of Richard Serra, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, and Ellsworth Kelly. His favorite memory of that period of his life is sharing zucchini with Alan Ginsberg (long story). Tom is smitten with the Southern California desert and considers a particular (secret) peak in Joshua Tree National Park his favorite place in the known universe.

One thought on “Building Baseman’s House

  1. Pingback: But Did We Cut It? | Skirball Cultural Center Blog

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