Art Rental for Oberlin College Students at the Allen Memorial Art Museum

There are over four hundred pieces in the
collection. It was started in 1940 by Ellen Johnson who
had a very long and wonderful career here. Many of the pieces are contemporary art works
and many of them came from artists that she knew. The day before the art rental three or four
of us start bringing the pieces out. We set them out all around the four hallways
of the Rippin Gallery. Because there are four hundred and some pieces
we end up stacking them usually three deep and so students have to look through and find
things behind or in the middle. It’s been fun to see how excited the students
get because they’ve camped out overnight to get in line — it’s a first come first serve
basis. The first twenty or thirty who come through
that door they know exactly what they want so there’s a bit of a frenzy to find it and
when they do find it and they come through to check out where we wrap everything up they’re
so happy and they keep thanking us that they were able to get the Matisse or Picasso or
whatever it was they were trying to find. I’ve learned a bit from the whole experience
and a bit more about art and I think the students learn a tremendous amount because they get
to keep these pieces for a semester and their friends see them and they see other friends
art work on the wall. I love working with the art. As assistant I don’t have to be worried so
much about budgets and paperwork but I actually get to take care of the art and try to preserve
it so that it’s still around a hundred years from now and people are able to enjoy it.

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