Every other month, the Ackland Art Museum invites members of the community to bring works of art to have a curator evaluate the significance of the art as a part of Curator’s Clinic. The next event will be held today.
Staff writer McKenzie Coey spoke to Timothy Riggs, curator of collections at the Ackland, about his favorite artwork seen at the clinic and the inspiration for the event.
DAILY TAR HEEL: How did the Curator’s Clinic come about?
Timothy Riggs: People are always calling art museums and saying, “I have this or that,” or, “My grandmother left me this and can you tell me anything about it?” Over the phone, I can almost never tell them anything about it.
The logical thing is to say, “Bring it to the museum and I’ll look at it and see what I can tell you.”
Sometime in the early ’90s I got the idea to set aside one afternoon a month to give people an appointment on such a day. At this point it is bimonthly, twice every two months. So that’s the basic framework.
DTH: What things do you usually see?
TR: Well, nobody has ever tried to bring a live elephant. By and large what people bring in is what you would expect to be a work of art of some kind.
Occasionally people will bring in things that you would not consider works of art. Somebody will bring in an old Bible, for example. Not an illustrated Bible, just an old book. I happen to be very interested in prints and printmaking and anything that is connected with printing, so I am usually happy to look at something like that.