IT MEANS THE WORLD TO ME

Brazilian Guards for Picasso (A/P) (Alexander Meneghini)

The more reputable museums of the world have eyes watching you, as you look at pieces of art several hundred years old. Among the millions of visitors, are some who will “by any means necessary” conjure up a heist and wait for the highest buyer.

The stocking faces, ropes, crowbars, teargas; all have been used to steal art. So much so, armed guards have been placed in certain museums, for example in Brazil, where a crowbar and hydraulic jack were used to steal a Picasso.

BMA Guard Maurice Jones with Medusa, the door-knocker

At the Baltimore Museum of Art, the guards are not “strapped”, but their eyes are like radar guns, with faces that often say, “don’t you dare!”. “Did you not see that rope?”

What if though, BMA, were to change the psychology of the guard to a curator? Now the role is no longer a “nine to five” but a sleepless obsession: pieces must be acquired, faults repaired, a theme to be developed, and the collection has to be presented for the public’s acceptance or ridicule. Depending on how extensive the collection, some pieces are at times borrowed from other museums, involving financial compensation to the lenders.

The BMA decided to offer their guards an opportunity to be just that, CURATORS, this post pandemic Spring of 2022. To jump from Guards to Curators. I talked to a few: