By David Edward Clark
This year’s art rental will be held in Carnegie’s Root Room this Saturday, February 13 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Due to the new location, there will be no chance for students to preview the art.
Since Allen Memorial Art Museum has closed for renovations, art rental has changed location. The event has also moved to a weekend, “because it would cause the least interference with the use of this building [Carnegie],” said Lucille Stiger, Registrar at the Allen. Stiger’s job entails knowing the location and condition of any piece of art at any time and is responsible for running art rental. It has moved up to the first week of school rather than the second because of the availability of the Root Room.
There are two logistical reasons that account for the cancellation of the art preview. Previewing the collection the day before the rental, as is custom, would interfere with the building’s operation. Secondly, Carnegie simply does not have the security necessary for the art for them stay overnight. “I’m sure many more people have keys to this building than keys to the museum,” said Stiger. Instead, the pieces will be brought to Carnegie Saturday morning, leaving no time for a preview.
Students will line up outside of Carnegie and down the sidewalk in front of Fairchild Chapel. Art will be rented on a first come, first served basis. Spots in line must be held in person, and as usual, no lists will be honored by the College. Stiger hopes students decide to sleep in their own beds and get up early, rather than camp out. “The reason I’m hoping not is for the student’s sake,” said Stiger. Any student who wishes to brave the night on the sidewalk, however, will find nothing keeping them from doing so.
The general procedure itself will most likely remain the same. Students will enter the collection, peruse the 420 or so pieces, select one or two and take them home for the semester for five dollars. Specifics will be determined on Saturday. “Since this is the first time Rental is being held somewhere other than the Museum, we really don’t know what to expect,” Stiger wrote in an email. It is possible that 10 or more students could pick out art at once, because the art may be able to be stacked less than the usual four or five pieces due to the larger space. Students might also be allotted more time to peruse because there is no art preview.
The College hopes that holding the rental on the weekend will allow more students to participate, as classes were inevitably missed to get a Picasso or Dali. “Who knows?” said Stiger, “We might even keep it on Saturdays if this works out.”