by Camille Owens, Collections Technician, Ethnology
Every time a new exhibit is created at the Glenbow Museum, especially a redevelopment of permanent exhibits, a long and arduous process of idea development is undertaken. Designers build a strong sense of the effect they want to achieve in each detail of the gallery and try to pass the essence of that on to the builders through drawings, models and plans. Sometimes the designer's desired effect seems impossible to achieve given the need to ensure the security of the artefacts. But, the fine skills and creativity of the mount builders in the Production department at Glenbow Museum are a force to be reckoned with.
Terry Shuttleworth, one such Production Technician, was recently faced with the challenge of creating a wall mounted saddle support for the upcoming Mavericks exhibit. The mount had to be essentially invisible so that the saddle appeared to be floating in the case, yet the weight of the saddle meant a fairly solid wall bracket would be needed. After a bit of head scratching, a few drawings, some plexi-glass bending and trimming and a few weight tests, Terry adapted an old case bracket from a previous exhibit into an almost invisible saddle mount.
That's one done and on to the next challenge! Look for this saddle in the ranching section of the Mavericks exhibit when it opens.