#MetKids—Behind the Scenes in the Drawings and Prints Galleries

Go behind the scenes at the Met with Sophie, age 10, as she interviews a curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints to learn how exhibitions are installed at the Museum.


Producer and Director: Masha Turchinsky
Camera and Editor: Marina Zarya
Production Assistants: Aliza Sena, Emily Sutter
Post-production: Jessica Glass
Curatorial Advisor: Nadine Orenstein

Music: Löhstana David, "Petit talibé," from Folk & Acoustic

Special thanks to the Department of Drawings and Prints.

Made possible by Bloomberg.

A production of the Digital Media Department
© 2014 The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Sophie: I'm Sophie. I'm going to be interviewing a curator who is also my aunt.

Nadine Orenstein: I'm Nadine Orenstein. I'm in charge of prints in this department. Anytime there's an exhibition that has something to do with prints, I'm usually involved some way.

Sophie: Is it hard organizing?

Nadine Orenstein: We play a lot with what we're going to put out, and so sometimes, something looks really good when we have it in the department. We have it out on our table or in our study room . . . but then you get it out into the gallery and then the things don't look the same. Everything always looks different the minute you switch it around.

Sophie: There are three curators here putting together the gallery today. 

This is fun.

Nadine Orenstein: It's our opportunity to choose works from our whole collection and to choose works on different subjects. We pick out kind of crazy ideas or silly themes.

Sophie: These pictures are all pictures of people turning their backs towards the people who are looking at the pictures.

Nadine Orenstein: This is my favorite one. Even though this guy is turning his back to us—he's a barber—and a barber has a little stand with a wig on it. And it's the stand with the wig that's looking out at the people.

Sophie: What if you put them in size order?  

Nadine Orenstein: We could put them in size order. Let's see, how does that look?

Sophie: Sometimes when they put up the pictures they put it up in chronological order, which means from most recent to longer ago. Sometimes they also put it on like what's in the picture. It really just depends on how nice it looks.

Is it hard measuring if it's perfectly straight?

Nadine Orenstein: We don't do the measuring ourselves. We have people in the department who are really good at measuring, and they have levels that tell us whether things are straight. 

Sophie: We just measured the distance between the frames, because that's how they think they're going to hang it. So this is how they hang pictures in the Met, and how they decide where different pictures go and how they organize them.

Nadine Orenstein: Are you an artist who has some work in the Metropolitan Museum?

Sophie: This is Sophie reporting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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