Art placed side-by-side invites “close looking,” comparison, and conversation that lends itself to innovative and rewarding docent-led tours. To engage the visitor, the exhibition features hands on activities and interactive features such as a mirror that allows a visitor to complete the pair with their own reflection. There is a painting reproduction with moveable accessories, or, the visitor can dress up to create their own pendant.
Docents at UMFA have found that working with an exhibition of pendants creates opportunities for comparing not only the paired works with each other but with other pieces as well. Husband and wife pendants, for example, allow the docent to help visitors consider differences in time, place, and status revealed by clothing styles and furniture. Comparing and contrasting two works of art that are seemingly unrelated is another way that docents can work with pendants or, indeed, any two works of art. Questions like, “how is this landscape similar to or different from the portrait we just looked at?” can be challenging and engaging to visitors of all ages.
Leslie Anderson, UMFA’s curator of European, American and regional art is the Power Couples curator. The new exhibition will be on display through December 8, 2019. Curious? Come visit the Utah Museum of Fine Arts!