Let It All Hang! 1982, A Year of Collecting at deCordova explores one year in the life of a museum collection

How and why do some works enter museum collections and other don’t? Why do some works leave? A museum collection is not a static entity, but fluid with regular arrivals and departures. Let It All Hang! 1982, A Year of Collecting at deCordova pulls back the curtain to account for every work acquired by deCordova during a single year. With total transparency, the reasons for accessioning and deaccessioning are laid bare for public review. On view in the James and Audrey Foster Galleries, Let It All Hang! opens to the public on April 7 and runs through September 10, 2017.
In 1982, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum—at the time known as the DeCordova Museum—was at the forefront of collecting. Five female artists—Mags Harries, Olivia Parker, Jane Tuckerman, Sage Sohier, Felice Regan—were represented in these acquisitions, which speaks to deCordova’s commitment to New England-based women in the arts. At a time when many museums were only just starting to consider photography a fine art worthy of being acquired, deCordova added twelve photographic works to the collection. Additionally, a statue of Julian de Cordova’s son Dana as a child, created by renowned sculptor Daniel Chester French will be on display, a special piece outside the realm of the contemporary art usually accessioned by the Museum.
Let It All Hang! also includes information about the artworks that came into the collection in 1982, but have since left. Usually hidden from public view, the reasons and methods behind the deaccessioning of art are shared.
Organized by Martina Tanga, Koch Curatorial Fellow, this exhibition reveals an important aspect of the art museum’s cultural work and allows visitors a look into the mechanics of forming and maintaining an art collection.

Support for this exhibition was generously provided by The Meredyth Hyatt Moses Fund.


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