By Nick Schleicher, Exhibitions Manager for the World Chess Hall of Fame
The Grand Chess Tour: Art of Chess 2017 travelling exhibition was the first overseas traveling exhibition for the World Chess Hall of Fame as well as my first time traveling abroad. With stops in Paris, France and Leuven, Belgium, this trip was filled with many new and exciting learning experiences!
When traveling an exhibition to a non-museum location, as Exhibitions Manager, one has many considerations that need to be addressed outside of what artifacts will be on display. The initial steps to ensuring a smooth and safe installation are as follows: what displays will house the artifacts, what are the display location conditions and accessibility to the building when delivering large crates, what is the usable display space in the exhibition and can it accommodate our displays, what tools will we need to bring in the event of any unexpected problems, can the location store our empty crates during the life of the exhibition without intruding on public space?
I sourced some incredible traveling display cases through Gaylord Archival for this exhibition. These display cases come unassembled with assembly taking roughly 10-15 minutes per case. Once each exhibition concludes, the cases can then be fully disassembled for flat storage and shipping including the UV protective plexiglas bonnets! This saved a lot of shipping space for the 6 additional crates we had containing the artifacts and dedicated tool crate meaning we only needed one truck when transporting the crates from location to location.
While in the exhibition spaces, I was able to create a simple 3D rendering of each space using Sketchup, so that in future years we will have greater ability to plan the layout of each exhibition before leaving. This further reduces the chances of any issues arising during installation.
With these hurdles behind us, we put ourselves in a very comfortable position to take on any installation challenges that come our way while traveling future exhibitions abroad!