Rochester Institute of Technology has a small art museum called The Bevier Gallery. It is in the James E. Booth Hall, and features compositions by both aspiring students & experienced faculty members. The last time I visited the gallery, I took a quick picture of one of the first paintings on display. I can no longer remember the name of it, but it was hanging right next to the entrance. It was also facing the entrance to the James E. Booth Hall, right in view of anyone just entering the building. This made it one of the first pieces of artwork that patrons would see when entering gallery.
While I don’t remember too many of the other paintings & sculptures they had on display, this one stood out to me. It was the very first piece I saw when I was entering the art gallery, and was at the back of my mind throughout the entire time I was browsing the collection. What really intrigues me, is that that particular piece was placed in that area of the gallery. This was one of the first things that most people coming to the gallery would see, & the curator chose to have this specific painting as that thing. It could have been any other work of art that could be hung from a wall, but this was what they went with.
The way the artwork in the Bevier Gallery is arranged intrigues me. A first impression can be a powerful thing, so people tend to show good examples of their works in order to make others think highly of them. Was this why the painting was chosen to be so close to the front? It could just as well have been simply a matter of having a vacant spot for the artwork, but that doesn’t mean that the position it’s in doesn’t have value. The next time you visit a new museum, think about how the first exhibits on display make you feel, and what kind of impression they give of the museum as a whole.