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Old 03-06-2007, 04:14 AM
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Merlion Merlion is offline
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Display Heights of Figurative Sculptures

I find this an important issue when planning a show involving figurative sculptures. This is what I am tackling now, specifying the display heights. My sculptures are all smaller than life size.

For some of my exhibits, I find it important the viewers do not look down on them, so I specify them to be eye-level. One of them I would like it to be slightly higher than eye-level, to increase the sense of awe.

Finally I have to see what sizes and heights of display stands and tables the organizer have available. There will be a compromise. If I find it important, I have to arrange to have the stands made, or adjusted.

Anybody else have their thoughts on this, or experience?
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Old 03-06-2007, 07:33 AM
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evaldart evaldart is offline
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Re: Display Heights of Figurative Sculptures

Certainly Merlion, for quality exhibition "one base fits all" does not work. Especially with heads. What I have done though, when a series (3 to six pieces) does require the same hieght pedistal, is build one very long one to accomodate them all, depending on the size of course but set them 18 to 24 in apart. Entire figures like to have their own situation, individually presented.
There are probably industry stanadards that work but only you know whats best for yopur pieces. Are you planning open or closes bases? white or other?
And, are they heavey? need to be fastened? Heavy stone heads on high pedistals, which is usually what you want, may need to be fixed. The stone guys here will know all about that.
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Old 03-06-2007, 10:49 AM
PTsideshow PTsideshow is offline
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Re: Display Heights of Figurative Sculptures

I also agree that the item being displayed needs to be placed to its best advantage. Whether it be in a store window, gallery floor,museum or you own home. The problem with art objects in a gallery setting, they tend to have them on hard surface pedestals. so it makes it hard to make small adjustments in height. Where you have any number of pieces of wood, brick, block or in Hollyweird what they call apple boxes.
well made solid or 5 side wooden boxes of assorted sizes that can bestacked or arranged to form a solid substructure. Which could be covered over with a drape or cloth covering.
An Idea I had years ago was to make up some assorted sized plastic laminate covered blocks and boxes in white and black to use as adjustable bases for display. Now with all of the photo realistic plastic laminates they are selling you can taylor the pattern/color of the bases to the sculptural or jewelry pieces being shown.
But no matter what or how you do it. It is always good to get the piece you have created set up in the way you have envisioned it.
Another idea for use if you are using drapes is a wood or metal base,round, triangle or square with three of the 1/2" pipe thread floor flanges mounted to the bottom. Then you can cut the pipe and thread it in lengths form 3" to 4 or 5 feet long in 3"increments to a foot and then in one foot increments. As long as you have a number of sets of 3 of the same length pipes you can adjust the combinations of pipes with unions between the sections. You can save money making the pipe sections up by buying the pipe in 20 foot sections and renting a pipe threading and cutting tool for an afternoon or weekend. If you don't already own one from making armatures.
Of course heavier items would need large diameter pipe.
been there done that !
I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
All the usual
and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only
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Old 03-06-2007, 01:59 PM
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benbrook benbrook is offline
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Re: Display Heights of Figurative Sculptures

I've been disappointed more than once by bad placement of my sculpture in shows-- I'm to the point now where I always (politely) indicate the height I would like them displayed. Excellent idea on the modular display tables PTSideshow.
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Old 03-06-2007, 04:17 PM
cmustard cmustard is offline
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Re: Display Heights of Figurative Sculptures


I always make may bases an integral part of the piece. Even if it's just a plain box base it stays with the the piece, so it's always shown at the hieght that I think works best. I also mark the base so that who ever does the installation knows exactly where to place the piece.
When you get into the gallery setup all you have are different masses to be arranged in space.
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Old 03-06-2007, 07:58 PM
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fritchie fritchie is offline
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Re: Display Heights of Figurative Sculptures

For my first gallery show many years ago, the gallery was new and didn't have much choice in pedestals, so I made several of my own, in different sizes like some suggestions here. They were plywood, fairly neatly made and painted light cream, but I'm not an expert carpenter and didn't have the best equipment, so they could have been better. I've used some in other shows, and have painted a couple dark gray.

In the gallery situation, especially in a short-term, community show, the pedestals get lost, it seems to me, and people focus on the art. Sometimes I've used mine, and sometimes the gallery has had acceptable material.

Fortunately, my gallery exhibits all had been professionally shown. Galleries, I find, typically have many sizes and heights of pedestals.
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:20 AM
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Tired Iron Tired Iron is offline
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Re: Display Heights of Figurative Sculptures

Merlion and everyone else for that matter, check out these pedestals.

Not an advert here, just a heads up...

Prety neet , pretty pricey too. But nice, very nice.
Semper ubi, sub ubi!
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