The Making of an Exhibit "Granite Frontiers"

The Making of an Exhibit "Granite Frontiers"

Granite Frontiers will be shown at the Autry National Center from June 12th - October 4th. A lot of work goes into making an exhibit. A special thanks to the proffesional staff at the Autry. They have been a real pleasure to work with. The following photos reflect some of that work. This exhibit is made possible by grants from the Yosemite Fund and the Autry National Center. Lots of pictures.

Installing the banners with the classic Greg Epperson photograph of "Big Wall Pete".

Andi hard at work.

After the items have arrived, the first step is to lay them out in Collections and make labels for each item so that they can be identified.

 Patrick the chief exhibit designer and Andi the collections specialist. These two people are a lot of fun to work with and among the best in their field. They obviously work well together.Patrick arranging with the required white gloves and Andi looking on to make sure nothing is getting moved without her knowledge.

Patrick hard at work. Patrick has done some climbing but, has never seen a lot of this gear before. The rest of the  Autry crew seems to be enjoying the challenge of this exhibit more and more.

Some of the 1930's goodies that belonged to Jules Eichorn and Bestor Robinson.

Now we're getting serious. Jonathan the Curator is making sure the text corresponds with the items. Patrick is behind him and someone else double checking in the background. The Autry is a first rate organization and they have experts for every thing needed to put together a quality exhibit. I am fortunate to have the chance to work with them. I apologize for forgetting the name of the woman that is in the background.  I will edit when I remember her name. I love her expressions in the next few pictures.There are so many experts in their field at the Autry that it is hard to keep up with everyone. What an experience!A sample of the piton ware exhibited. What workmanship! Every time I look at this stuff it gets easier to know who made it.

Jonathan working with Sarah over his shoulder. Sarah is the unknown but appreciated workhorse in the collections department. She caught and corrected some of my cataloging mistakes. My hat is off to her. Thank you Sarah.

What do you think?

Everything  is laid out tagged, labeled and ready for layout in the cases.

Sarah and Lauren working with the framed photos in the collections area.

Sarah the collections specialist extrordinaire hard at work.


Meanwhile, upstairs the former exhibit has been removed and the new exhibit area is being prepped.  The mandatory rock wall. This formation has hand, fist and finger jams for the public to try out.

 Katherine is painting the newly installed walls.

Everything is good!

Crew Leader Julia is doing what ever needs to be done. She works tirelessly, the first one to work and the last to leave. She is very good at her profession and an employee that any employer would love to have.

Here she is again.

The painting is getting close to being done.

Some of the cabinets are being built in place. All the cabinets have no hardware showing.

Patrick checking out some of the modern gear that was donated by Black Diamond, Petzl and Mammut.

Nice and shiny!

Time to get down to business.

Sequence is crucial.

Things are starting to happen now.

See that little picture, I want a big picture.

 O.K. Patrick! I get the big picture. These guys did a great job.

Do we have time? Working on the Timeline.

Even Royal looks tired.

Taking special care with the Lynn Hill poster.

We need more time. Adjusting the timeline.

I  would like it like this!

Beautiful custom cases made by Antonio are being installed and leveled. They have the right tools to ease back strain.

The writing is on the walls. Lynn is looking on.


A happy place to stick your hands and figure out how it is done.

Black Diamond portaledge donated by Conrad Anker. Yes, you can try it out if you want. Gayle did. [IMG][/IMG]

Looks good to me.

Andi and Anne are overseeing installation of the artifacts.

Kathy is cleaning plexi bonnets.

Andi adjusts Lynn Hill's tiny little shoe so that it is just right.

The mother ship of all tool carts "the Death Star".

 Sarah and Joanne dress up the mannequin in the Bat Tent.

Patrick, Andi and Sarah look on as Joanne puts the finishing touches on the mannequin.

Time to hang the Bat Tent.

Bat Tent is up and now it is time to hang some of Chuck Pratt's gear.

The view looking down from the interactive portaledge.

 The Big Wall area is coming together.

 In fact, the whole exhibit is coming together.

 The Salathe case is nearly done.

 Patrick and Kathy discussing what needs to be done.

Installing the dirt and pine needle colored flooring in the Camp 4 section.

Steve Grossman swaging the shiny gear to the authentic redwood table in the Camp 4 section.

 TM herbert sitting on a ledge above the Timeline.


 28' panorama of Camp 4.

The other Sara, Andi and Lauren working near one of the satelite tool carts called "the Sputnik".

 Lots going on now. We have a deadline.

Gary Colliver on Leaning Tower. This is a large Glen Denny photo that is in the entrance to the exhibit.

Antonio the Master cabinet builder.

 Installing the interactive rock walls.

Positioning John Muir.

Joanne fixing the heel hooking climber.

Sara putting the finishing touches on the entry panel.

Cleaning the plexi bonnets.

Steve tightening down the rock walls.

Working on the lighting.

The gear table in the Camp 4 section.

Zak working on the video.

Installing the gear tethers.

Steve hanging decorations for the opening reception.

The piton tethers are in place.

Sara helping with the lighting.

The Clean Cart and the crew scrambling to get the exhibit ready for the public.

The sport climbers near the entrance.

Putting Centra behind the portaledge to save the wall.

Lauren and Sarah appear to be pleased with the results.

The portaledge.

Fitting the covers on the cases.

It is looking good.

Putting the final touches on one of five video monitors.

Some of the Autry crew at the opening reception. Left to right: Antonio the master of cabinet making, Anne the senior designer, Julia who can focus on a hundred things at once and get it done, Katherine  the sweetheart that was working all over the exhibit, Jim that worked many long days to get it done is with his son and Ken with the hat on.

The beautiful ice sculpture.