The Antiques Roadshow at Carnegie Museum of Art
UPDATE: Watch the segment filmed in the Bruce Galleries!
Visitors to the museum on Saturday, August 13, might have been disappointed to see that the Ailsa Mellon Bruce Galleries of decorative arts and design were temporarily closed. But the cause of the shutdown is reason to celebrate: the Antiques Roadshow filmed a spot in the gallery for a forthcoming episode. So what exactly does a PBS film session at a museum entail? It was my pleasure to find out as the curatorial liaison for the day. The Roadshow team arrived Saturday at 8 a.m. with their talent—host Mark L. Walberg and art glass appraiser Arlie Sulka, of Lillian Nassau LLC in New York—and an amiable and professional crew, including a producer and specialists in lighting and sound. The museum provided a security guard and two staff members to coordinate with the film crew in the gallery. Moving large equipment around works of art is always a delicate task!
Several months in advance, Roadshow producers and Carnegie Museum of Art agreed that Walberg and Sulka would discuss a group of rare Art Deco glass vessels by the French artist Maurice Marinot. The museum’s workshop prepared two painted plinths, which served as platforms for the artworks. Wahlberg and Sulka stood behind one with the three featured objects, while the other held five additional Marinot vessels for “B-roll” (extra footage that the producer can use to fill in the interstices of the film).
After some debate, we chose to shoot in the 19th-century gallery with glimmering Tiffany windows in the background. Some quick thinking turned up a sturdy box for the petite Sulka to stand on, and it was time for action. Sulka and Walberg followed a prepared script about the artist’s life and work, but lively ad-libbing made for a very entertaining Saturday morning.
All this work yields a two- to three-minute spot that will air in 2012 as part of three Pittsburgh Roadshow episodes, also filmed on Saturday, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center downtown.