1/11
West wall overview from lower level gallery entry.
2/11
Text cloud of narrative excerpts through which works are initially viewed from the elevated gallery entry.
3/11
The exhibition title wall (left) lists contributors of texts.
4/11
Visitors examine Richard Misrach's "Dead Animals #294" and "Dead Animals #454", with text by Elaine Spatz-Rabinowitz.
5/11
Overview of exhibition looking south toward Annette Lemieux's "Silencing Sound".
6/11
Detail of west wall composition of photographs, accompanying text panels, and baseboard timeline.
7/11
Detail of Wendy Snyder MacNeil's "The Art Department Tenured Faculty of Wellesley College: James O’Gorman, Lilian Armstrong, Peter Fergusson, Richard Wallace, Eugenia Janis, James Rayen, Anne Clapp, Miranda Marvin". RLA suspended the frameless works off the wall with cantilevered machine clamps.
8/11
The exhibition takes its title from this passage from Lee Friedlander. RLA situated the text facing the museum's entry courtyard.
9/11
The exhibition content arranged according to acquisition date.
10/11
The content and accompanying texts organized in the gallery context by acquisition date.
11/11
A 52' long reference bench was designed for the gallery to guide perimeter circulation, reinforce the curatorial organization, and to encourage longer contemplation of the works.

A GENEROUS MEDIUM

Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA

Mined from the Davis Museum's extensive photographic holdings, A Generous Medium: Photography at Wellesley 1972-2012 features works selected for written interpretation by directors, curators, faculty, alumnae, and patrons who have shaped the collection over the last forty years. The selections are organized unconventionally, by date of acquisition, to allow for revealing juxtapositions, surprising connections, and startling revelations.

To multiply the effects of serendipitous adjacencies and to maximize the legibility of the collection as a whole, R+L composed the works salon-style in a single, continuous loop around the gallery's perimeter. R+L set the exhibition/timeline start coincident with a sectional shift in the gallery, such that the smaller early acquired works, beginning with Eugène Atget's L’Éclipse, are arrayed in the lower, more intimate east gallery and later, larger acquisitions emerge into the higher space, starting with Annette Lemieux's Silencing Sound and ending with Cindy Sherman's Untitled (Bus Riders). The exhibition curator frames the works with the narrative of their acquisition and RLA responded to this conceit by radically enlarging excerpts from the texts and framing them as part of the overall composition of works.

R+L foregrounds the acquisition narrative through an overhead text cloud of text excerpts through which the works are first viewed at the gallery's elevated entry. A 52' long reference bench was designed for the gallery to guide perimeter circulation, reinforce the curatorial organization, and to encourage longer contemplation of the works.

Simon Ng, Jordan Prosser, design team

Graphic Design/Exhibition: R+L.
Graphic Design/Catalog: Base Design, New York.
Organized for the Davis by Lucy Flint, with Lisa Fischman.