PSD Museum Show
PSD Museum Show
In 2007, the Cape Cod Museum of Art asked Polhemus Savery DaSilva Architects Builders if they could mount an exhibit of the firm’s work. They wanted the exhibit to describe not only examples of finished work, but also of the design process that lead to it. PSD designed the exhibition in conjunction with Museum Curator Michael Giaquinto. It was installed in the Museum’s best gallery—a top-lit space that PSD designed and built as a part of the extensive renovations and additions done about a decade prior. Later in 2009, an abbreviated selection from the exhibit was mounted at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House in Chatham.
The objects in the show included rough conceptual sketches, hand-drafted schematic design drawings, renderings, models, an essay describing our design process, mock-ups of actual building components, a video slideshow, finished building photography, and an actual weathervane and a custom table from client’s houses. The show was largely organized into two sections, a timeline showing a few items from each of many projects organized by date of completion, and four individual projects shown in great detail. The number of objects was the largest ever shown in one exhibit at the Museum.
The exhibition was a great success and garnered one of the largest attendance records ever set at the Museum. Associated with the exhibit was a fundraiser house tour of five PSD houses. Over 1,000 tickets were sold, more than three times the amount of any other of the annual tours the Museum has sponsored. In 2013 PSD sponsored a second house tour that raised over $60,000 for the museum.
In conjunction with planning the show, John DaSilva wrote an essay called “Exhibition Design, Museums and the Culture of Consumption” that appeared in the 2007/2008 issue of Provincetown Arts magazine. He also prepared a lecture, describing in depth the design process for one house that was featured in the show, which he delivered at the Museum and at two additional venues. The editors of Yankee Magazine visited the show and published an extensive article on the work of the firm called “Chasing the Light” in their August 2009 edition. Several other newspaper and magazine articles were the result of the show and tours, including a large format booklet that was included with the September 2013 issue of Cape Cod Magazine.