The History Beyond the Art

No matter if you are sports driven, academically achieved, or art motivated; the Taubman Art Museum holds a little taste of it all. How many of us actually take the time to see what’s going on around us? When was the last time you got to see things from a different perspective? Admiring the art and the history of the Taubman allows you to have a new appreciation for our daily tasks. On our journey to the Taubman Museum, we sought after the answers to the most thought of questions.

         At the beginning of our interview, we met the registrar of the industry. Mary has been there since the Taubman opened 10 years ago. Mary’s favorite aspect of working at the Taubman, “Everything about it is great. On one hand, you don’t make much money, but on the other hand you get to do something you love.” She is a wealth of information. Many people may wonder how the Taubman began as a premier museum of the Roanoke Valley.. To our surprise, it began in the Center in the Square as a two story facility that didn’t have much space at all. “Ceiling heights were a challenge, as well as, overall space” Mary mentioned. Comparing the building from then to now she said, “The amount of time it takes to move art now is just a fraction of what it used to be.” Space was a huge issue. “Now, with 81,100sq feet it can be hard to keep up with things.” Mary always knew she would work within the art field at some point, “I thought I was going to be a fashion designer. I was an art major. It didn’t work out . I went to the VCU program to get a position down here and I researched museums, I volunteered here and have been here since.” Mary really looks at the history behind all of the art here and has climbed the career ladder to get where she is. It was honor to get to hear her story and the history behind this  beautiful space.

Overall, we had a great time at the Taubman. We were lucky to have the opportunity to visit and see all of the exhibits.There is much to see, from old cars to extremely expensive handbags. On the day we visited the Taubman, they were closed but opened it to us exclusively. The workers made us feel very welcome and gave us a very in depth tour of the museum, explaining the history behind all of the art as we went from exhibit to exhibit. “All art come with stories for me.” One of the most interesting stories Mary told us was the one about the Judith Leiber handbags. Judith Leiber was a Holocaust survivor that designed handbags. Her husband would give her a new handbag for every special occasion. She explained to us that many celebrities such as Katy Perry, Blake Lively, and Kelly Osbourne have carried these bags and paid thousands for them.The Taubman has the largest collection of these bags.

Sunny and Mary, part of the Taubman family, were not only humble, but helpful as well. They showed the car exhibits and told use the stories behind the artist intentions. For example, they discovered an authentic cars from a long time ago, good condition, in a old barn. Not to mention the Taubman is a great museum for people with different interests and personalities.“Make your life a masterpiece; imagine no limitations on what you can be, have or do.”- Brain Tracey. It was touching to hear all the artists stories and life experiences; we should all strive to tell our stories, through art or anything we are passionate about.

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