Dallas Historical Society

Catherine the Great.

What an exhibit! Designed again by David Gibson, the exhibit was absolutely beautiful and one that I was very proud of. Again, I served as Director of Operations and was responsible for the design, construction and daily operation of the exhibit including staff and volunteers.

Unfortunately, the exhibit was plagued with problems from the beginning. There had been some competition between the Dallas Historical Society and the Dallas Museum of Art as to who would bring the exhibit to Dallas. As a result, the DHS leader committed to some things that hurt the exhibit financially in the end such as shipment of the exhibit from Dallas back to Leningrad (St. Petersburg).

At the previous venues, the hosting city only paid to have it shipped from the previous city. In the case of this exhibit, the next venue was cancelled and DHS had to pay both incoming and outgoing shipping charges. The roof on the Centennial Building at Fair Park had recently been replaced so when the rains came and water poured onto the exhibit floor, it was a shock both to staff and the Hermitage curators! Turns out the roof had a rubber membrane that had been punctured during construction. Exhibit staff and curators spent the evening rushing artwork to be dried and conserved properly which added a major expense. This was also the reason that the Hermitage staff decided to have the exhibit returned to St. Petersburg rather than another venue.

Finally, certain box office staff discovered that the ticketing system allowed them to print tickets and cancel them so significant funds were stolen at the box office despite the fact that there were daily audits and staff to watch things.