Installing Louis Wain…

We are currently in the midst of installing our next major exhibition, Communicating Through Cats: The Art and Mind of Louis Wain, which will be opening to the public next week on the 5th May.

This is a particularly exciting exhibition because it is Brent Museum’s first ever display of work by the artist Louis Wain. With work selected and supplied by Chris Beetles Gallery, Bethlem Art and History Collections Trust and the Wellcome Library, the exhibition promises to offer a vibrant celebration of the life and work of one of Brent’s most famous artists.

Louis Wain lived in the local area in the early twentieth century, sharing a house on Brondesbury Road with his sisters and mother. An internationally recognised artist by the turn of the century, Wain was a familiar face in the local community and was well-known for giving away his drawings to anyone who asked!

He was a prolific artist, and the exhibition at Brent Museum is filled with over 50 works of art, illustrating the wide variety of styles he employed to depict cats. The exhibition also considers Louis Wain’s mental health, as he spent the last years of his life in mental institutions after being diagnosed as schizophrenic. Through looking at how his work was reinterpreted following his death, and inviting visitors to offer their own thoughts on the artist’s work, the exhibition explores the idea of art as a form of communication and therapy. Once open, we will be adding visitor comments to this blog to continue the discussion about the work of this important local artist online. So please do come along, contemplate and contribute.

However, it is not open yet and there is still plenty to be done! In the meantime, and to give an insight into what kind of work is involved when installing an exhibition, I have taken some photographs of the gallery over the past few weeks to track its transformation.

One of the larger paintings on loan from Bethlem Art and History Collections Trust, prior to unpacking.
Work just about to be hung – spirit level at the ready!
After unpacking each work and checking its condition, we place it in position ready for hanging. To protect the frame, works are placed on top of foam blocks.
One of our volunteers, Leanne, cutting mount board to support the display of archival documents.
Imago installed the works for us. Here we have Paul and Graham hanging the Kaleidoscope Series. Please note the three spirit levels – you can never have too many!

Here we have Paul and Graham covering the windows in the gallery with a special UV light filter film, to protect the art works from fading or other light damage.













Posted by Briony