In late 2022 The Block was thrilled to welcome Liz Rudnick as Assistant Registrar. In the role, Liz assists Exhibitions and Collections department on all registration aspects of the permanent collection and exhibitions including transportation, packing, and general care for works of art. She is happy to connect with student and faculty researchers on subjects related to museum database management, exhibition logistics, and collection care and conservation. We sat down with Liz to learn a bit more about her work.
Can you tell us a bit about your background? How did you find your way to museum work and the registrar field?
My first museum gig was as a Curatorial Intern at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art in Cedar Rapids, IA, in the summer of 2005. During that internship, I got the opportunity to work closely with the museum’s registrar and preparator. The preparator’s work really interested me, and the following summer, I was lucky enough to land an internship in the Preparator’s department at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. After I graduated from Coe College in 2007, I began a job as Project Manager at Terry Dowd, Inc, in Chicago, a professional fine art packing, shipping, and crating company. My clients included private collectors, auction houses, and museums, including the MCA and the Block Museum. In fact, that was how I first met Block Registrar Kristina Bottomley. After nearly eight years at TDI, I moved to the MCA as Assistant Registrar for Exhibitions and worked there for another almost eight years.
Can you tell us about some of your previous projects or highlights as a registrar
I directly worked on or assisted with the following exhibitions at the MCA: The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now, Kerry James Marshall, Howardena Pindell: What Remains to be Seen, Michael Rakowitz: Backstroke of the West, Enrico David: Gradations of Slow Release, Christina Quarles, Andrea Bowers, among many others.
What particularly interests you about working within the context of a campus art museum?
I decided early on in my college years that I wanted to work in an art museum. But having gone to a residential college, I loved being on campus and always thought it would be fun to get a job at a college or a university. A university art museum combines the best of both worlds! I love the energy from students and sense of community on a college campus, as well as the culture, histories, and traditions embedded in campus life, and Northwestern certainly brings all of that and more.
What drew you to the Block Museum? What are you looking forward to working on?
I am excited for the opportunity to bring my background in exhibition work and TMS collections management system to the Block Museum, and I am especially eager to expand the Block’s use of TMS as a resource.