Can you explain a little bit about the type of work you do?
I work in the exhibition department setting up the museum’s shows. I mat and frame all of the artwork for display and make custom book mounts. Sometimes I travel to set up Cooper-Hewitt’s exhibitions in other cities.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I like the close contact with the artwork, and seeing works—especially one of a kind objects—just the way the artist left them.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
What is your favorite Cooper-Hewitt exhibition to date? Why?
I have a lot! For sheer wackiness, The Golden Eye. For beauty and elegance, The Opulent Eye of Alexander Girard. For transforming the museum’s interior, Fashioning Felt—the Palace Yurt was an incredible environment. For over-the-top-ness, L’Art de Vivre, with its rose-filled opening tent.
What was the most memorable moment for you at Cooper-Hewitt?
Watching the Wright Brothers reproduction wing go up in the air and appear to float in Extreme Textiles.
How has the renovation either opened new doors or posed new challenges for you?
Traveling around the country with Cooper-Hewitt’s exhibitions—meeting my counterparts in other museums and seeing how they address the challenges of exhibition installation.
Looking forward, what are you most excited about once the museum reopens?
Seeing people enjoying the beautiful house again.
What is good design? Bad design?
Beautiful old objects that keep working wonderfully, and new things that you couldn’t have imagined could do something so easily. Bad design is something made of a new material just because it’s new, but which doesn’t improve on the old thing at all.
What is the future of design?
Everywhere—in helping people, cleaning up our environment, letting more people realize their potential.
Finally, if you could redesign anything, what would it be?
Our healthcare system.
2 thoughts on “Meet the Staff: Mathew Weaver”
CHristine Kristen on October 21, 2017 at 11:19 am
Hi Mathew! Do you remember me? I knew you when I lived in Williamsburg in he 80’s- we went boating once with Jerelyn on Long Island. Just visited her in Oyster Bay.
John Fell on January 8, 2019 at 8:52 am
This just makes me happy.