New York fashion week is filled with models. Some of them (like Iman and Christy) rise to the status of supermodel. Here at the Museum, we have our own supermodel.

Back in October of 2006, the idea came about to build a model of the new building. To be used as a tool by our designers and curators, this model would assist in planning the big move of our collection. Many times we construct a foam core model of our changing spaces to plan and design temporary exhibitions. The supermodel (and yes, that’s what we call it) was to be bigger and better, made from real wood for the floor and painted walls-just like the new building. Even at a scale of 1/2 inch to 1 foot this model was going to be big, too big in fact to fit through any of our doors. As a result, we built it in 5 pieces, each on its own wheeled cart. Complete with reflected details of the ceiling coffers and plexiglass windows and doors-this model is just like being there.

Fully assembled, the supermodel is about 9 feet wide and 18 and a half feet long, plus a little more for the outdoor courtyard that was added later. We even made case work on which pictures of sculptures sit and cut out tiny images of all the paintings, too. All in perfect ½ inch scale.

Over the months, and now years, I’ve seen folks from every department use the supermodel in meetings. The curators have spent uncounted hours with the images of artwork in the collections, moving one here, others there. Our designers have spent many hours as well, developing floor plans and elevations of each new gallery.

As a result of all the planning done on and around the supermodel, we are ready to move into the new building. Supermodel sized for now but very close to the real thing.

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