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Walker People’s Archive: Guides, Crew and Guards, Seen 1929-2015

At the Walker People’s Archive, we’ve been collecting photographs and stories illustrating people’s most vivid Walker memories. Walker visitors, staff members past and present, arts luminaries and all kinds of scenesters have contributed to the project.  But this contribution takes the cake (there’s cake at the WPA site, too!): Tom Berglund passed along this picture, […]

Anna Jorgenson, Walker Art Galleries, 1929

Anna Jorgenson, Walker Art Galleries, 1929

At the Walker People’s Archive, we’ve been collecting photographs and stories illustrating people’s most vivid Walker memories. Walker visitors, staff members past and present, arts luminaries and all kinds of scenesters have contributed to the project.  But this contribution takes the cake (there’s cake at the WPA site, too!): Tom Berglund passed along this picture, of his mother’s mother, Anna Jorgenson, at work as a docent in the Walker Art Galleries in the 1920s.  In 1940, the Walker Art Galleries were rechristened the Walker Art Center, and the institution began a new life–with a new orientation toward the public–under the auspices of the Works Progress Administration and its Federal Arts Project.  It’s that anniversary we’ve been celebrating–but it’s a thrill to have this photo from even further back.

We’ve got many other photos of guides and other Walker workers through the years, like this one of Richard Parnell and Willie Willette, members of the Walker’s exhibition crew in the 1990s, horsing around for the (Polaroid) camera during preparation of Jenny Holzer’s The Living Series for installation in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden in 1993.

Richard Parnell and Willie Willette, Walker Art Center, 1993

Richard Parnell and Willie Willette, Walker Art Center, 1993

Or this recent shot of Todd Balthazor, gallery guard and illustrator, and his story about his ultimate Walker celebrity sighting.

Todd Balthazor, Walker Art Center, 2015

Todd Balthazor, Walker Art Center, 2015

We’re wrapping up this project over the next few weeks; we’ll close the submission side of the web site after March 30.  That means you have just one more week to share your Walker memories!  All contributions to the archive over the course of the project will remain online, and they will be preserved by the Walker’s Archives and Libraries department as a special collection that will help future generations see how we thought of ourselves at this anniversary moment.  Go to the Walker People’s Archive to upload or learn more.

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