Ok, this is getting ridiculous now. Above is a press shot accompanying the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’s acquisition of a 1913 Picasso. It’s wrong on so many levels.
So I think that if museum press offices are going to insist on these daft ‘holding’ photos, then it’s time to introduce some rules:
1 – if you must wear gloves, let them be white and cotton. If you’re going to perpetuate the myth that people in museums really wear white gloves, then have actual white gloves to hand. Rubber ones of the type worn by vets at the back end of a cow are Not Good.
2 – if you must pretend to hold the painting, at least try and make it look like you’re really holding it. This means the picture must not be: (a) screwed to the wall with the screw visible; (b) obviously fifteen times heavier than the person holding it with one arm; or (c) hung so high above the ‘holder’ that they cannot reach it.
3 – Or better yet, actually just hold it, maybe with two people, before you actually attach it to the wall.
4 – And maybe, just every now and then, can we let the ‘holder’ be a bloke? Just for a change?