Placing 16 cars inside the Portland Art Museum for the "Allure of the Automobile" exhibition, which opens this weekend, has been the job of Donald Urquhart, director of collections management for the museum.
"These cars present problems, not the least of which is getting into the building," he
"Our doors aren't as big as some of these cars."
is the man responsible for the logistics of maneuvering the rare, important and valuable cars into the museum's galleries for the exhibition.
"Working with lenders is different than borrowing a painting or sculpture from somebody," Mr. Urquhart
welcomed the challenge of bringing in the cars.
"In every exhibition, you start with an e-mail picture," he
"Then you walk around carrying this 6-inch scale model.
When I saw the Sting Ray the first time, I knew it was a 15-foot car, but it looked like it was 30 feet long."
team at the museum created scale models of the three galleries that would house the cars for the summer and a digital fly-through for a sense of the space.
"When you rent a car, it comes with a photograph, and you mark the checks and the dents," Mr. Urquhart
"These come with four-page condition reports and photographs and instructions on handling and instructions on maintenance.
One lender will say, 'just knock the dust off with a towel,' and the other will send a box of towels with a page of instructions on exactly how to dust."
What makes "Allure of the Automobile" a treat for those who see it is the opportunity to see such a wide variety of important cars in one place, rather than having to travel all over the world to many museums and collections.
For Mr. Urquhart
, that might have been easier.