Andrea Gottschalk

Exhibition Designer and Coordinator
Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center

How long have you worked at Penn?
13 years

What do you do?
“A little bit of everything. This office does anything related to exhibits. We fabricate the mounts; we print and design the labels and posters. We do the publicity for the exhibits. I design the look of the exhibit. I work with curators on refining their selections for the different spaces, trying to figure out just how much we can fit in, trying to balance the visual with the verbal.”

What’s the best part about your job?
“Working with the objects, but I also like designing. I have a degree in art; my background is in painting. I don’t do my own artwork very much anymore, but I view the exhibits as a whole as a big artwork. The design as a whole is my favorite part, but working with great objects makes that even better. Our exhibits range from about 60 to 100 objects in each exhibition.”

Where do you do your work?
Gottschalk spends a lot of her time in the new Exhibits Office on the fifth floor of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, which was part of the recent renovations of the fifth and sixth floors at Van Pelt. “We’re in planning meetings because we book our exhibits three to five years in advance, so there’s a lot of footwork that goes into getting the exhibit ready for display.”

--G.J.