Currier Museum

Alan Chong for New Hampshire Magazine


Last fall, I was commissioned by New Hampshire Magazine to create a portrait of Alan Chong, the new Director and CEO of The Currier Museum of Art. It would be made on location, and the magazine wanted to use the opportunity to promote a major new exhibition at the museum about the White Mountains, which was still being installed. Their idea was to place him in front of a large reproduction of a painting, in order to have a faux mountain-esque background.

Because of the delicacy of photographing in a museum, the magazine’s creative director and I scouted our locations the day before the session. We found the reproduction and planned lighting, and we identified a few other potential spots as alternatives.

This latter planning was worth it: when we entered the space with gear the next day, a five-foot tall crate containing a painting was directly in front of the wall we were going to use. Our PR contact at the museum checked with the curatorial staff, and moving the crate would not be possible.

We shifted to our second location, the Winter Garden Café. This is actually one of my favorite spots in the museum: a very tall ceiling allows diffused light from high windows scatter evenly through the room, which is a light grey. The modern, clean lines are especially strong in the corner of the room.

Alan met us there. We worked quickly and moved to two other spots in the museum to give the editor some options, but I was confident that our first photographs were the strongest. The one below was published.

Alan Chong, executive director of the Currier Museum of Art