As visitors walk through the galleries at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, they pass by multiple sculptures placed on pedestals to highlight the artwork. Unseen, inside each of those pedestals is a gift from Rogers-based Daisy Outdoor Products. There are BBs bundled in 10-pound bags used as weights in the base of each sculpture pedestal to keep it secure.
“It’s a win-win solution,” said Joe Murfin, vice president of public relations for Daisy. “We donate spare bulk steel BBs, and the museum has a ready supply to use as ballast as needed.”
Over time, Daisy has donated three barrels of BBs, or approximately 6,000 pounds. “We weigh and measure the BBs into approximately 10 pound bags, and then tape up the sides to form a useable package,” said Crystal Bridges lead preparator Chuck Flook. “We typically place 10 to 15 bags in a sculpture pedestal, depending on the size of the casework and specific stability concerns.”
The BBs are also sewn into smaller muslin tubes or bags to help steady objects on display in the People and Places exhibition, a collaborative project that highlights objects from the collections of several museums from around the region, including the Daisy Airgun Museum.
A bundle of BBs can be slipped inside a vase or other vessel on display to weight the base of the object and secure it against environmental vibrations. The BBs were most recently used in setting up the temporary exhibition Surveying George Washington.
“They’re inside a pedestal that displays a carved marble bust of George Washington,” said Flook. “If you wander our galleries though, you’ll see lots of pedestals and Daisy BBs are used as the weight to secure them all.”