For the third installment of our Five Questions series, we spoke with Tom Catalioti, the museum’s director of facilities. Catalioti has been with the museum since 1976!
Q: What groups make up the museum’s facilities department?
A: The facilities department includes custodial, engineering, grounds, and building maintenance needs. As the director of facilities, I oversee these groups.
Q: Is the facilities department involved with the museum’s building and expansion project efforts?
A: We have a dual responsibility. We’re involved in the construction by being part of the review process of building plans and part of the electrical and mechanical aspects of the construction.
However, we still have to run the building during the project, which will be fully complete in 2013.
Q: What is your favorite part of working for the museum?
A: I come from a collections background and first started at the museum working as an installer, helping to hang paintings and put together special exhibitions. So, I had a very close relationship with the collection.
Now, with the facilities department, we maintain critical environments for the works, such as making sure the temperatures are stable. It’s one of our highest priorities and is just a different way, from being directly involved in handling the artwork, to express my commitment to the collection.
Q: Do you have a favorite work of art in the museum’s collection?
A: That’s difficult to say, because it depends on my mood at any given moment. There are objects you want to visit when you’re feeling up or down, or if you’re feeling silly or profound.
Q: What are some of your hobbies outside of the museum?
A: I lead a pretty quiet life outside of the museum. I like to putter in the garden or read, and I enjoy jazz and classical music. I very recently started playing guitar again, but I need another three or four years of practice!