Everson Profile

Al Tallman Celebrates 30 Years!

By Natalie Rieth, Administrative Assistant and Editor

Those who have set foot in the Everson’s galleries after 1994 would have likely met our loyal gallery attendant, Al Tallman, who’s known to spark conversations and share insider knowledge with everybody.

“Al is a fixture in this Museum,” said Adam Clifford, Everson Operations Manager. “He doesn’t forget anything. Ask him, he’ll tell you the date, time, and where something happened. He’s been here longer than some of our artwork.”

Tallman holds the record as the Museum’s longest serving employee and will celebrate his 30th year working at the Everson in April 2024.

Tallman began his career at the Everson as a part-time guard in 1994, while working at his family’s business, Tallman Bakery. From 1999 until 2003, he served as head guard before shifting into museum maintenance. In 2019, Tallman moved back into the galleries and has worked as a gallery attendant since.

Having experienced three decades of exhibitions, architectural renovations, and Museum programming, Tallman said the opportunity to connect with visitors and have conversations about the Everson’s artwork is what he loves most about his job. “I meet a lot of interesting people while at work,” Tallman said.

According to Everson Curator & Exhibition Manager Steffi Chappell, Tallman’s greatest strength is his institutional memory. Whenever we have a question about something that happened 15, or even 25, years ago, Al is the go-to resource,” Chappell said.

Tallman says his most fond memory while working at the Everson is enjoying pizza with former Syracuse Mayor Roy Albert Bernardi, who gave a speech at the Museum during his second term.

When Tallman isn’t guarding the Everson’s galleries, he enjoys traveling to local and faraway museums and galleries. His favorite off-the-clock visit has been to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, another building designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei. In September 2023, he joined nine Everson staffers on a visit to the Munson in Utica for an exhibition and storage tour.

“Everybody is always busy doing different tasks at work,” Tallman said. “It’s neat to see staff intermingling with each other outside the Museum.”

Al’s Favorites
Of the current exhibitions, Tallman is enjoying George Fisk Comfort in the First Museum Quarters, an oil-on-canvas painting by George Knapp, that you can find hung in Off the Rack. And, in the Paul Phillips and Sharon Sullivan Ceramics Center, Tallman holds appreciation for the display of works by esteemed potter Adelaide Alsop Robineau, specifically her Scarab Vase that is commonly referred to as the “Mona Lisa” of ceramics.

Al’s full name initials are A.R.T. Al is so ingrained in art, it’s even in his name!

First: Tallman even represents the Museum on his car with his personalized EMUSEUM license plate. Second: Tallman and the Scarab Vase.

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