Art Inventory, Part 1

As part of my job, I’m in charge of the permanent art collection. This coming year we are scheduled to have an appraisal done of the collection. The collection really hasn’t had much work done on it for a few years now, and since I’m new to it I want to become familiar with what is in it and bring the files up-to-date.

One of the first duties I have to do is account for all of the artwork. We have some in storage and the rest is out in the branches. I spent an afternoon in the storage area last week. What a great afternoon! Wearing my gloves, looking at each piece, and confirming it’s location and condition – I had so much fun. The worst bit was being in a cold room with no one around.

A second step is to develop a transportation guideline. As some of the artwork is at various branches, a transportation guideline should be developed for the library to follow. I’ve been doing research into current guidelines. I’ve contacted the Mendel Art Gallery for suggestions. This has really been quite interesting. I’m glad I took preservation in school as a lot of this draws on material and resources from that class.

One of the key concerns I have is the cold winter we have here in Saskatoon. The other day it was windchill of -40C. Plus with the ruts in the road from all the snow we have been having, this really doesn’t make for great conditions for transporting art around the city. My recommendation is to not move any artwork around, unless absolutely necessary, until April.

Next steps, finish transportation guideline, and finish accounting for all the pieces. Identify those that need to be fixed. Take new digital photographs of all the pieces.

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