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Behind Closed Doors: Move It

Our post for today comes from Joann Potter, the Registrar/Collections Manager. She shares with us what she has been working on while the museum is closed.
Movers carefully move the child's sarcophagus to the atrium.
Huzzah! All of the objects that were on view in the galleries have been put to bed for the next six months.  While they rest, we work.

Safely relocating the art was our first big job.  With the help of Arnoff movers and riggers, and the campus carpenters, we re-located our largest and heaviest works from the Antiquities galleries to the atrium hallway.  You can bet there was a collective sigh of relief when the Roman Child’s Sarcophagus weighing in at about 600 lbs., was safely moved and re-installed.  All of the other objects were then methodically moved into storage by the collections management team working hard to find adequate space and safe housing while keeping track of the shifting locations.  It’s very important to keep the collection accessible for ongoing study, preparation for outgoing exhibitions, installation in the prints and drawings galleries at a moment’s notice, or simply available for any of our many projects quickly lining up.

Moments like these, i.e., when the doors close, are small gifts to those of us who have formidable to-do lists that now span twenty plus years.  Frames for paintings need to be re-fitted with felt-lining, backings, and hardware; sculptures require cleaning and new mounts; works on paper need fresh matting and hinging, and let’s not forget the ongoing   inventory of our 18,000 works.  That alone, could easily keep us busy for six months.

But, that’s just the physical stuff.  We have a virtual to-do list, too.   We want to image as many works as possible, as well as implement a new, improved collections management database.  Yes, we want to keep plugging away at making the collection accessible both physically as well as virtually!  What better time to move ahead with these projects?  Add them to the big list that just became more formidable.

So, if you wonder what goes on now that the gallery is closed, wonder no more!  We’re busier than ever while our charges rest…and you wait for the doors to open in January.

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