Hello everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!
Last week was Spring Break for Marywood, so fortunately, I had much more time than usual to work on my internship!
I began my first internship on campus with Ryan Ward and The Maslow Collection, where there are masterworks behind every corner being meticulously cared for. Right off the bat, I learned about proper handling protocols, labeling, storing, temperature control, creating wall labels, inventory, etc. Going from that environment of precise care to an environment that not only lacks the care, but the education of the care is totally bizarre.
First thing is first, there are many valuable artifacts and historical items that I will be handling, so I had to start off with gloves. Secondly, I decided to take it upon myself to create what I’m going to refer to as “the binders.” Basically, I am fairly new to the preservation game and so are the people who are running the galleries. Therefore, I want to make a system that is effortless for anyone to walk in off the street, pick up a binder, and know exactly what is in the galleries and how to care for them.
Binder 1: Preservation
I figured the most important binder should definitely be created first, and that would be maintenance. So for the past few weeks I have been searching for the best techniques, tools, and “dos and don’ts” for cleaning and preserving what materials I already know they have in the gallery (clothing, fire arms, wooden furniture, etc.). This upcoming week I have arranged to get into the gallery to take some photos and continue to search for any materials that I may have missed.
Binder 2: Inventory
The second binder will be dedicated to inventory. This one is going to be rather difficult, because the organization’s board members has tasked me with creating an inventory that easily printable, yet still digital for future alterations, and without purchasing special software. They currently have a vague paper copy of their inventory itemized by alphabetical order. I took this and made it digital so that I can easily use that information to create labels and to match images with the items for the digital inventory.
Binder 3: Maintenance & Curation
Lastly, I felt it important to include a curatorial binder for general upkeep on the galleries themselves. This will include anything from lightbulbs and temperature control to proper gloves and handling procedures.
I feel as though compiling all of this information will put the gallery in good shape to be able to preserve their valuable artifacts for generations to come.
Thanks as always for the read, and feel free to leave me some comments or questions below!