Two years after the exhibition “Art for Every Home” filled the Beach Museum of Art galleries and then traveled to New York City and Syracuse, New York, the original prints, paintings, fabrics, and ceramics featured in the exhibition have returned to their respective homes. Borrowed from museums and private lenders across the country, a little over 100 objects were brought together to complement works of art in the Beach Museum’s own collection to present a comprehensive overview of the New York-based business, American Associated Artists.
While the registrars and collections management team are charged with the care and documentation of the permanent collection, they are also responsible for coordinating agreements, transportation, and care of loaned works of art for exhibitions. Such loans require special attention, including custom packaging, separate insurance, and climate-controlled, secure shipping. Sometimes, Beach Museum of Art staff coordinate professional conservation treatment that may be needed before an object can be loaned. In the case of “Art for Every Home,” the Beach Museum sent eighteen prints to conservation laboratories for treatment. The staff members often spend months preparing loan documents prior to an exhibition opening and, in the weeks after the exhibition closes, they communicate with lenders to coordinate the safe return of artwork.
All of the museum’s exhibitions involve extensive work behind the scenes, but those that include art loans and that travel to other museums require even more resources to help connect the museum’s collection with the larger world. Community support is vital for providing the resources museum staff members need to develop exhibitions and create meaningful experiences in the galleries and beyond for you, the viewer.
– Sarah Price, Registrar/Collections Manager and Theresa Ketterer, Assistant Registrar