Monday, January 15, 2007

Portland Art Museum Visit

Our first class, Theory of Organization of Information, met this weekend in Portland. It was clear and very cold with high temperatures in the low 30s and lows in the lower 20s. Saturday morning we went to the Portland Art Museum to meet a couple of the registrars. The registrars are those responsible for maintaining and safeguarding the art collections, both those belonging to the museum and those on loan. Some of their duties include:

- Register incoming and outgoing collections.

- Accession and catalog new items insuring that all documents are properly processed.

- Maintain detailed inventory and historical files of each item in the collections, including card catalog and photograph file.

- Develop and maintain record systems to identify and locate art works that belong to the museum.

- Oversee storage of the collection to ensure that it is safe and accessible.

- Implement an inventory cycle as stipulated by the museum's Collection Management Policy.

- Serve as risk manager for the art collection and administer the museum's fine arts policy.

- Oversee computerized collection management system.

- Assess conservation proposals with the curators; identify conservation resources.

- Maintain statistics that relate to the collection.

- Implement deaccession policy including determining objects' legal status, tracking the deaccession process and coordinating the disposal of deaccessioned objects.

- With curators, assess loan requests for art works in the museum's collection.

- Generate and maintain all documentation pertaining to incoming and outgoing loans including exhibition contracts, loan agreements, receipts, shipping documents, and condition reports.

- Arrange for appropriate shipping and crating for incoming and outgoing loans.

It was a fascinating inside view.