Contributing Editors

Storing Wedding Dresses, Pianos and Paintings

by Holly Robinson January 16, 2012 7:39 PM
There may be times when you need to rent a storage unit for various reasons (job relocation, house downsizing, etc.). Some possessions need special attention and care when put into storage – especially wedding dresses, pianos, and paintings. [More]

Canadian Art Storage Facility Earns artprotect(TM) Certification

by Tony Gonzalez December 8, 2011 1:33 PM
AXA ART announced that Armstrong Fine Art Services was awarded the coveted artprotect™ certification. This certification rates a storage facility's ability to properly store and protect fine art and collectibles from damage, theft, and destruction.

In 2004, a fire in an art storage facility in Leyton (east London) destroyed all of the stored artwork for an estimated $100 million damage done. Work that was lost in the fire included pieces by Damien Hirst, Helen Chadwick, Patrick Heron, Gary Hume, Martin Maloney, and Sarah Lucas. Not only was the financial loss devastating, but the loss of cultural history was very significant. [More]

Culture, Cuisine, and Storage in San Jose

by Tony Gonzalez June 9, 2011 7:49 PM
Located at the corner of North 10th and Taylor Street in beautiful San Jose, Elke McKeown's Extra Space Storage Facility is a vital member of a flourishing urban community. [More]

24 Beloit College Students Trained in Storage and Conservation

by Holly Robinson May 28, 2010 8:20 AM
Thanks to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), 24 students at the Beloit College Logan Museum of Anthropology have been trained in how environmental conditions affect the storage of anthropological and archival materials. Students learned about how temperature, humidity, and pollutants in the air can affect collections in storage. IMLS provided a $3,000 grant to pay for an April 22 workshop on how environmental conditions affect the storage of collections.

The workshop was conducted by conservator Neil Cockerline, of the Midwest Art Conservation Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was attended not only by Beloit College students, but also by professors and by Michael Brady, the college’s Physical Plant Director. Beloit College is installing heating, cooling, and ventilation devices in its anthropology research labs this summer, so the workshop was viewed as particularly apropos. [More]

Christie's Auction House Opens Art Storage Facility

by John Stevens April 26, 2010 1:45 PM
Christie's, the internationally famous art auction house, is expanding into the storage business. A Christie's subsidiary, Christie's Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS), has bought a 100-year-old Brooklyn, New York factory that it will convert into a high-security, climate-controlled fine art storage facility. The new fine arts storage facility, located in Brooklyn's Red Hook waterfront neighborhood, will open in June.

In addition to fine art, the new facility will be used to store antiques and other special high-end collectible items. The former factory has about 235,000 square feet of storage space. The space can be custom-designed to accommodate any size collectible, from a small photograph up to a vintage car. [More]

Art Gallery Improves Storage with Rolling Art Racks

by Kim Kilpatrick April 1, 2010 4:33 PM
Comox Valley Art Gallery, a Courtenay, Canada art gallery, has decided to invest in specialized professional art storage racks to store its collection. The racks are on wheels, and can store works of art that are as big as six feet by eight feet. Comox is buying a total of six racks for $15,000. The racks will hold around 100 large paintings and other two-dimensional art works.

Storing art properly can extend its life and reduce wear and tear. But, ordinarily, art placed in archives must be packaged extensively to keep it safe from light and from physical damage. Opening the packaging can complicate and slow the process of choosing art to display for particular exhibits. Using a specialized art rack can make it easier for a museum to store an extensive collection in an organized way, enabling curators to quickly locate and choose art for new exhibits without having to unwrap cumbersome packaging. The racks will also make it easier for visiting art historians and scholars to access the museum’s collection for study and research purposes. [More]

Red Deer, Alberta Museum Seeks Storage Space

by John Stevens January 14, 2010 10:32 AM
Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery, in Alberta, Canada, has had about $1.5 million in renovations in the last year. In one spot, the renovations increased the museum's exhibition area by 10,000 square feet. The renovations also improved the museum's washrooms and office areas. But the renovations did nothing to address the museum's other critical need: storage space for its archives.

"Our first priority was to improve our service to the public," explained the museum's executive director, Lorna Johnson. "That's what the renovation has allowed us to do.....It didn't address collection storage for either the museum or the archives." Johnson said the museum still needs about 20,000 square feet of space for archival storage. The storage will have to be off-site, but it must also be secure and climate-controlled. At the moment, the museum is hoping to find a storage space to share with city archives, Red Deer College, and other art organizations, all of which are also in need of storage. "If we can all get together to build one structure, that isn't so expensive," Johnson commented. The city has also considered building a new museum, but does not expect to have a budget for a project of that magnitude for many years. The museum is also struggling with budget cuts, as its 2010 budget (nearly $882,000) has been reduced by 1.3 percent from its 2009 budget ($894,000). [More]

Researchers Put Stored Paintings and Sculptures in a "3D Wikipedia of Art"

by Holly Robinson January 4, 2010 3:01 PM
When you visit most art museums, the art that you see on display represents only a fraction of the museum's actual holdings. The percentage of art holdings that are actually on display in museums around the world is dropping, as the recession forces some museums to move to smaller facilities or to close their doors altogether. Researchers at the University of Brighton, in Sussex, England, want to make art that is being held in storage available for people to see in 3D form, over the Internet. If they succeed, stored art could be viewable 24 hours a day, seven days a week, indefinitely. The project is called 3D-COFORM, Tools and Enterprise for 3D Collection Formation.

"What you see at any given time in a museum is only the tip of the iceberg," said Professor David Arnold, the project leader. "There are many more things in storage than on display and all these could be recorded and made available for 3D viewing....Everything a museum holds could be available and accessible at almost any time. Virtual handling of the objects is a different challenge but with this technology you'll be able to see details invisible on a visit to the museum." [More]

Collections in Storage May End Up Becoming Treasure Trove for Academics

by John Stevens December 28, 2009 9:36 AM
Some people may wonder why anyone would think it was worth it to keep a large collection of books (or stamps, doll houses, antique toys, or any other kind of collection) in self-storage. Collecting thousands of items related to one topic might seem like an endless, thankless task. But one reason to persist with a collecting hobby is that books, documents, antiques, and artwork may someday be in demand by academic institutions or museums. For example, today anyone looking for a repository of Sherlock Holmes memorabilia need look no farther than the University of Minnesota, thanks in large part to generous donations from private collectors.

The collection at the University of Minnesota began in 1974, when the university bought private collector James C. Iraldi's 160 volumes of Holmes first editions and periodicals featuring stories about Holmes. Then, in 1978, the widow of Mayo Clinic doctor Philip S. Hench, who was a huge Sherlock Holmes fan, donated his rather extensive Holmes collection. Later, Los Angeles lawyer Les Klinger, the author of The Annotated Sherlock Holmes series, who also provided guidance for Sherlock Holmes, the movie, donated his papers to the library. [More]

Charleston Man's Christmas Village Collection Makes Its Annual Trip Out of Storage

by John Stevens December 24, 2009 9:10 AM
When Danny Beckner, of Charleston, West Virginia, decorates for Christmas, he doesn't just put up a few strings of lights. He goes into storage and pulls out his collection of more than 80 miniature houses and businesses. Beckner's Christmas village collection includes people, pets, horses, a train, and many other accessories. The collection, which once fit in Beckner's living room, now has grown to be so big that it takes up an entire house....

Many people have miniature Christmas village collections, but not everyone knows how to pack and store miniatures to avoid damage. Miniatures need to be stored in a climate-controlled space. To pack a collection, you should gather tissue paper, styrofoam peanuts, packing tape, masking tape, foam, a permanent marker, and two sturdy boxes for each miniature. One box will hold the miniature in its original packaging, and the other is a box to pack the miniature in. Fill all the openings in the miniature with packing materials, such as tissue or shredded styrofoam peanuts. If your miniatures have pieces that come out, such as Beckner's tiny people, wrap each one separately. Place tissue under the dresses of dolls to support the fabric and keep it from being crushed. You can group tiny items in individual bubble wrap envelopes. Make bubble wrap envelopes by taping sections of bubble wrap into envelope pockets that are sized to fit the miniature. Tape the pockets shut when you are done. [More]
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