Contributing Editors

Claremont Museum of Art Goes Virtual and Puts Entire Collection in Storage

by Kim Kilpatrick December 23, 2009 7:34 AM
The Claremont Museum of Art, in Claremont, CA, announced yesterday that it is putting its entire, permanent collection into storage. The museum could not afford to pay its rent. In fact, it still owes three months of back rent (amounting to $15,000) to its landlord, Jerry Tessier. "It is such a grave disappointment," said former Mayor Ellen Taylor, who was on the museum's fundraising committee.

The Museum will go virtual, exhibiting its collection online at its website. It will become a "museum without walls," said founding president Marguerite McIntosh. She estimated that within five years, when the country starts to come out of its recession, the museum might be able to reopen. [More]

Preparing Self-Storage Units for the 2010 Hurricane Season

by Holly Robinson December 14, 2009 4:27 PM
Gray and Klotzbach predict a doozy of a season for 2010, with as many as 16 tropical storms and six to eight hurricanes. It is possible, they say, that five of those hurricanes could be major. A major hurricane is one with sustained winds of more than 111 miles per hour. The likelihood that these hurricanes will make landfall, too, is higher than usual....

Residents of South Florida and the Gulf coast, however, may prefer to follow the maxim that it is better to be safe than sorry, and secure any property that they feel strongly that they could not afford to lose, or stand to lose, in a hurricane. One way to prepare for a hurricane is to put property that is valuable or has sentimental value into self-storage. Self-storage units are well-constructed for withstanding hurricanes, as many of them are made out of reinforced concrete. Many self-storage facilities in hurricane-prone areas make special preparations for tropical storms and hurricanes, including having backup generators on site, hurricane impact windows, and covered loading docks. If you are especially concerned, find out whether the self-storage facility that you are considering has made preparations for hurricanes, and whether or not it has withstood other hurricanes in the past. [More]

Artist Seamus Berkeley Offers Exhibit on Self-Storage

by John Stevens December 9, 2009 4:52 PM
Writer Amy Moon and artist Seamus Berkeley have collaborated to offer an exhibit dedicated to the theme of self-storage. The exhibit, called "Plenty Hidden," will take place at Berkeley Fine Art Studio, 933 Parker Street, Berkeley, CA, 94710, on Tuesday, December 15, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

"When something -- like self-storage -- becomes a ubiquitous part of our lives and our landscapes, we often don't see it," writes Berkeley about his exhibit. "By taking a closer look, Amy and I explore what our relationship to our things says about us and how that affects our environment." [More]

Students Stage See-Through Art Storage at MFAH

by John Stevens October 20, 2009 10:49 AM
Rice University students have developed a modular, transparent art storage design that is revolutionary, says Wynne Phelan, Conservation Director of Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), who has adopted this new system, according to an October 19 report by the Houston Chronicle.

This unique design replaces wood crates and cardboard boxes - which prevent museum staff from seeing the artworks inside – thus requiring additional unpacking and repacking of delicate objects; this process also emits harmful acids that can be detrimental to all types of media used by artist.

"This adds an incredible freedom of visiting experience to a museum," Phelan said. "If you don't have things in crates and cardboard boxes or closed cases, there is something to show, and you don't have to handle the artwork."

The 4 Rice University students who developed the system are participants in the inaugural Engineering and Design for Art and Artifact Conservation program at Rice's Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen.

This system, which combines an easily-assembled armature of metal rods and Plexiglas windows, enables conservators to customize how they secure each object. [More]
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