Is This Really Work?

By: deanna on October 10th, 2012

I’ve written this before, but it bears repeating. I love my job! Who wouldn’t? I work with an amazingly talented group of people, I am surrounded by beautiful artwork, and now we have a state-of-the-art building addition in which to display and store the Woodson Art Museum’s permanent collection. Pinch me!

Over the past two weeks I gradually have been moving paintings from the existing storage areas into the new space. Previously, the collection was housed in three separate areas, but now all will be combined and stored in one space. To optimize the room, we chose Spacesaver, a side-by-side sliding system that includes fifty-four panels that are eight feet high and twelve feet long, as well as thirty-two feet of stationary racks. I suspect it will take many years to completely fill the racks.
I love the challenge of fitting the variously sized paintings on the screens to maximize the space. At first, I tried to fit like shapes and colors together but soon realized that was too compulsive as well as unnecessary. Now, I piece together the works almost like a jigsaw puzzle without connecting parts.
It was necessary to have a clean and stabilized environment before introducing artwork into the new storage space. That included scrubbing and dusting the space from the ceiling down and waiting several weeks to ensure the temperature and humidity remained constant. Once assured those two requirements were met I added a few comforts – a table and chair, radio, and supply cart – and began transferring the works. As the transition progressed so did the need for other tools, conservation supplies, and files, which then were added to the storage area.
Another necessity was a large supply of hanging devices used to attach the artworks to the screens. What I thought was an ample number quickly dwindled as more and more works were hung. Thankfully, there will be just enough to complete the task.
As you can see in the last photo, I have made significant progress. Not all of the paintings are in the new space. I estimate about one hundred works remain.
It’s difficult to concentrate on my other work. I want to spend all day moving the last of the artwork, contemplating the organization of the room, and drawing inspiration from the beautiful collection. I already have identified several themes for future exhibitions.
Oh, lucky me!

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