Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's the little things...

This morning we took down the Robert Henri in order to take it to the conservator on Friday. The Henri is going to go out on tour in April, so our go-to conservator is going to make sure it's fresh, stable, and possibly re-line it, so it looks great while it's on the road. In the meantime, I had to pick another painting to put in its place in the American Gallery. Tommie and I thought the John Sloan would be a good choice, but we had to check and see if it would fit, or we would have to be prepared to take down the whole section of wall and re-calibrate the hanging. Materials and tools for hanging one picture are different than bringing up a cart and tools for re-hanging 8 paintings.

Luckily, last year, we finished a project to fully catalogue our entire collection on a digital database, thanks in part to an NEA grant. And because our cataloguer measured the painting *and* its frame, it took me all of two minutes to open up PastPerfect, check the width of the frame, pop out to the gallery with a tape measure, and decide that there was, in fact, room for the Sloan without it turning into a major endeavor. Ya. Hoo.

Before this, I would've had to go to the Registrar's office to use the card file, find the location of the Sloan, go to the vault, measure the frame, and then go to the gallery to check the space. I know this seems like a minor blip in a curator's day, but I thought: this just saved me a bunch of time. Every time I use the database instead of sauntering down to the accession card file, time is saved. It's really quite nice.

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