Managing Art Collections

Module code: MU7005

Central to the art museum is the collection. This forms the focus of this module where you'll look at both the processes used to control art objects and their associated data, and at techniques used to ensure the art object's safekeeping. The module begins by considering the loss of art: iconoclasm, ephemeral artistic practices and materials, object decay and deterioration and inappropriate professional interventions.

This module is concerned with the ‘health and safety’ of collections. This includes planning for collections management from acquisition to disposal, storage and loans and object documentation. You'll look at those agents of loss that put art objects at risk: inappropriate levels of humidity, light, UV and temperature, a failure to control pests or polluting materials, ineffective security and disaster planning, and poor handling, packing and transport. In all of these areas you'll look at how you can detect damage, monitor conditions and mitigate problems.

This module incorporates practical and hands-on elements as well as lectures and online materials that deal with the science and logic of collections management.

Topics covered

  • Losing art
  • Conditions for art
  • Moving art
  • Art documentation
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