Satch and I had the unique opportunity to visit the Indiana Museum of Art’s art storage area. It was a chance to see that the mission of the museum is much more than simply the exhibition of art work. Preserving the many works is a huge task that is obviously taken more than seriously. Everything is well thought out – organization and cataloging, earthquake protection, fire suppression, visibility without handling the object, etc., etc.
Even though the storage area has expanded over the years, they do need more room. The museum has undertaken a deaccession program that sells items that do not meet the mission of the museum or are duplicates (or very similar) of items already in the collection. The proceeds from that program are used to acquire more art. Jesse Speight, Superintendent of Storage and Packing, commented that the museum’s desire to acquire art is insatiable therefore the future need for additional storage space is continuous.
It was interesting to hear that only a scant 5% of the museum’s collection is on display. I always figured that the museum stored more than it exhibited but that number really surprised me.
Big and Huge thanks to IMA’s Jesse Speight and Emily Blyze, Member and Donor Relations Coordinator, for giving us the opportunity to experience the museum’s storage areas. During the tour Jesse shared some interesting stories about his job and gave us an excellent perspective of this hidden, yet incredibly significant, part of IMA.
Entry to IMA from the underground parking garage
Sidenotes: This opportunity was just another example of how IMA is making sure those interested stay engaged with and learn about all things at the Museum. IMA is the crown jewel of Indianapolis, IMHO. I will write more about how I feel about this in a future post. I will say, for now, that IMA doesn’t seem to be missing a beat in providing the city, and the world for that matter, with a first class museum.