CONDITION REPORT: Preserving Our Community's Art Collection

Mar 19, 2016 — Aug 13, 2016

The stewardship of a museum’s permanent collection ensures a strong foundation for cultural research and scholarship. This exhibition offers a behind the scenes look at the daily preservation practices at the Hilliard University Art Museum, and highlights the key concepts of conservation science. It also presents a selection of artworks typically unseen, due to their fragile condition. In museums, a “condition report” is a document that the staff generates whenever an object is moved, damaged, or repaired. This periodic record of inspection provides evidence that an artwork’s physical stability has been evaluated. Over time, as the artwork ages, condition reports and photographic records can become valuable tools for understanding the facts of a precious object’s presence and history.

This exhibition features ten pieces from the museum’s permanent collection that are either in need of conservation or that have recently been conserved. The works on view range in date from 1812 to 1982, and includes paintings, drawings and prints.

Documentation of each artwork’s physical condition, as recorded by the museum staff, is also displayed beside each object. By drawing attention to pieces with minor flaws, this exhibit is educational and illustrates some of the common problems that can occur in long-term storage – be it the result of gravity, pests, mold, or light.

Biographical information on each artist is available, as well as five videos that document the role professional conservators can play before an artwork goes on view to the public.

HUAM wishes to express its gratitude to all the donors and artists represented in the exhibition, as well as conservators Sue Murphy, Jill Whitten, and Margaret Moreland. “Condition Report” is made possible in part by D&M Solar and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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