Change is Good!

Managing a storage space is a dynamic process.  It is easy to come up with a protocol and then feel like you have the plan set, but processes should be updated regularly.  Make sure to stay on top of cataloging, packing, and new materials that might make your collection even more stable. Also, make note of any works that have the potential to change quickly.  A good example from my past work is a work that is an assemblage made by a collective in the ’60s. One of the elements was actually a tube of paint that after 50 years the aluminum tube began to fail and the paint began to ooze out onto the rest of the piece.  We, fortunately, found it before damage was done, but if you have works in your collection that can (and probably will) have issues keep a calendar to check them at regular intervals.

Also, no matter what materials you store your works in, they all have a shelf life.  The constant work involved in maintaining housing on a collection is a staple in a good process to plan with a written log and protocol.  Managing it can feel like an overwhelming task, but you can give yourself a fighting chance to stay on top of it with a few easy tricks…

  • Date your packaging: We all use materials we know are not archival.  Cardboard is ubiquitous in most storage spaces and will deteriorate to a point where it is harming more than helping.  If you are packing something in cardboard for long term storage stick a tag on the packaging with a packed date on it. That way when you do pull it out of to look at it, you can evaluate whether or not it needs new packing.
  • Be prepared for a fresh layer: Always keep a stockpile of archival interleaving and inner wrapping on hand.  Changing out the materials in direct contact should happen if they are creased, torn, or dirty and having some standard sizes at the ready can keep the process simple.
  • Tape is not reusable: I have seen many packaging jobs where tape has been reused over and over.  Tape is generally best when it is new and should be replaced each time it is used. Old tape can fail easily, and the adhesive portion will eventually separate from the backing. Once the backing is out of the picture it can migrate throughout the packing and get on the object.  If you want to open and close a package often, use velcro tabs instead.

Do you need help figuring out how to set up your own storage space?  Want advice and assistance on planning packaging design, or refresh protocols?  Let Art Pro Net help you make a plan and execute. Email us today and we will do a free storage evaluation and consultation to see where you can make your plan work better.