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Medium 9781442267527


Collections Altamira Press ePub

John E. Heyning

President of the Natural Science Collection Alliance and Deputy Director of Research and Collections at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles Country, 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA. 90007 (jeh@nhm.org). Opinions in this article represent those of the author and may or may not reflect that of the individual NSC A members.

Curators laid off, collections mothballed or transferred to other institutions, university museums shut down entirely—natural science collections and associated programs of specimen-based research are in crisis. The situation is typically characterized as a financial crisis, the result of an economic downswing that affects virtually every sector of society. However, resources for research and collections programs are often slashed disproportionately. Thus, the crisis is not a straightforward financial crisis per se, as the disproportional loss of monetary support is a symptom of the deeper crises swirling around these collections. Unless the underlying causes of these crises are more widely understood and rectified, collections-based institutions will continually suffer excessively during economic hard times.

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Medium 9781442267596

Long after the War is Over, the Controversy Remains: Looting of Cultural Properties by the Nazis during Word War II

Collections Altamira Press ePub

Patricia VanRollins

Recent Graduate, University of Iowa School of Law, 241 Lexington Avenue, Iowa City, IA 52246 (pvanrollins@msn.com).

AbstractThis article reviews Nazi confiscations during World War II, focusing on three major points: 1) the theory and rational behind the confiscations; 2) the laws enabling the seizure of property; and 3) the organizations and people responsible for the looting. The story of Maria Altmann illustrates the complexity of international laws involved in recovering looted art works. Altmann v. Austria is a landmark case because it was the first of its kind to reach the U. S. Supreme Court. In January 2006, Mrs. Altmann agreed to binding arbitration in Austria; the three judges unanimously awarded her 5 of the 6 paintings by Gustav Klimt to which she is heir. In late March 2006, the paintings arrived in Los Angeles where the most famous of the paintings, Adele Bloch-Bauer I was placed on display in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

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Medium 9781442267824

Historical Evidence or Just Acts of Vandalism Should We Keep Those Past Interventions?

Collections Altamira Press ePub

Should We Keep Those Past Interventions?

Aristotelis Georgios Sakellariou

Head of the Conservation Centre of the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, 6 Karaoli-Dimitriou str., Lofos Fourezi, Glyka Nera Attikis Greece a.g.sakellariou@gmail.com

Abstract Every object is physical proof of history. The object serves as a manifestation of raw material, human thoughts, and events. Once the heritage expert accepts this, he takes responsibility for interacting with its history by preserving it, adding to it, or removing it. This article defines three aspects of intended interaction with an object’s history: restoration, de-restoration and re-restoration. When preparing an object for exhibition or study, ethical considerations, formed through the years amongst museums and organisations, should be considered in order to achieve the best decision regarding an object’s treatment. There is no single solution to issues that derive from past restorations as noted in the case studies presented here from the Islamic Arts Museum of Malaysia.

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Medium 9781442267848

Collections Risk Assessment at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Collections Altamira Press ePub

Jude Southward

Heather Thorwald

Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Denver, CO, USA; jude.southward@dmns.org; heather.thorwald@dmns.org

Garnet Muething

Robert Waller

Protect Heritage Corp. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; gm@protectheritage.com; rw@protectheritage.com

Abstract The Denver Museum of Nature & Science’s (DMNS) risk assessment evaluated hazards to collections in storage using the Cultural Property Risk Analysis Model (CPRAM; Waller 2003a) to structure a comprehensive assessment and calculate magnitude of risk. Magnitude of risk (MR) is the fraction of collection value expected to be lost given one hundred years exposure to current conditions. The MR is the simple product of four variables (Fraction Susceptible [FS], Loss in Value [LV], Probability [P], and Extent [E]) that are multiplied as follows: MR = FS × LV × P × E. This paper describes the process as implemented at the DMNS and the resultant collections preservation strategies (Southward and Thorwald 2010). The implementation of these strategies are significantly improving DMNS collections stewardship and is an essential step in a larger preservation process (new storage facility) that results in safe and more accessible storage of the 1.4 million objects the Museum holds in public trust.

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Medium 9781442267664

The John and Mildred Putnam Sculpture Collection: Patronage and the Role of a Campus Sculpture Collection

Collections Altamira Press ePub

Evelyn Kiefer-Roulet

Assistant to the Director, The John and Mildred Putnam Sculpture Collection, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, evelyn.kiefer@case.edu

Abstract     Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland Ohio is fortunate to be one of the few colleges and universities in the United States to have a permanent collection of world class sculpture. The thirty seven sculptures included in the John and Mildred Putnam Sculpture Collection as of 2008 are situated in buildings and outdoor locations where they can be experienced casually as part of everyday life rather than bei ng located in a campus gallery or museum. This insures that campus sculpture en riches the learning environment for students, faculty, and visitors alike. All are works of 20th or 21st century sculpture, and because contemporary art can be intellectually challengi ng and controversial, such a collection is particularly appropriate to a learning environment for its ability to spark dialogue. The John and Mildred Putnam Sculpture Collection was created th rough the patronage of Peter Putnam. A generous but enigmatic arts patron, Peter Putnam was born in Cleveland and graduated from Princeton University with a Ph.D. in physics.

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