Familiar patterns

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IMG_5707The final weeks of my live project have involved writing a report recommending how BMT are able to improve their storage. My main conclusion is that there is opportunity to condense works which are currently stored within picture store 1, as a short term solution. It was originally thought that the stores are at full capacity, however the audit has shown that there is 35% rack space not currently being used. The report has identified that there is potential rack space which can be maximised through reorganising the objects in store. I have proposed that a rack plan system can be used to achieve this. By arranging works in similar sizes it means that objects will be able to fit in suitable available gaps, therefore minimising wasted space. Using museum standard paperwork, MoMP (Management of Museum Projects) I have developed a project proposal to plan how these recommendations can be put into action. This required proposing a budget, team structure, time line, risk, project aims and targets, as well as also thinking how this will impact BMT’s future developments in line with the overarching strategic aims.

I also attended the private view of the new exhibition, I Want, I want! which is part of the Arts Council Partner exhibitions. The exhibition is a temporary contemporary art exhibition exploring the relationship between art and technology- a theme which I have explored in my own practice as a fine artist. Works featured in this exhibition are drawn from the Arts Council Collection, public and private collections, along with Birmingham’s own permanent collection. It was great to see some of the objects I recognised from the store during the audit project out on display. For example, one of the works I recognised was Fiona Rae, Dark Star, which was previously in Picture Store 2. This work was acquired in 2001 by the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme, which worked to develop Birmingham’s collection of contemporary art painting.

I have enjoyed my time working in the collections department, alongside the conservation team. I have gained a real insight into how museum collection and storage function. I will use this knowledge to shape the rest of my research throughout the final term of my MA course, and I am sure that these professional skills will be invaluable.

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