For about twelve weeks my co-worker and myself have been working the Picture Stores Review at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG). The project involves working alongside the staff of Birmingham Museums Trust to learn about documentation of the collection, object handling, collections conservation and to develop an understanding of how the picture stores are run.
During the twelve weeks, I have been auditing the picture stores at the museums and updating data on the computer systems, KE Emu and as well as compiling a report that recommends improvements on one of the stores. Whilst writing my report I have learned that to an extent, all the Picture Stores at BMAG are used as transit stores for paintings awaiting packing or unpacking when they are moved in or out of the museum on loan. It is important to have sufficient storage space to allow artworks that have arrived to slowly acclimatise to the environmental conditions at the museum for at least 24 hours before being unpacked.
This week I have been writing up my report which recommends alternative storage space for long term and short term solutions and includes designating the environmental conditions within the picture store. The ideal temperature range for storing objects is 16 – 24 degrees Celsius. The Relative Humidity (RH) for storing objects is an average of 55% in humidity. I will also be investigating the cost of packaging for moving objects.
Working alongside different staff members to learn how the museum runs from behind the scenes to the front of house is a wonderful opportunity and part of the course.
I have learned so much about the fine art collection within BMAG observing how the museum runs its stores. The lectures at the University run alongside the live projects that we the students work on
The lectures, throughout second the term, are an extension and a recap of what we learned in term one, this week’s lecture was about Marketing and Communication. We learned the importance of creating different identities for the nine that make up Birmingham Museums Trust and the different types of marketing materials Birmingham Museums Trust uses to communicate and connect to diverse audiences across the city of Birmingham. Overall this work experience has been very enjoyable and I am sure what I have learnt from this experience will help me with possible future career choices.