This blog is about museum life “Under the Wings,” right?
One of the most important and perhaps most buried “under the wings” duties of the curatorial department is the care of the art collection (housing, safe transport, conservation) including the proper organization of what we have, where it is, who made it, how much it is worth, etc.
As the Museum acquires new objects, we make a new TMS (our database, The Museum System) record that tracks everything from insurance values to the artist’s nationality and birth date. As time progresses, TMS becomes rich with information, but that is entirely dependent on constantly adding new data.
A small thorn in our side was an old record saying “188 glass paperweights” and the location of four high-density storage boxes. And, that’s all it said.
Were these 19th-century French millefiori paperweights? Folk art advertising paperweights? Tourist paperweights from 1950s Venice? We didn’t know.
Enter our Milwaukee paperweight expert.