Monday, September 19, 2011

Student Kaman Law at the Evansville Museum

During the summer of 2011, I had the privilege to work at the Evansville Museum as a paid assistant for the Museum Collection Movement Project. As funded by the Evansville Museum’s Reaching for the Star capital campaign, the museum has constructed a new state-of-the-art collection storage facility on site to replace the old one. For 12 weeks and 240 hours, I worked alongside the Curator of Collections, Mary Bower, and Registrar, Liz Fuhrman-Bragg, to transport the objects from the old storage unit to the new one. Since we cannot safely move the collection while the museum is filled with visitors, we mainly worked night shifts. In addition to moving the objects, we also cleaned, photographed, wrote condition reports, and created custom-made containers.

Kaman cleans a textile piece.
I gained experience on the proper cleaning methods for various types of items, including paintings, metal, wood, ceramic, and textile. Vacuuming the backs of canvases quickly became my favorite pastime. However, customizing boxes from scratch is the activity I enjoyed the most this summer. It takes much practice to create the perfect container to store the artifact or artwork as well as math skills and a lot of patience. Each box can take up to two hours to make if it requires a lid. Thus, every box is an artwork of its own.

A bust in a box made by Kaman.
In addition, I learned more about the history of Evansville through interacting with the collection. Despite the many long nights at the museum, I had a wonderful time working with my fellow colleagues and volunteers. It was a summer I will never forget.

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