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  • February 14, 2018 11:26 AM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Artsy

    Art storage facilities charged with the preservation of paintings, sculptures, and other cultural works share a mandate that is in some ways similar to that of Norway’s seed vault. That underground bunker houses a collection of food crop seeds, stored to restart the world’s agriculture after a “doomsday” scenario. But the vault, which faced flooding following the unexpected melting of permafrost last year, is itself already feeling the effects of climate change.

    Though not quite as necessary (or edible) as food, art sustains humanity in an important way. And art storage facilities are also dealing with the threat of climate change. As stewards of artwork, cutting-edge storage facilities actively work to address the increased temperature shifts, severe storms, and erratic weather that are all part of climate change projections.

    In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy barreled into New York, causing widespread flooding in Chelsea and at the art storage facility Christie’s maintains in Brooklyn. Since then, the storm has become a frequent frame of reference for New York art collectors, now keenly aware of the city’s vulnerability to flooding. “If they don’t [mention Sandy], their insurers do,” says Kevin Lay, the director of operations at ARCIS, a soon-to-open Harlem storage facility.  

    That has storage facilities eager to boast about how the work inside is safe from natural disasters. As a result of the hurricane, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) revised its flood and surge zones for the city of New York. Some storage facilities now openly advertise how far they are outside of these zones as a way to drum up business.

    “Of course hurricanes are number one on everybody’s list, both in New York and in Florida,” says John Jacobs, CEO and President of Artex Fine Art Services, which operates storage facilities in New York City, Washington, D.C., Boston, Fort Lauderdale, and Los Angeles. “The awareness of the potential for flooding from hurricanes is much greater than it has been in both New York and Miami,” he noted. It’s no wonder: Three out of five of the nation’s costliest hurricanes occurred in the last 10 years.

    The basic blueprint of all Artex’s facilities are similar in terms of environmental controls such as humidity, cooling and backup generator capacity. Jacobs works with AXA ART Insurance Group’s Global Risk Assessment Platform (GRASP) to evaluate his facilities with over 2,000 industry standard questions ranging from the design of the building to institutional policies and workplace conditions. Jacobs says that GRASP is especially thorough, because it recognizes the crucial role employees play in disaster mitigation: “It’s one thing to have a fancy facility, but does your staff have the right training to handle art property either routinely or in an emergency?” he asks.

    Regional climate affects the facilities’ placement. This explains the choice of inland Fort Lauderdale over art hub Miami and Artex’s 2013 move from Chelsea to Long Island City, 55 feet above sea level.

    Fires also pose a threat to art collections. While it is difficult to link any single fire to climate change, “scientists have found that human-caused climate change is increasing the frequency and size of wildfires for much of the United States,” Vox recently reported. In early December, lovers of the J. Paul Getty Museum white-knuckled through the Los Angeles wildfire that raged not far from the museum (though a major freeway provided a firebreak that the fire never crossed). But robust fire protections built into the museum and the surrounding landscape led officials to insist that “the safest place for the collection to be is right here at the Getty Center,” as a spokesperson told Artsy at the time.  

    Even when the art stored in museums and secure facilities is safe from disaster, art storage facilities are increasingly being called on to evacuate vulnerable work from collectors’ homes to safer harbor. This has them operating in some hazardous conditions. Elsewhere in the Los Angeles area, Artex kicked into gear to evacuate art from clients’ homes threatened by the fire.  

    “We had a number of private collectors calling us, and that was a situation where things were happening so rapidly that it was very difficult to respond,” says Jacobs. “We had crews in pulling things out literally minutes before the houses caught on fire. And we were able to save a fair amount but you have to balance the risk to the staff and people and equipment.” Artex also evacuated art from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. “As soon as the national guard would let us in, they brought us in with armed escorts to start pulling things out,” Jacobs says.

    Art storage facility UOVO, with its flagship in Long Island City, has also been called to evacuate art on short notice due to fire and floods. “On numerous occasions, we’ve received calls, literally on weekends even—Saturday and Sunday morning—from people’s offices, homes, and smaller-sized museums because someone saw a leak or a fire occurred, and they need a safe storage alternative immediately,” says executive vice president Clifford Davis.

    Generally, the best disaster strategy is to keep art in storage facilities, where it is safe and sound behind layers of climate protection. The soon-to-open ARCIS building has 100 percent mechanical redundancy, meaning it has two HVAC systems and atomizers (which control humidity). The generator runs on natural gas, rather than diesel. “In the event of some natural disaster, we don’t have to run a diesel generator,” says Lay, “Good luck getting that diesel delivery when everyone else is trying to do the same thing.” UOVO has two onsite backup generators, and can run autonomously for two weeks, says Davis.

    “We joke that if you see us moving artwork out of that building in an emergency circumstance something has gone very, very wrong in New York City,” says Lay.

    While the climate protections built into major high-profile public museums like the Getty and the Whitney receive a great deal of press attention, the risk mitigation strategies employed by private storage facilities are similar, and increasingly interrelated. Artex, ARCIS and UOVO all function as supplementary storage for major museum collections. Jacobs estimates that 70 percent of his business is museum-oriented. Consequently, the facilities are purpose-built to museum-quality standards.

    Adrian Tuluca, a senior principal with the architectural consulting firm Vidaris, conducted thermal analysis on ARCIS shortly after performing the same process for the new Whitney Museum building. Tuluca used computational fluid dynamics modeling (CFD) to determine how to stop condensation—which could lead to mold—from forming within the walls of the facility should temperatures outside drop to 20, 11, or four degrees Fahrenheit. He’s also done this same analysis for Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s upcoming Hudson Yards arts facility and the Shed, which required writing custom code to address the building’s unique movable shell.

    As they look to the future, those tasked with safeguarding culture from natural disasters are thinking broadly about the threats posed to artwork. “In this time of changing climate, anything’s possible,” says Jacobs. He talks to art museums around the country about their plans in case of a disaster—whether a major storm, or a terrorist attack. In the world of insurance, the legal umbrella of force majeure, or unpreventable circumstances, includes both “acts of god” (such as a hurricane) and “acts of man” (such as a riot). We may look at the looting of Palmyra and the flooding of Miami as separate events, but the effects of climate change do have a direct impact on human action. The nonprofit Saving Antiquities for Everyone (SAFE), gives multiple examples of cultural artifacts being looted in the wake of environmental disaster. No one tasked with running art storage facilities believes in taking a passive approach to the external threats posed to the work inside.

    “Taking care of cultural property is my religion,” says Lay. “I would almost rather die than let something happen to an artwork.”

    See Original Post

  • February 14, 2018 11:02 AM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from the Citizen Times

    A large emerald is missing from the Asheville Museum of Science, which reported the gem stolen late last month, more than three weeks after it was last seen. 

    On Jan. 24, a museum representative reached out to the Asheville Police Department to report a larceny. Somebody had forcibly stolen an emerald, which the museum valued at $10,000, according to a police report. The museum didn't report the gem stolen until nearly a month after it was last seen. The last known secure date of the emerald, which was previously on display in the museum's gem and mineral collection, was listed as Jan. 1 in the police report.   

    The museum provided the Citizen Times with a prepared statement via email, and declined to comment further on Thursday afternoon. In the museum's statement, Executive Director Anna Priest said that the museum hadn't been broken into and that nothing else had been taken. 

    "The AMOS gem and mineral collection has immeasurable historical significance and the theft of the emerald is a sad loss," the museum statement reads. "One of the challenges for any museum is the tension between securing works of value while also making sure they’re available for the public to enjoy."

    Priest also said that the museum is working to increase security measures. 

    Police didn't have any updates regarding the investigation into the reported larceny Thursday. The status of the case was listed as "closed/leads exhausted" on the January incident report. 

    See Original Post

  • February 14, 2018 10:55 AM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from The Sacramento Bee

    Radicalized individuals — not teams of trained operatives — are the terror threats that most worry federal law enforcement agencies as the calendar turns to 2018.

    Combating them is challenging, since many give little indication they’re planning an attack in the first place.

    FBI Director Christopher Wray has indicated the FBI considers the most pressing domestic terrorism threats to be homegrown violent extremists radicalized by ISIS and other radical Islamist groups, as well as lone wolf attackers who aren’t connected to any other actors or groups. Cultists, “sovereign citizens” who don’t believe government constraints apply to them and those motivated by racial animus are a lesser but persistent concern, according to the bureau.

    “If you look at the numbers, the repetition and the consistency, I think that’s No. 1 by a long stretch,” Heiman said, citing attacks in San Bernardino, Orlando, Fort Hood and the recent attacks in New York City. While other attacks happen every year, Heiman said other movements are not as consistent.

    Some object to the categories as artificial and counterproductive. “There’s this focus on categorizing ideology, rather than focusing on methodology for committing these acts of violence. It springs from this necessity to categorize in order to distribute resources in an organized way, but we then come to believe those categories are real,” said Michael German, a former FBI official who worked in counterterrorism. “This whole concept of a radical Islam, which includes very different groups such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda, has nothing to do with keeping Americans safer.”

    Still, while there may be disagreement about the framing, nobody questions that the United States needs to be on the lookout for potential attackers. And the FBI’s view will carry the day when it comes to allocating funds and manpower to the task. Here’s a closer look at how the agency is seeing things.

    Homegrown violent extremists

    Violent extremists wanting to join foreign fighters in support of ISIS, or those who aspire to attack the United States from within, continue to be at the top of the FBI’s watch list, with the threat amplified by “a surge in terrorist propaganda and training available via the Internet and social networking media,” Wray noted in testimony to a House committee at the end of November. Online recruitment and indoctrination mean that it’s no longer necessary for terrorist organizations to sneak operatives into the country to recruit others and act.

    That’s a big change from the environment of a decade ago, Wray said.

    In 2017, jihadist attacks claimed the most lives compared to other domestic extremist groups, with five attacks in the U.S. killing 17 people, according to Joshua Freilich, co-creator of the Extremist Crime Database. Figures on deaths attributable to terrorist groups vary slightly, due to differences in the criteria for labeling something a terrorist act. Freilich said his database defines these attacks as ideologically motivated homicides, or “incidents where the offenders – either wholly or partly – committed the attack to further their extremist beliefs.”

    Interspersed attacks with comparably low fatalities have become the norm for aggressions committed under the umbrella of radical Islamic groups, according to Heiman, largely because ISIS has overtaken Al-Qaeda in prominence.

    “Al-Qaeda was planning these epic, dramatic attacks. You compare that to the Islamic State, and their approach is, ‘Here’s what we’d like, you go out and figure out how to do it,’” Heiman said. “So then you get individuals picking up whatever they can, bats or cars or firearms, without a lot of training in how to get those mass casualties.”

    While that means it’s less likely we’ll see repeats of 9/11 with thousands or even hundreds of deaths, attacks by individuals are also much harder to pinpoint, Heiman said.

    German, however, sees the depiction of radicalization put forth by the FBI as misleading. He said in most cases it’s far more likely these terrorists are individuals already planning violent action and looking for an ideology to pin it on than it is that they come to their actions through online recruitment. And law enforcement too readily categorizes people of color based on flimsy evidence such as a few internet searches, according to German.

    He compared Omar Mateen, the Orlando shooter who killed 49 people in 2016 at a gay nightclub who pledged allegiance to ISIS, to James Holmes, the Aurora shooter who killed 12 people in 2012 at a movie screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Mateen’s attack was seen as an obvious ideological attack against gay people, while “no one suggested Holmes was motivated by a hatred for Batman, or those who watch it.”

    Lone-wolf attacks

    “We are most concerned about the lone offender attacks, primarily shootings, as they have served as the dominant mode for lethal domestic extremist violence,” Wray said in November.

    Lone-wolf attacks represent a significant hurdle for law enforcement by their very nature. If an American citizen is planning an attack alone, it’s “almost impossible to detect that, unless they open up about their feelings to family and friends,” Heiman said.

    “We might not have as many large-scale attacks, but we have a steady drip of these attacks with one or two actors that come in with a highly destructive weapon, or drive a car into a crowd, and it’s still a significant loss of life,” Heiman said.

    The most destructive example of a lone offender in 2017 is Stephen Paddock’s shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people. While Paddock’s motive is still unknown, meaning it hasn’t been classified as a terrorist attack, it’s emblematic of German’s critique of the emphasis placed on these categories. Regardless of whether Paddock was a terrorist or a criminal, his attack was still catastrophic.

    Additionally, while mass shootings represent significant loss of life, the numbers still aren’t comparable to the number of homicide deaths constantly occurring, German said. There were about 17,000 homicides in the U.S. in 2016, according to the FBI, and 40 percent of them are unsolved.

    Other extremist movements

    “Domestic extremist movements collectively pose a steady threat to the United States,” Wray said in November. “We anticipate law enforcement, racial minorities, and the U.S. government will continue to be significant targets for many domestic extremist movements.”

    White supremacists, sovereign citizens, black nationalists, radical religious and other cultist groups fall into this grouping. The FBI recently leaked to the public a counterterrorism report that identified a “black identity extremist” threat, saying these extremists were likely to increasingly target police officers over perceived racial injustice. Many – including German – criticized the report’s definition as overly broad and worried it was being used to target nonviolent protestors, such as members of Black Lives Matter.

    Far-left domestic extremist groups (which includes black nationalists) have killed eight people in 2017, according to Freilich’s database, while nine people have been killed in attacks by far-right domestic extremist groups (which includes white supremacists and sovereign citizens) — but the FBI has no category for “white identity extremists.”

    See Original Post

  • February 14, 2018 10:44 AM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from

    Officials with Texas Tech University say security cameras are being installed in undisclosed locations across campus to help authorities keep the students, faculty and staff safe.

    The effort is part of a larger security plan from President Lawrence Schovanec, the Texas Tech Police Department and the Student Government Association.

    "At Texas Tech, we constantly review all the practices in place that relate to ensuring a safe environment," Schovanec said. "That means we should take advantage of all the technologies that are there.

    "It’s part of the culture we want to create here so students would feel, as they go from building to building, as they cross this campus at night, that there are measures in place to ensure they can do that without feeling threatened or worried."

    The security cameras are part of a continuing initiative to increase automated campus safety, as recommended by a committee composed of Texas Tech officials and student representatives.

    "For the Texas Tech Police Department, the safety and security of the campus community is paramount," said Texas Tech Police Chief Kyle Bonath. "We are pleased to work with the president and the Student Government Association to protect the community we serve."

    Officials say additional cameras will be installed in the near future. 

    See Original Post

  • January 30, 2018 3:08 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from VV Daily Press

    Caretakers of the California Route 66 Museum spent most of the morning wiping away tears and cleaning up broken glass after the popular tourist attraction was broken into.

    Museum President Susan Bridges and her staff watched in disbelief as a security monitor recording showed a man smashing glass cabinets, overturning displays and stealing vintage artifacts and clothing inside the museum located on D Street in Victorville.

    Bridges said the camera also caught the suspect breaking into the museum, stealing a “vintage and empty” cash register; leaving the building and returning later to “damage and steal” property.

    “He was inside for about 10 minutes and did about $30,000 in damage,” Bridges told the Daily Press Monday. “It’s going to cost about $5,000 just to replace the glass. We’re going to be closed for at least a week so we can get everything back in order.”

    San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department deputies arrested Roy Fonder after he was found with stolen items and a crowbar near the museum in Victorville. The 25-year-old Fonder, who matched the description of the suspect on the surveillance video, was later booked at High Desert Detention Center on suspicion of burglary and vandalism, Sheriff’s spokeswoman Mara Rodriguez reported.

    Most of the stolen property has been recovered and the majority of the 4,500-square-foot museum was left untouched during the break in. But the scale model of Hulaville, six glass cabinets, the front door and numerous antique cars, trains and figurines were damaged in the break-in, Bridges said.

    “He really did a number on Hulaville, but I saved the bottles,” said museum docent Bill Lamb, as he worked to restore the model and find missing pieces that had been scattered throughout the building. “You can replace glass, but you can’t replace history.”

    Bridges, who said she was alerted to the break-in by Hi Desert Alarm just before 2 a.m. Monday, remarked that deputies “seemed to be heartbroken” by what they found when they arrived at the museum.

    “This museum is part of who we all are,” Bridges said. “It holds so many memories and artifacts of Route 66 and the High Desert. I can see how anyone who lives here would be affected.”

    Bridges said she is pleading with the public to “stop calling the museum” to inquire about the damage and stolen property.

    “We’ve been getting calls from the High Desert and all over the country,” Bridges said. “We appreciate the love and support from all of our friends around the world, but we’re swamped trying to put everything back together. We’ll keep everyone updated on Facebook, Instagram and our website.”

    The museum team is working hard to reopen the museum so they can serve “the army of Brazilian and Polish tourists” who are currently on vacation. Every year, the museum welcomes thousands of guests from Europe, Asia, South America and other places around the world, Bridges said.

    Air Force veteran and museum docent Lou Tyson, 70, told the Daily Press his “childhood” hit him “square in the face” when he first walked through the doors of the museum.

    “I was infuriated when I found out what happened here,” said Tyson, as the original “Hula Girl” cutout looked down on him. “The museum is my home-away-from-home, so this break-in makes me feel violated.”

    For donation and general information, visit or The museum is located at 16825 D St. in Victorville.

    See Original Post

  • January 30, 2018 3:04 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from The Art Newspaper

    The rising water level of the Seine has resulted in the Musée du Louvre closing the lower level of its department of Islamic Arts until Sunday (28 January) as a “preventive measure” from flood damage, according to a spokeswoman for the museum. “But there is no evacuation of the works at this stage,” she says. The spokesman says that opening hours remain unchanged. The temporarily closed area is 2,800 sq. m; the entire museum measures 73,000 sq. m. The ​department of ​Islamic Arts​ was inaugurated in 2012 and designed by the architects Rudy Ricciotti and Mario Bellini.

    The decision to implement the Plan de Protection Contre les Inondations (PPCI; protection plan against flooding) was taken yesterday after the Seine reached 5.12m above its normal level. The PPCI was set up in 2002 after the police headquarters informed the Louvre that works from its collection could be at risk from floods. The PPCI comprises a “risk prevention cell”, observing the daily level and fluctuations of the Seine by firefighters and the creation of files indexing works that would need to be moved to higher levels of the museum.

    Concern is so great that last month construction of a preservation site began in Liévin, northern France, that will shelter 152,000 works belonging to the Louvre that are currently housed in an area that is at risk of flooding. In June 2016, the Louvre closed for four days after the Seine's level rose to 6m in order to evacuate 35,000 works to a higher level.

    The Musée d'Orsay and the Musée de l'Orangerie have also launched their PPCI. The Orsay is closing at 6pm this evening, as opposed to at 9.45pm (Thursday is the museum's late evening) and a dance that was scheduled during the Dégas exhibition has been postponed until 8 February.

    UPDATE (25 January): The Petit Palais has begun moving 5,000 works from its reserves. "We started bringing them up yesterday morning as a preventative measure and they are installed on the ground floor of our permanent collection," says a museum spokeswoman. She adds that the majority of works, along with those of other museums belonging to the City of Paris, are kept in the suburbs. "The flood in June 2016 enabled us to be operational and very well organised very quickly," she says.

    See Original Post

  • January 30, 2018 1:46 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    The Donald Peterson Student Travel Award Subcommittee invites applications from archival science students and recent graduates of archival programs.  The award subsidizes travel to the SAA Annual Meeting for students presenting research or actively participating in an SAA-sponsored committee, section, or roundtable.

    Application details are below. The application deadline is February 28, 2018. Applications will only be accepted online.  If you have any questions regarding the award or the application process, please contact Veronica Denison, Donald Peterson Student Travel Award Committee Chair, at

    Purpose and Criteria for Selection

    Established in 2005, this award supports students and recent graduates from graduate archival programs within North America to attend SAA’s Annual Meeting. The goal of the scholarship is to stimulate greater participation in the activities of SAA by students and recent graduates. This participation must include either a presentation of research during the Annual Meeting or active participation in an SAA-sponsored committee, section, or roundtable.


    Awarded to an SAA member in good standing who is currently enrolled in an archival education program or who graduated from an archival education program in the previous calendar year. Applications are evaluated based on the merits of the applicant’s essay and letters of recommendation.

    Sponsor and Funding

    The Society of American Archivists, in honor of Donald Peterson (1908-1999), New York lawyer and philatelist, whose deep appreciation of world history and preservation developed early through his stamp collecting and held true throughout his life.


    Up to $1,000 in support of registration, travel, and accommodation expenses associated with the SAA Annual Meeting.

    First Awarded


    Application Information and Documentation

    Click here to preview the application and/or to apply. All applications must be submitted online and include the following:  

    1. A 500-word essay describing the applicant's career goals and potential impact on the archival profession.

    2. Unofficial transcript to verify student status or copy of graduate diploma.

    3. Two letters of recommendation from individuals having definite knowledge of the applicant's qualifications.

    Application Deadline

    February 28, 2018

  • January 30, 2018 1:40 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Newsweek

    In a new chapter of the ongoing saga of Hobby Lobby’s smuggling of Iraqi religious artifacts, the arts and crafts emporium surrendered 245 objects to the United States government, according to court documents.

    Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. voluntarily turned over the artifacts to federal prosecutors in New York on January 17, according to Long Island Business News. This brings the total number of artifacts surrendered so far to 3,839. Hobby Lobby had previously agreed to turn over 5,500.

    In July 2017, Hobby Lobby agreed to pay a $3 million fine for smuggling religious artifacts out of Iraq, including thousands of ancient cuneiform tablets deliberately mislabeled as tile samples, according to The New York Times.

    The store's evangelical Christian owners spent $1.6 million on the artifacts in December of 2010, even after a cultural property law expert that the business itself had retained warned that such artifacts might have been looted, and that without proper verification they could be seized by United States Customs and Border Protection. Nevertheless, according to a press statement from the United States Justice Department, Hobby Lobby persisted:

    The acquisition of the Artifacts was fraught with red flags. For example, Hobby Lobby received conflicting information where the Artifacts had been stored prior to the inspection in the UAE. Further, when the Artifacts were presented for inspection to Hobby Lobby’s president and consultant in July 2010, they were displayed informally. In addition, Hobby Lobby representatives had not met or communicated with the dealer who purportedly owned the Artifacts, nor did they pay him for the Artifacts. Rather, following instructions from another dealer, Hobby Lobby wired payment for the Artifacts to seven personal bank accounts held in the names of other individuals.

    The artifacts themselves include around 450 ancient cuneiform tablets and around 3,000 clay bullae, or inscribed seals, according to court documents from the 2017 civil complaint. Cuneiform is among the world's oldest known systems of writing, believed to have originated in ancient Mesopotamia. 

    A media relations representative for Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. issued the following statement to



    The 245 artifacts were part of the same transaction that was the subject of Hobby Lobby's settlement with the government in July 2017. At the time of the settlement, the artifacts could not be located. Hobby Lobby agreed that if they were located, the company would turn them over to the government. The artifacts were subsequently located and turned over.

    Hobby Lobby President Steve Green owns one of the largest collections of religious artifacts anywhere in the world, having been actively collecting various Middle Eastern antiquities since 2009, according to Long Island Business News. He was recently responsible for the unveiling of a Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. Some of the smuggled Iraqi artifacts would have been intended for that museum.

    The federal government became suspicious of Green's collection in 2011, when U.S. customs opened FedEx packages that had been declared as "'hand made [sic] clay tiles (sample)' manufactured in Turkey," according to the Justice Department.

    See Original Post

  • January 30, 2018 1:32 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Western Museums Association

    The Indian Arts Research Center (IARC) is a division of the School for Advanced Research (SAR) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The goal of IARC is to bridge the divide between creativity and scholarship by supporting initiatives and projects in Native American studies, art history, and creative expression that illuminate the intersections of the social sciences, humanities, and arts.

    The IARC recently released guidelines to ensure successful museum and community collaborations. There are two sets of guidelines: 1) Community + Museum Collaboration and 2) Museum + Community Collaboration.

    These guidelines were developed over a three-year period of collaboration between Native and non-Native museum professionals, cultural leaders and artists. The Community + Museum Collaboration guidelines are intended as a resource for community members who are working in collaboration with museums. The Museum + Community Collaboration guidelines are a resource for museums that are looking to collaborate with a source community. This is not a set of rules; instead, it offers ideas to consider when working with museums and source communities.

    This project began with the desire to set the record straight. Source communities can work with museums to correct and add to the museum record. According to Jim Enote, A:shiwi A:wan Museum & Heritage Center, “The idea of bringing source communities together with collections is the right thing to do. The idea of building collaborations between communities and museums and their collections was a new level of engagement. And this was part of the essence of building our guidelines for communities to work with collections.” This work is relevant for communities because they can learn more about their identity and heritage through museum collections.

    These guidelines were created with the belief that museums should be thinking about how to bring life to objects by allowing them to return or reenage with their source. The guidelines create a platform that offers museums and communities an opportunity to negotiate the best approach to achieve true collaboration.

    The Guidelines for Collaboration are an excellent resource for communities that want to work with museums and museums that want to work with communities. These resources provide an opportunity for true collaboration and two-way learning. 

    To learn more about this innovative project, download the guidelines, and view case studies visit the Guidelines for Collaboration website

    See Original Post

  • January 30, 2018 1:26 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from DMagazine

    The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts didn't think a police report was necessary when Irby Pace's work went missing. His Dallas gallerist disagrees.

    When Irby Pace found out his art was stolen from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, he was deflated. The hijacked stereo cards had been a challenge to craft. Pace liked the fresh way they allowed viewers engage with his work. Plus, his subjects — vibrantly colored smoke clouds — looked super dope in 3D.

    Now he’d have to start over.

    He posted the news to his private social media accounts: “Some of my art was stolen from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts [fuming emoji, red emoji]” and added a doctored screenshot from the The Thomas Crown Affair.

    As status updates go, it was simple and funny. Unless, of course, you’re the MMoFA. They weren’t thrilled with the shout-out. Due to the pieces’ scale and market price, they considered the whole thing a fender-bender of sorts — and they’d really rather nobody talk about it. To Curator of Art Jennifer Jankauskas, it didn’t merit a call to the cops.

    “It’s not like a Monet got stolen,” she said in an interview. “The necessity of a police report doesn’t seem to make sense.”

    Plus, Jankauskas told me, Pace’s work would not have been sellable after the exhibition, due to general wear and tear on the materials during the show’s run.

    What followed was a charged exchange, one that would deal with free speech, the value of art, and the power politics between institutions and the artists they showcase. It also spurred other questions: Is successful interactive art less valuable due to material degradation, or more valuable due to its high level of engagement?

    Pace’s gallerist, Ree Willaford of Galleri Urbane Marfa + Dallas, said that Pace wanted that human interaction, that DNA on the work. And besides: “Those could have been artist proofs,” she says from her Dallas showroom. “That’s not for us to decide. We all know Rauschenbergs don’t hold up well, but we’d all take one!”

    “And it was supposed to be kept safe anyway, in any institution,” she says. “Whether it’s a gallery or museum.”

     Irby was teaching a class at Troy University when he saw three missed calls. A week had passed since the theft and Pace had kind of found peace with the whole thing.

    “How mad can you be when somebody loved [the work] so much they risked whatever they could have risked to steal it?” he asked.

    Besides, now his stereo cards are in the canon of Art Stolen from Museums, which carries its own panache. And nobody can take that from him, right?

    He checked the missed calls and rang the museum back. They wanted to settle up, name a price and close the loop with the artist. The press had started sniffing around and they needed this thing resolved. Once a monetary agreement was reached, they had a few more demands.

    “They asked me not to make any social media postings, they asked me why I made any social media postings, and then they dictated that I need to go onto social media and explain that the thing has been resolved,” said Pace.

    In a follow-up email, he was asked to stop giving information to reporters and to try and kill the story.

    By the end of it, Pace felt censored, used and insulted.

    “I was told that my artwork, because of the nature of it and the size of it, isn’t as important as the Edward Hoppers or other permanent collection work that it would be associated with. And what would validate a proper comment or investigation of theft.” 

    Questions about logistics enter here, too. Does additional oversight need to be put into a space where the public directly handles the art? And if so, who decides that? And if work is damaged, broken or lost to theft, how do its custodians talk about that with the public —or can they sweep it under the rug and silence the artist?

    Surveying the museum landscape today, the public’s appetite for interactive artwork is only growing. As these institutions move away from Old Paintings on Walls, they’re being challenged to consider new rules and protocols. Meanwhile artists like Pace are left assuming more risk and murkier definitions of value. Should artists’ work leave a museum less valuable than when it entered it?

    Irby Pace moved his family to Montgomery, Alabama in 2014 to accept a teaching position at nearby Troy. They left behind a Dallas arts community wherein Pace’s work had been quickly noticed. For his 2012 MFA show he made national headlines by ripping abandoned pictures of strangers off Apple store devices, blowing them up and calling it art. He presciently captured the cultural moment just before “selfie” happened. He also got tangled up with Apple in a dispute over privacy rights, freedom of speech and appropriation in a time of rapidly evolving technology.

    The Dallas Observer awarded him “Best Art Heist” for the affair. That irony isn’t lost on Pace. “It’s kind of like a climatic response to that,” he said about the theft and laughed. “You can’t be THAT mad.”

    But again, that was before the museum’s phone call.

    Pace’s stolen pieces were stereo card images. Shot on a special camera with two lenses, set at different angles, his work was laser cut and hand assembled over five months. It is the only set that exists. To use it, visitors place the cards into an antique viewer from the early 1900s and observe a three-dimensional illusion of his photography. It’s a fun gimmick that was popular more than one hundred years ago — another era when escapism was all the rage.

    Their intimate size was part of what attracted Pace to the project. His big, blown up photographs were getting snatched up back at the gallery in Dallas and he’d have a few in this show as well. But he wanted to play with scale and guide viewers through his trippy environments in a more personal way. He chalked it up as a positive. The curators called the cards “minimal pieces” compared to the big guys on the wall and noted that they were replaceable.

    Willaford again isn’t so sure this logic shakes out. She starts telling a story about her friend who ran a Houston gallery back in the ‘70s, who “sold (Donald) Judds when nobody wanted them.” For one fair in Germany, her friend carried the whole show in her purse. Cy Twombly had painted an entire series on popsicle sticks. “How much are those worth today?” asks Willaford. “That day they weren’t that valuable.”

    While neither party is naming the settled payment price, both agree it’s enough to cover the material costs of creating a new set of slides. Pace may start a new series, but he won’t attempt to recreate the ones he’s lost.

    “I’ll probably let that series be stolen and move onto the next one.” he says. Besides, he’s already considering other ways to bring his work to life, like large-scale holograms that dominate a showroom. And that seems like a great idea, one that’s really tough to steal. 

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