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Subject: Couriers


From: Marie Svoboda <msvoboda>
Date: Monday, November 3, 2003
Kate Woollett <katew [at] artgallery__wa__gov__au> writes

>Here at the Art Gallery of Western Australia conservation staff are
>currently reviewing procedures for couriering works of art
>interstate and overseas.  We are interested in what policies other
>institutions have instigated, what training couriers receive and
>which staff members travel with the works (i.e. is it always a
>conservator?).  We would like to hear from other institutions as we
>are trying to establish what is the current practice out there in
>the real world.

At the J.Paul Getty Museum courier procedures are pretty
straightforward.  There is a courier packet, which thoroughly
describes the museum's policies and procedures.  But basically, the
training comes from our registrar who meets with each courier before
they travel and provides the specifics of that trip for that person.
This includes a folder with extremely detailed information on
flights times, point people, hotel information, phone numbers etc.,
in addition to the more general courier packet. The registrar also
makes sure that the courier has read through and understands the
reports (condition and facilities) and knows the environmental or
mounting requirements, if any, before hand.  Also, a packing meeting
is always scheduled so that the courier is fully aware of how the
works of art are packed in their crate. All this ensures that the
courier knows exactly what they are doing and it helps the trip go
smoothly with little or no surprises.

Who travels with the material depends on the art and if there are
any specific requirements.  For example: if the art requires special
handling or a specific display environment and/or is fragile in
nature, a conservator may be required to travel with it.  If
installing the material involves rigging, intricate mounting etc., a
conservator, mount maker/art handler (preparation) will be the
courier. In instances where a curator or registrar travels with the
work(s) of art they always consult with the conservator and mount
maker before hand to insure that they are aware of every possible
issue or problem that could occur.

I am not sure how real world this is, but hopefully it is helpful
information for you.

Marie Svoboda
Associate Conservator
Antiquities Conservation
J. Paul Getty Museum

                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:41
                 Distributed: Monday, November 3, 2003
                       Message Id: cdl-17-41-004
Received on Monday, 3 November, 2003

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