WAACNewsletter
Volume 2, Number 1, Feb. 1980, p.3

Update on Technical Label Project

Anonymous

In the September Newsletter Jim Greaves proposed a labeling system to encourage artists into providing technical information with their works. Subsequently, LAICA (Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art) generously offered to design and print some trial labels for WAAC at the cost of the materials. The executive committee reviewed the concept and the many predictable problems in areas of user education and distribution. Printing schedules necessitated immediate action, and in view of the relatively minor expense, the committee unanimously authorized the printing with the enclosed results.

Problems of user education and methods of distribution remain. A broad program of handing out labels through artists supply stores, etc. was ruled out as being initially ineffective and impossible to resupply. Distribution methods contemplated will be centered on personal contacts with established artists, dealers, museum personnel (particularly registrars), and possibly fine arts programs. Our responses from artists thus far have been positive. A simple usage guide may be printed to explain our terms. The executive committee decided to restrict trial distribution primarily to the Los Angeles area, but blocks of labels will be made available to anyone who wishes to experiment with ways of getting them into circulation. A restricted approach is necessary to better gauge responses and to correlate prospective usage with label supplies. If initial tests suggest that we might be successful we would then have to find an independent source of funding to sustain the program.

If the labels meet with our membership's approval the executive committee will further examine the possibility of a comparable standard label to be used by the members to record basic conservation/treatment information for works they have handled, a concept that should be more within our powers to make successful. This label would be as general as possible in order to be applicable to most classes of art works. We include this possible format for your criticism.

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