Friday, May 22, 2009

Getting ready

We'll be hosting our very first exhibit this September, and work is underway to make the gallery ready for it.

The gallery doors are being rehung and made more secure.
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An unneeded door is being removed - this means more wall space inside the gallery!
Remodeling the gallery
Remodeling the gallery

The lights are being changed out for more object friendly lights (the ones hanging there are the old kind).
Remodeling the gallery

And the boxes are all unpacked and ready to be hauled away!
Boxes ready to go!

All of these projects are still underway and should be completed before the end of June. It's very exciting!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fantasy and Reality

There's this movie franchise that maybe you've heard of - Night at the Museum. And maybe you've also heard that there's a sequel - Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. I was at the movies this weekend (geeking out at Star Trek), when they played the trailer.

Now, when I watched the trailer, about 45 seconds in, the first thing I thought was "Not packing peanuts!" Apparently, in this film, some objects are shipped. This movie would have you believe that museums ship objects in enormous piles of packing peanuts. This is not the case. As in many areas, the way a museum ships objects is much more complex. There are often wooden crates involved, but almost never will there be an object just floating in a sea of peanuts.

Many professional shippers will take an approach called cavity packing (link to .pdf). From the NPS Conserv O Gram:
Cavity packing involves placing an object in successive layers of material (e.g., polyethylene foam) into which an opening is cut. The packing material insulates the object and will absorb vibrations created during shipping. Cavity packing supports the object and cushions it from movement. It also creates a microenvironment for the objects.

So it's a little more complicated. This website has some photos of more typical crating methods. Also, packing peanuts are a pain to clean up and the biodegradable kind make great food for all kinds of creepy crawly pests that you don't want around the collection.

And, for the record, I don't encourage touching ancient sculpture either.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Unpacking nears completion

We're just boxes away from being completely, totally, utterly unpacked from the move. How to best prove this claim? How about some photos of used up packing material?
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Bags of used up packing foam

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Unpacked and reflattened boxes.

The foam is being sorted and we're saving much of it for reuse in future (non-permanent) packing. The boxes are going back to the University which will reuse them or recycle them as needed. Which is good. Right now the cardboard has overrun at least two of our work tables!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Whatzit answer

Oops. Time got away from me here. We've been pretty busy these past couple of weeks. Unpacking, more unpacking, grant writing, planning for the exhibit in the fall, making tweaks to the gallery, dealing with the occasional crisis... there's been quite a bit going on.

So, what was that photo anyway?

May was correct! The image is a super close up of the toe of one of our many moccasins. Here's the rest of it:
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It's sitting cozy in its custom mount on its new shelf home.