Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Collections Bloggy Blog - A Moment of Silence

There comes a time in every curator's life where we must say goodbye to the dearly departed, or the horribly broken. That's right everyone, some Dr Pepper stuff broke. Recently we gathered our museum powers and got ready to install the newest exhibit here at the DPM -- Rock the Clock! It turned out to be a pretty cool exhibit, but because of where it is located we always have some issues with hanging things. The particular wall in the Museum that is a hot spot for temporary exhibits happens to be on an original wall, which means that we can't drill stuff or hammer nails into it. This also means that we have weird challenges hanging artwork, and in this case, clocks. We tried several ways of hanging different types of clocks, and unfortunately, two of them did not survive.

I debated for a while about whether or not to post about this, but in the end I think it is important to be real with you all and let you know that museums aren't perfect and accidents do happen. This is the first time in my tenure that something has broken while on exhibit, and I am not denying that this damage was the fault of the staff and gravity. All the clocks that are up now are secured so we shouldn't have any other issues, but I still have to deal with the broken ones that are still part of the collection. Just like with everything else, there is a process you go through when something breaks, and without getting all technical, the general idea is that you have to submit a new condition report in Past Perfect (the museum software we use) and photograph the damage. That is what I spent some of my afternoon doing, and I have posted the pictures I took of the damage below:

1960s Clock

1980s Clock

It is really unfortunate, but I also feel pretty lucky that we are all well-trained professionals and this type of thing does not happen often. We are always learning, and constantly trying to showcase as much of our collection as we can, and now and then we have to deal with things like this. Any other museums out there have a damage story to share?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mary Beth,
What happens to these clocks? In particular, the 1960's one. I have one, but the face is fading. Any chance of acquiring the one from the museum?
David Bryant
Houston. TX