Bespoke crating and packaging: Are the objects staying in the museum, or are they being transported to another site locally or oversees? If they are staying in the museum, the technicians must determine whether they are being placed in short-term or long-term storage, as each option requires a different method of packing and conservation. Careful planning and precise handling is vital, with the safety of the work being paramount.
Timescale: Efficient planning to ensure work is completed by a specific deadline is of great importance to our team and the museum. Possible challenges which may occur during a project must be taken into consideration. Completing a project on time is also crucial to developing a strong and long-lasting relationship with our clients.
Surrounding space: Rooms holding a collection of paintings or objects vary greatly in size, so it is important to access the area before work can begin. This can have an impact on the overall timescale of the project and can greatly determine was equipment can be used. It is very important to have a clear work area and sufficient transporting space to enable work to be moved freely from other objects and displays. Once large objects are removed it is often surprising how much space can be made available. This is most obvious when packing component sections of large-scale pieces.
Building structure: Any building with listed status means the protection of the fabric of the building is of specific concern. In most cases our team would usually proceed with guidance from Historic England. This can dramatically affect the way a collection is moved or re-installed.
Expect the unexpected: Our technicians must be prepared for any challenges that arise, especially when handling historic works. Every project is different, and requirements can change at any moment. It is of great importance that the team resolve any unexpected concerns promptly and cautiously.
Any of these ten factors can be challenging for technicians and museum staff. They highlight the many logistical stages that must be considered when relocating collections, and the importance of detailed planning and research before a project begins.
Blog first published on the Horniman Museum & Gardens website.