This week’s post is written by guest blogger, Brittany Baksa, Collections Assistant at The Phillips Museum of Art and Museum Studies Graduate Student at Johns Hopkins University.
Last week the museum received a gift of 43 gelatin silver photographic prints by the artist, Andreas Feininger that were previously housed at the Bonnie Benrubi gallery in New York. The gift was given to the museum by the Estate of Gertrud E. Feininger, late wife of the artist. Born in Paris, France, Feininger immigrated to New York in 1939 where he established his role as a freelance photographer. In 1943 he began working at LIFE magazine, continuing through 1962. The artist was famous for his photographs of Manhattan scenery in addition to natural objects. As an author, he is best known for the written work, The Complete Photographer.
In keeping with the museum registration standards of properly documenting every object that enters the museum, I processed the 43 works accordingly. I accounted for all of the works by checking our list with that of the gallery’s. I then photographed and took precise measurements of each object for our records. The next step was to compose condition reports (a detailed statement of the condition of the object). In preparing the report, I used a magnifying glass and flashlight to look closely at each piece looking for conditions such as delamination, accretions, scratches or loss. After the completion of this process, the photographs were placed into proper storage containers and the information entered into our museum database.
These objects are currently placed in the museum under a temporary custody agreement as they await a decision by the museum board to be accessioned into the museum’s permanent collection. For an object to be accessioned, it must be approved by the board under the condition that it will be retained in the collection for the foreseeable future in accordance with the mission of the museum.