Friday, August 23, 2013



I began working for the Luther Brady Art Gallery to aid in its inventory at the end of June. They are conducting an inventory of all their pieces in order to sort out what needs to be moved to a storage facility in Ashburn called the Collections and Conservation Resource Center, now in the process of being built. Artwork is being moved to Ashburn because space has gotten limited on campus and the facility will provide a safer environment. In their current locations, they are not safe from flooding and some works are even at risk of damaging themselves or another artwork. The pieces that don’t go will be sorted out into a learning collection, current or pending displays, or sent to the University Archives instead. You can see what else the GW Archives has to offer here.
 
Down in the bowels of the Lisner Auditorium are two storage areas for the art besides what’s in the Gallery storage areas. They’re full of student and professional works along with some African Art and Pre-Columbian ceramics. Some of the African Art and Pre-Columbian works haven’t been on display since the 1970s while others have occasionally been places on view. The African Art is mix of ancestor totems, tribal masks and altars, with the masks varying style depending on the culture that designed it. You can see a similar variety by checking out the Smithsonian Museum of African Art’s collection of African Masks.

The Pre-Columbian ceramics are mostly bowls and dishes but also included a spoon shaped receptacle for human hearts. If discovering a ritual heart receptacle wasn’t unexpected enough there are other unique items; A Korean doll and silk hanging scroll rare evidence of international “souvenirs” in the collection and a sign of the long international ties of the University. Another surprise was a chandelier that I couldn’t even get out of its wrappings without some serious help and a bronze trident that resisted all efforts to be lifted out of the box. Unintentionally, on the back of a newspaper photograph of Gen. U.S. Grant, the collection also preserved an article applauding the biggest whale catch of the season. You certainly don’t see articles like that today in the US.


So far it’s been a really great experience and I expect it to continue to bring surprises and hands on challenges. Helping sort through this extensive collection has been a very enjoyable privilege. We are 64% of the way through and I can’t wait to see what the next box will disclose.

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Covering exhibits at the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery and giving you a peek into the Permanent Collection of the George Washington University.

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Howard Hodgkin: Paintings - May 16, 2012

Friday, August 23, 2013



I began working for the Luther Brady Art Gallery to aid in its inventory at the end of June. They are conducting an inventory of all their pieces in order to sort out what needs to be moved to a storage facility in Ashburn called the Collections and Conservation Resource Center, now in the process of being built. Artwork is being moved to Ashburn because space has gotten limited on campus and the facility will provide a safer environment. In their current locations, they are not safe from flooding and some works are even at risk of damaging themselves or another artwork. The pieces that don’t go will be sorted out into a learning collection, current or pending displays, or sent to the University Archives instead. You can see what else the GW Archives has to offer here.
 
Down in the bowels of the Lisner Auditorium are two storage areas for the art besides what’s in the Gallery storage areas. They’re full of student and professional works along with some African Art and Pre-Columbian ceramics. Some of the African Art and Pre-Columbian works haven’t been on display since the 1970s while others have occasionally been places on view. The African Art is mix of ancestor totems, tribal masks and altars, with the masks varying style depending on the culture that designed it. You can see a similar variety by checking out the Smithsonian Museum of African Art’s collection of African Masks.

The Pre-Columbian ceramics are mostly bowls and dishes but also included a spoon shaped receptacle for human hearts. If discovering a ritual heart receptacle wasn’t unexpected enough there are other unique items; A Korean doll and silk hanging scroll rare evidence of international “souvenirs” in the collection and a sign of the long international ties of the University. Another surprise was a chandelier that I couldn’t even get out of its wrappings without some serious help and a bronze trident that resisted all efforts to be lifted out of the box. Unintentionally, on the back of a newspaper photograph of Gen. U.S. Grant, the collection also preserved an article applauding the biggest whale catch of the season. You certainly don’t see articles like that today in the US.


So far it’s been a really great experience and I expect it to continue to bring surprises and hands on challenges. Helping sort through this extensive collection has been a very enjoyable privilege. We are 64% of the way through and I can’t wait to see what the next box will disclose.

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Washington, District of Columbia, United States
"Found In Collection" or simply "FIC" is the way many museums classify the more mysterious items in their possession that have little or no documentation. Here at the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery of the George Washington University, we do keep extensive records of our collection, but some of the items we come across in academic buildings or our own storage can leave us wondering. This blog is an effort to showcase some of the more curious examples and their stories, and to provide a glimpse of the great variety of art pieces within the collection. To learn more about the Brady Gallery's history, recent exhibitions, or the George Washington University, take a look at the links below.

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