Flooded Costume Shop Or Music Library? Art Conservators May Be Able To Help


By: Joe Patti

In: Arts Admin, Project & Time Management

If you are in the performing arts and your material assets suffer damage, be it natural disaster, leaky pipes or someone eating where they shouldn’t, you might not consider visual art conservators and restorers as a solution.

The fact is the work that many of the regional preservation groups do encompasses projects outside visual arts and architectural features. They are much better equipped to effect repairs and recovery to sensitive damaged materials than most industrial and general cleaning companies.

Flooded Costume Shop Or Music Library Art Conservators May Be Able To Help

In a recent forum on disaster preparedness and mitigation, Jennifer Souers Chevraux of ICA Art Conservation, discussed some of the projects the organization has been involved in. These ranged from Lady Gaga’s famous meat dress to restoring archived posters and programs for celebrations of a theater’s anniversary. She repeatedly mentioned the example of restoring a music library materials which had suffered from flooding. Something that was quite apropos given Hurricane Harvey was causing flooding in Houston at the time.

You would be forgiven for not being aware of the range of projects within the capabilities of art restoration organizations. ICA Art Conservation’s website doesn’t prominently list them among their services or projects. If there is something of value you are eager to restore, it is worth contacting them or any of the other regional restoration groups around the country to explore the possibility.

If you do have objects of value that you are concerned about, ICA Arts Conservation has a program of onsite surveys to provide preservation advice as well as assistance in disaster preparation and planning. A quick survey of the Regional Alliance for Preservation website shows many of the other member organizations do as well.

Joe Patti
Joe Patti
In addition to writing for ArtHacker, I have been writing the blog, Butts in the Seats (buttsseats.com) since 2004. I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (https://www.creatingconnection.org/about/) I am currently the Theater Manager for the Rialto Theater in Loveland, CO. Across my career I have worked as the Executive Director at The Grand Opera House in Macon, GA, at University of Hawaii-Leeward Community College, University of Central Florida, Asolo Theater, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Appel Farm Arts and Music Center and numerous other places both defunct and funky.
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