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Direct Care of the Collection Policy

Summary of the Brooklyn Museum’s Policy on Direct Care of the Collection

The Brooklyn Museum defines Direct Care of the Collection (“Direct Care”) as activities that enhance the life, usefulness, or quality of the collection, thereby ensuring that it will continue to benefit the public for years to come. The very reason the Museum engages in these activities is to properly care for and preserve the physical integrity of artwork in the collection for future generations. Activities that constitute direct care of the collection generally fall into the following categories: (A) creating a proper environment for storing and displaying artwork to protect it from damage and deterioration; (B) conserving artwork to restore and/or maintain its physical condition; (C) researching the history of an artwork to identify and understand appropriate conservation methods for the work; (D) documenting the condition of an artwork for archival purposes to help inform conservation requirements for the current and future preservation of the work; and (E) taking appropriate measures for the safe installation, de-installation, and transport of an artwork in a manner that safeguards the physical condition of the work. Direct Care activities and related expenses may include direct costs of storage, such as storing artwork both on-site and in off-site rented storage facilities, including the cost of constructing and outfitting an art storage facility and maintaining the climate; storage furniture; and archival storage materials. They may also include direct costs related to daily care and conservation of, and research on, objects in the Museum’s collection, including staffing (conservators, photographers, curators, registrars, and art handlers); consultants, independent contractors, or other third-party specialists; supplies/materials; IT/migration costs associated with the preservation of digital and other time-based media works; specific environments and microclimates and costs associated with special handling requirements; and climate monitoring equipment dedicated specifically for the proper preservation, protection, and care of the collection.

Procedure for Determining Use of Funds

Each of the foregoing activities has been analyzed using tools provided by the American Alliance of Museums in its white paper Direct Care of Collections: Ethics, Guidelines and Recommendations (April 2016; revised March 2019). To the extent that, after further review and application of such tools, the Museum identifies additional categories of activities constituting Direct Care, it will revise its Direct Care of the Collection Policy to reflect such changes.