What started out as a weird idea my dear colleague Fernando Almarza Rísquez of the Instituto Latinoamericano de Museos ILAM in Costa Rica and I (collection manager at the TECHNOSEUM in Mannheim, Germany) had, came to life on January 2nd.
It is noticable that collection care is often stated as "very important business" but in the daily museum routine it's very often "out of sight - out of mind". It's part of our jobs as registrars, collection managers or curators of collections to keep a low profile. But the work we do behind the scenes should not be forgotten. Personally, I think we registrars have to learn from marketing people in this regard. Especially, as we have important, interesting and often enough amusing stories to tell. That's where this project set in.
We started writing our stories down. Fernando Almarza Rísquez as Latin American long-term registrar of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Caracas and now professor for registration methods, documentation and cataloguing at the ILAM, I myself as European museum professional who is responsible for the collection of a science and technology museum (read: all things big and chunky). The project was supportet by many colleagues of the RC-AAM providing us with great pictures of registrars at work.
I'm extremely happy that we won Matt Leininger for a special "blog within the blog": "FAUX Real: On the trail of an art forger". Matt will tell the story of how he discovered art forger Mark Landis as a follow-up series:
Every second Friday is "FAUX Real Friday" (save the date: part 2 will be released January 18). By chosing this format we have the chance to keep Landis in mind and maybe make him known to international colleagues who never heard of him before. And it's a great lesson in registrar's work, too.
A central idea of this project was always to keep it multilingual. It's language barriers that divide people and are huge obstacles for professionalization. So we provide this website in Spanish, German and English. And I'm a little proud to state that we have won two colleagues who are willing to contribute with translations on a voluntary basis, so more and more posts and articles can be read in this language, too, in the future. As we are not native speakers, feel free to inform us on passages where we messed something. Thanks!
If you are working in collection management and know a great story to tell, feel free to send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
As we love our jobs as registrars but don't want to suggest a certain career path we have decided to include the series "How I became a registrar". We also seek for contributions for this section.
But for now: enjoy! If you want to start with a smile, I suggest this story about our "serious business":