Old loans are a challenge for most museums – whether large or small. And, with other competing priorities, it is easy to let them linger. Solving your old loans will give you a sense of accomplishment as well as lower the risk of insurance claims or even more unpleasant your museum’s potential involvement in a fight between a lender’s heirs.
There are many factors to consider when starting on this journey including staff time, whether the object is wanted as a part of the collection, how much storage space you will gain by returning old loans, and finally if your institution will support an old loan return program.
Whether you are in the middle of working through your old loans or you hope to begin your project in the future, we hope to give you practical advice including some success and failures to save you from becoming too weary of becoming free of old loans.
Andrea Gardner received her undergraduate degree in Classical art and archaeology and Latin from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She received her master’s degree in art history from the University of Texas at Austin with a focus in ancient art. Andrea moved to Toledo in 2006 to work with Dr. Sandra Knudsen on the exhibition In Stabiano featuring frescoes from villas located on the Bay of Naples. After her internship, she took a permanent position at the Toledo Museum of Art as the Assistant Registrar for domestic loans and exhibitions. She was promoted to the Head Registrar position in July 2012 and took on the additional responsibilities of Assistant Information Officer in January 2013. Since 2018 she has been the Director of Collections and oversees the areas of Registrar, Exhibitions, Conservation, Library and Archives at the Toledo Museum of Art.
Rose M. Wood is the Chief Registrar at the Birmingham Museum of Art. Prior to working with one of the largest art collection in the South, Rose worked for nineteen years in contemporary art at the Des Moines Art Center.
Rose was raised in Jacksonville, Florida, but left after graduation to study international relations in Washington, D.C. After obtaining a B.A. from the American University, she continued her education at Texas Tech University and graduated with an M.A. in Museum Studies. Rose was fortunate to secure a National Endowment of the Arts’ registration internship at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. For about a decade this program was dedicated to training registrars to manage all collection care aspects. In 2013, Rose completed a Master of Family and Consumer Sciences (M.F.C.S.) in Family Financial Planning with an area of concentration on how families build art collections.
The sculpture shown in the slide is Cartaino di Sciarrino Pietro, John Burroughs, 1918, bronze, Toledo Museum of Art; Gift of William E. Bock, 1918.2