Friday, November 20, 2009

Notes From the Archive: MF Limited Editions

One project I’m currently focusing on in the MF archives is getting our Limited Edition collection online. The items in this collection are comprised of various works on paper and three dimensional sculptures, and are representations of past Mattress Factory installations. Typically, the artist will focus on an element or idea from their large-scale exhibition piece and create a smaller-scale run of works. The pieces are then numbered, signed and made available for purchase here at the museum. Proceeds from the sale are split 50/50 between the artist and the MF.

Virtually all of the work artists create at the Mattress Factory isn’t made to be sold or installed in a home environment. Therefore, the Limited Edition collection is unique in that someone can take an element of Mattress Factory art home with them. The collection currently features work from some of our permanent collection artists; Rolf Julius (pictured below), William Anastasi, and Jene Highstein. We also have pieces by artists whose work is no longer exhibiting such as David Ellis, Jessica Stockholder, Deborah Aschheim, Mark Garry, and Dove Bradshaw.

Of course, I won’t be doing all of the work necessary to get these works online. In fact, much of my work will be quite invisible. I’m responsible for producing catalog information about each piece and entering that information into our collections database. We currently use a simple database platform (HINT: exciting news about this to come in a future blog post!) and most of the information is standard; artist, title of work, date, and dimensions. However, it is also important to note what type of ink was used, what kind of paper the work was printed on, or what sort of candy compound was used.

I’m also responsible for properly storing these items and organizing the archive so they can be found easily and quickly. Much of this work is already complete and I’m now focusing on making sure each artist's Limited Edition documentation folder has everything necessary should someone want to purchase a piece. These documents include certificates of authenticity for each edition to be sold, information about the artist (CV or biography), press relating to their exhibition and information about the original piece that inspired the edition.

Just yesterday, photographer Tom Little was here documenting the collection. Once we get the images back from Tom, I’ll gather all the relevant identifying information and send it all on to Jeffrey, who will serve it up to you, nice and pretty like, on the internet.

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