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Cultural Recovery Center to Open in Brooklyn

posted by Linda Downs — Dec 07, 2012

A temporary facility to provide volunteer assistance and work space to museums, libraries, archives, historic sites, galleries, collectors, and artists will open in Brooklyn, New York, during the week of December 10, 2012.

The Center for Cultural Recovery will be operated by the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (FAIC), in cooperation with a consortium of the following organizations: the Alliance for Response New York City; the American Museum of Natural History; Heritage Preservation; Materials for the Arts; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the New York Regional Association for Conservation; Industry City at Bush Terminal; and the Smithsonian Institution.

Funding for the center has been provided by a leadership gift to FAIC from Sotheby’s. The Smithsonian Institution and a grant to Heritage Preservation from the New York Community Trust, as well as support from TALAS, have enabled the purchase of supplies. The center has also been outfitted with supplies donated by Materials for the Arts, a program of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Additional donations to FAIC have come from PINTA, the Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art Show; Tru Vue; members of the American Institute for Conservation; and others.

FAIC and its partners have been offering crucial disaster response assistance to cultural organizations and artists in need in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. In the first ten days after the storm struck, FAIC’s Collection Emergency Response Team’s (AIC-CERT) twenty-four-hour hotline (202-661-8068) fielded over fifty-five calls from collectors, artists, and museums. AIC-CERT and New York area volunteers are working with approximately 120 small collections, galleries, and artists in New York and New Jersey to recover collections. In addition, AIC member conservators in private practices throughout the New York region are helping owners preserve their collections.

Access to some collections, including those of individual artists, is only now becoming possible. Even artwork that has been dried still may need rinsing and cleaning to remove residues and mold spores. The Cultural Recovery Center will offer space and expertise to help owners stabilize their collections.

Read more about AIC-CERT’s volunteer services. The Museum of Modern Art in New York has also published Hurricane Sandy Conservation Resources for owners of cultural materials.