We were all looking forward to today, when we visited the Museum of Fine Art Houston storage facility, called the Rosine Building. We learned a lot about how the MFAH conserves, restores, and stores the artwork currently not on display in the Museum’s galleries. We met Wynne Phelan, the Head Conservator, Andrea Guidi di Bagno, the Chief Paintings Conservator, as well as Curtis M. Gannon, the Collections Preparator, who all were very helpful in explaining the current storage and conservation system. The ability to speak with those who use travel frames every day was of great use to the team, for we were able to communicate our concerns and they were able to list their wishes for functions to integrate into our new design.
Tomorrow we plan to take the information we have learned and further research our findings. Here are some specifics we have learned that will help guide us in our research and design process.
What the museum uses and needs as travel frames is different form everything we have seen in our research. They want to be able to hang the travel frame on the current storage system — they don’t want to compact the frame.
Also, the fact that non-antique frames can be fragile was surprising.
Although we have learned a lot today, we are looking forward to our meeting with the preparators, for this will give us even more specific constrains and criteria for our design.