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Subject: Guidelines for sketching and copying in the museum

Guidelines for sketching and copying in the museum

From: Sandra Lawrence <sandra_lawrence>
Date: Tuesday, January 13, 1998
Recent changes in school visiting programs and requests from artists
to copy in the galleries have prompted the AGO Collections Team to
review our guidelines.  In the past we have specified the range of
sketching media permitted, based on both conservation and security
concerns.  Because our spaces tend to be relatively small, and very
few works of art are protected by glazing or plexi-covered cases, we
have restricted the use of drawing boards and clip boards, and
generally limited  media to graphite and coloured pencils.  Portable
seating was not permitted.  Recently our Education Department
introduced an activity book for children which requires the use of
wax crayons.  With increasing numbers of school groups and art
students we have extended sketching media to include cartridge pens,
but we have continued to deny the use of watercolours, inks,
acrylics or oils.  We have also relented on the use of portable
seating and are making folding canvas seats available.

To assist in our review and revisions I would like to hear what
sketching guidelines or regulations are applied by other museums and

I would also like to know how other institutions deal with artists'
requests to copy in watercolour, acrylic or oils, using easels. I
realize that copying is relatively commonplace in European museums,
but am not aware of North American practices. To date we have
refused this type of copying, but with increasing numbers of
requests we feel obligated to re-examine our policy.

For reference purposes I'd also really appreciate receiving hard
copies of guidelines or policies for both sketching and copying.
Looking forward to hearing from you,

    **** Moderator's comments: Consider making guidelines available
    in Conservation OnLine. Contact waiscool [at] palimpsest__stanford__edu

Sandra Lawrence, Chief Conservator
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto

                  Conservation DistList Instance 11:60
                 Distributed: Tuesday, January 13, 1998
                       Message Id: cdl-11-60-005
Received on Tuesday, 13 January, 1998

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