When I worked in museums, our registrar usually kept three files for each object in the collection: the object file, the donor file, and the artist file.
The object file contained the entire history of that piece, including its provenance, conservation, and exhibition records. If you want to see your work in a museum one day, you could help out future registrars by keeping your own exhibition records for each object.
Let’s say you have a sculpture called Mother & Child (a favorite title of art historians!) that was exhibited in three shows this past year. You want to make note of those exhibits in your database record for that specific work.
So, you call up Mother & Child in your database. If you don’t have a field called “Exhibition Record,” create one. In it, list the following for each venue:
- “Exact title of exhibit” (in quotes or italicized).
- Correct name of venue for exhibit.
- Precise location (city/state or province) of exhibit.
- Exact dates of exhibit.
Notice the use of “exact, correct, precise.” It’s no accident. I see many half-baked resumes that have incorrect or incomplete information on it. It’s much easier to record this as you go along rather than waiting for some point in the future when you might have to dig through files or boxes. Memories fade rather quickly.
Caveat: Don’t go crazy with this. For instance, you don’t need to record which works you hung at Aunt Celia’s Christmas party.
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