Two U.Va. Museums Receive Conservation Bookshelf

July 27, 2009

July 23, 2009 — Treasured objects and artifacts held by the University of Virginia Art Museum and the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection will be preserved for future generations with help from the IMLS "Connecting to Collections Bookshelf," a core set of conservation books and online resources donated by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The two museums were chosen to receive the resources based on an application describing the needs and plans for the care of its collections.

"A vital part of our core mission is to make our collections available to a wider audience in the future by focusing on issues such as conservation and virtual visitation," Bruce Boucher, U.Va. Art Museum director, said. "We are grateful to the IMLS for their support of our endeavors."

The U.Va. Art Museum will use the bookshelf in collections care, planning and training. "Additionally these resources will stimulate research and discussion by collections and curatorial staff, interns, volunteers and U.Va. student and community docents," collections manager Jean Collier said. "Information will be incorporated into regular collections and curatorial training sessions and will augment the museum's in-house reference library. The Bookshelf will be used for making policies and determining procedures related to specific areas of the collection, such as prints, drawings, photographs and Native American art."

The U.Va. Art Museum preserves a collection of more than 11,000 objects including paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, photography and other artifacts. The museum exhibits American and European works of the 15th through 20th centuries, including art from ancient Mediterranean cultures, Asia, Oceania, Africa, Meso-America and Native American works. It coordinates education programs and events that enrich the University and regional school communities as well as the public.

Margo Smith, director and curator of the Kluge-Ruhe Collection, said the bookshelf will help develop best practices for the care of the extraordinary objects in the collection.

"Associate curator Dominique Cocuzza has implemented many new practices and continues to research methods for storage and exhibition that will assure the longevity of the collection," Smith said. "She offered a persuasive argument for this award and was successful in obtaining it on behalf of the collection."

The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection has undertaken a full program of rotating exhibits, public lectures, research on the collection and education programs for children and adults. The collection includes 1,700 objects of Australian Aboriginal art, including paintings, sculpture, ceremonial objects and ornaments, as well the Kluge-Ruhe Study Center.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Its mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more, visit

The institute has now awarded almost 3,000 free sets of the IMLS Bookshelf, in cooperation with the American Association for State and Local History.