That's Crate

Behind the scenes with Jay Hutchinson

16 November 2021

Kia ora, my name is Jay Hutchinson and I work at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery as the Collections Assistant. My Job involves working with the Registrar, Genevieve Webb, and Conservator, Jenny Sherman. A Collections Assistant is responsible for packing and transportation of collection and loan items, framing paintings or works on paper, condition-reporting incoming and outgoing artworks and objects, and assisting with the cleaning and repair of artworks.A big part of the job is the custom fit-out of crates for transporting touring exhibitions.  A lot of the time these crates are designed to group similar-sized works together to transport them safely, while taking up as little space in a truck as possible.When I am not working on upcoming exhibitions, I use my time to work on more efficient storage solutions to make use of the limited space in the galleries' storage areas. This can involve moving objects and shelving around to make better use of the space, or designing and building permanent storage crates for fragile works in the collection. In this case, an item is selected to be rehoused by either the Conservator or the Registrar, after which we have a discussion about the best solution for the object.  This can involve the choice of materials to be used and which parts of the object should be supported to take pressure off the more fragile areas. I then go away and draw up a design which is then run past the team, where any modifications are made. Upon completion of the build, the storage crate receives one final look-over by the conservator before it is signed-off.  The object is then packed away and placed into storage in its allocated space, until it is needed for an exhibition, or to be loaned to another institution for display.Noho ora mai,Jay Hutchinson, Collections Assistant, Dunedin Public Art Gallery[image: The custom-made storage crate for “Bust of a Lady”, By Jean Robert Montigny Nicolas Lucas de (French, b.1747, d.1810)]

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