Survey: Akron Art Museum

Posted August 05, 2010 by Anonymous
Part 1.
Year Founded: 
Before 1950
1c. Organization's annual budget.: 
Over $1,000,000
1b. Primary activity[ies] of the organization.: 
Exhibition Space
Part 2.
2a. Mission Statement: 
“To enrich lives through modern art” was adopted as the Akron Art Museum’s mission statement on January 25, 2000 by the Board of Trustees. The mission appears as Article 11, section 1 of the Constitution (amended to include the new mission September 26, 2000 at the annual members’ meeting; previously ratified September 1990). The mission also appears at the beginning of the strategic plan. The museum carries out its mission by: • Promoting awareness, interest, appreciation, education and participation in the fine and applied arts produced since 1850. • Maintaining a museum where such works of art are displayed and interpreted for the enjoyment and education of the public. • Acquiring for its collection and conserving for the benefit of the community significant objects of high artistic merit, with new acquisitions focusing on contemporary painting, sculpture and photography by regional, national and international artists. • Cooperating with diverse educational and cultural institutions, as well as interested community groups and individuals, in developing the means for increased understanding and enjoyment of the arts and related humanities created since 1850 and especially in recent years.
2b. Organization History / Organizational Overview. Index of important events in organization's history.: 
The museum was founded in 1922 as the Akron Art Institute, a privately supported organization that combined general art exhibitions and formal art instruction, located in part of Akron’s Carnegie Library. In the 1950s, the institute took over the entire library building. For a short time, the Art Institute included an accredited art school, but by the 1960s, as local universities developed stronger art departments, the museum school closed. In the 1970s, the institute redefined its mission to become a modern art museum focusing on Western art since 1850, with a specialization in contemporary art. With this focus, it would not duplicate the goals of museums in nearby Cleveland, Youngstown and Oberlin, and would be able to attain quality exhibitions, programs and acquisitions with modest financial resources. The institute became noted for its role in presenting regional and national contemporary art, especially photography. In 1980, the institute changed its name to the Akron Art Museum. The following year it renovated and moved into the former downtown Post Office and constructed a sculpture garden for its entrance. An assortment of objects from the collection was deaccessioned and replaced with important contemporary works consistent with the mission to become a museum of modern art. Since 1981, staffing and educational programs have greatly expanded and the annual budget has tripled. Since 1987, a commitment to increasing endowment has stabilized operating income and created permanent acquisition endowment funds. The first catalogue raisonné on the collection was published in 1986. In June 2001, the museum published a 267-page hardback book with essays and photos of the 100 best works in the collection. Since 1990, exhibitions organized by the museum have traveled coast to coast as well as to Japan and Australia. The museum was re-accredited by AAM in 1996. The past several years have been some of the most exciting in the museum’s history. In addition to achieving records in both attendance and acquisitions, 75% of the capital campaign funding has been raised for the new Akron Art Museum. Construction commenced in July 2004 and the building will open in May 2007. Designed by the celebrated Viennese architecture firm Coop Himmelb(l)au, the new museum will contain a lobby, galleries, shop, café, art storage and handling areas. The existing building will house a classroom, library, children’s gallery and offices. This expansion is the most important development since the museum was founded and is the result of an extensive strategic planning process, focus groups and two feasibility studies (for fundraising and building needs). Agreement was widespread that a new facility would better serve this region.
2c. Exhibition / Programming / Publishing History.: 
The museum’s mission has, since 1980, mandated modern art, which we define broadly as regional, national and international art since 1850. Selections from the collection are on continuous view. Temporary exhibitions offer regional, national and international art and feature art in all media.
Part 3.
3a. Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals:: 
Mitchell Kahan
3b. Could any of these individuals assist in providing an oral history of your organization?: 
Part 4.
4a. Is organization currently active?: 
4b. Year activity suspended if no longer active.: 
Organization Still Active
Part 5.
5a. Type of organization at its founding.: 
Non-Profit [IRS certified]
5b. Type of organization currently, or at the termination of activities.: 
Non-Profit [IRS certified]
Part 6.
6a. Does the organization have an archive?: 
6b. Are there any short or long-term threats to the organization?: 
None / Not Applicable
6c. Other threats to the organization:: 
Are there other threats to your organization? Please describe below.
Part 7.
Lack of Staff, Technical Support
7a. How important is to the organization to preserve the organization’s historical material. From 1 – Very Important to 5 – Not Important.: 
1. Very Important
7b. Has planning for the preservation and documentation of archive begun?: 
7c. Does the organization know how and where to seek expertise and assistance?: 
7d. Does the organization have specific concerns regarding starting an archive working with its historic materials?: 
Fiscal Need
Part 8.
8a. Is the organization's archives in the collection of another institution or promised to one?: 
8a. Location: 
IF YES to 8: University (Name)
8b. Archival materials are also located at:: 
Where are these locations?: 
Some of our archives are at the University of Akron Archival Services. There may be some in the homes or offices of private individuals, staff or board members.
Part 9.
9. Does the organization maintain archives for any other organization.: 
IF YES to 9: 10a. Please describe:
Part 10a.
10a. Is the archive accessible to scholars, curators or researchers?: 
Part 10b.
10b. Are there conditions of access for scholars, curators or researchers?: 
Part 10c.
10c. How are arrangements made for access to archive?: 
An appointment must be made in advance with the librarian or other staff to have access to the archives.
Part 11.
The following questions address the historical materials (type, quantity and storage) of the organization. 11a. Paper Files and Documents: 
Board Minutes
Exhibition or Production Files
Financial Records
Other Paper Files
11b. Artwork and Documentation: 
Audiotapes [Any Format]
Oral History, Recordings and / or Transcripts
CDs / DVDs [Pre-Recorded or CD-R / CD-RW / DVD-R / etc.]
Unique Art Objects
Other Artwork. Please describe below.
We also have newsletters, fundraising materials, educational materials, scrapbooks, membership materials, annual reports, clothing (t-shirts), posters, and other memorabilia. Our Artists files are kept separately - approximately 12,000 files.
11c. Press and Promotional Materials: 
Announcements, Mailing Cards, etc.
Newspaper / Magazine / Media Clippings
Posters / Flyers
Other Press or Promotional Materials - Please describe below.
Tickets, invitations, etc.
11d. Printed Publications: 
Artists' Publications
Commercially Published Materials
Checklists / Performance Programs / Price Lists
Programs of Events
Publication or Merchandise Catalogues
Other Printed Publications - Please describe below.
AAM produced the periodical "Dialogue" from 1978-1981.
Part 12.
12. What years does the materials cover?: 
Part 13.
13a. How is the material stored?: 
Banker Boxes
Three-Ring Binders
Other - Please describe below.
Please describe: 
Hollinger Boxes
13b. Are some or all of these storage units “archival”?: 
Part 14.
14a. Estimated Number of Boxes or Milk-Crate Sized Storage Units: 
81 - 90
14b. Estimated Number of Archive Drawers: 
14c. Estimated Number of Archive Notebooks: 
21 - 30
14d. Estimated the total Linear Feet. ["Linear Feet" is standard measure of the quantity of archival materials on the basis of shelf space occupied or the length of drawers in vertical files or the thickness of horizontally filed materials. For example, a: 
I don’t know
Other Archive Storage Units - Please describe below.: 
Large boxes for memorabilia and flat storage for posters.
Part 15.
15. Is the historical materials - or archives - inventoried or catalogued in any way, either formally or otherwise?: 
Part 16.
16a. Is there a key, index or finding aid to the materials inventoried?: 
16c. Electronic Based:: 
Word Processing Document [i.e. Word]
Part 16 / Electronic Files & Archival Management
16f. Does the organization have a back-up program, or back-up schedule, for its electronic records and perform monitoring of its removable media (i.e. floppies, ZIP disks, CD-ROMs, DVDs, portable hard drives, etc.)?: 
16g. Who is responsible for working with the archival material?: 
Other - Please describe below.
Please describe: 
Part 17.
17. How are new materials processed?: 
Inventory List
Electronic (Database, etc.)
Part 18.
18. What, if any, conservation methods are in place for both physical materials and electronic data?: 
Controlled Access
Disaster Plan
some acid-free housing
Part 20.
20a. What are the goals for the historical materials for the next year?: 
Continue archiving backlog and recent materials.
20b. What are the biggest challenges to reaching these short-term goals?: 
20c. What goals are in place for the historical materials for the next three to five years?: 
Bringing archival interns in to continue work on archives.
20d. What are the biggest challenges to reaching these long term goals?: 
20e. Are there any additional goals for the organizations historic materials?: 
Create detailed item descriptions of archives.
Part 21.
21. Estimated cost to achieve these archival goals for the next year.: 
$5,001 - $7,500
Part 22.
22. Estimated cost to achieve these archival goals for the next five years.: 
$10,001 - $15,000
Part 23.
23d. Other - Please describe below.: 
Provide information on or create standards for archival materials.
Part 24.
24. What archival issues could / should visual arts organizations address collectively in the next three to five years? Ranked from 1 (highest priority) to 5 (lowest priority).24a. Shared standards / protocols for digitization: 
Promote professional standards / protocols for digitization
24d. Other - Please describe below.: 
Create standards for archival materials.
Part 25.
25a. Is the organization a member of, or in contact with, any organizations concerned with archival issues?: 
25b. Who?: 
Society of American Archivists.
Part 26.
26. Additional information, comments, observations, and questions.: 
Providing software and education for staff who may not be archivists but are involved in caring for their institutions collection would be a great help to many.
Who executed this survey.: 
Ellie Ward, Librarian of the Akron Art Museum
I wish to defer payment and allow AS-AP to use these funds to further AS-AP’s efforts to preserve the history of the alternative and avant-garde movement in America.
Is this survey complete and all appropriate questions answered?: