Memo: Image Collection to Inventory Society’s Art Collection

Image Collection to Inventory Society’s Art Collection
Article posted by Megan Seldon  [on NGConnect, the Society’s intranet at headquarters]

National Geographic’s Image Collection group will begin to inventory and reclaim pieces from the Society’s art collection in the coming weeks in an effort to protect and conserve the original works of art. The collection, comprised of nearly 12,000 original paintings, drawings and illustrations, is housed largely in the basement archive, with a few hundred pieces adorning personal offices and common areas throughout Headquarters. These pieces differ from the photographic reprints drawn from NG’s photo archive because they are original pieces commissioned by National Geographic magazine and the Books department to illustrate what a photo could not or to create a historical depiction.

Image Collection staff will visit fellow employees in their workspace to assess the pieces and their condition, and will make arrangements to have the artwork safely relocated to the climate-controlled archive where the pieces can be properly catalogued, inventoried, scanned and maintained. Please ensure that all loaned items in your personal workspace are displayed and accessible to Image Collection staff.

Iconic artwork that has become a permanent fixture within the buildings, such as the Stanley Meltzoff founder’s painting and N.C. Wyeth murals in Hubbard Hall, will remain in place.

Building on the great success of select photographic print gallery sales in the past few years, NG will organize a high-profile auction of around 200 original art pieces as well as photographic prints timed with the Society’s 125th anniversary. The goal is to raise funds for the continued preservation of our photographic heritage and support of the Society’s mission, to establish a value for the collection in the art world, and to make a number of pieces accessible to the public, many of which have not been viewed for some time.

For any object sold, NG maintains a high-resolution scan and reserves the Society’s full publication rights for the image.

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