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Grant number: PG-52566-15

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Library Association of La Jolla (La Jolla, CA 92037-4418)
Mary Johnson (Project Director: May 2014 to present)

Athenaeum Music & Arts Library Collections Preservation Assessment & Long-Range Preservation Plan

A preservation assessment of the library’s collection of artworks on paper, objects, paintings, and artists’ books. The library would also purchase an environmental monitor to initiate an environmental monitoring program, conduct staff training on gathering and analyzing results of the environmental monitor during the consultant’s visit, and purchase rehousing and storage materials based on the consultant’s recommendations. The collection includes 200 artworks by notable artists from the San Diego area over the last 20 years, including Robert Irwin, Kim MacConnel, Jean Lowe, and others; in addition, nearly 2,000 artists’ books would be preserved, including exemplars by conceptual artists such as Edward Ruscha, John Baldessari, Allan Kaprow, and Ida Applebroog, among others. The Athenaeum Music and Arts Library, established in 1899, is a nonprofit membership library that serves the La Jolla and San Diego community with music and arts library resources and cultural programs for the public. These items have been the subject of study on-site for many art historians, are included in exhibition catalogs, and have provided sources for a scholarly article.

The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library has two visual arts collections: a Permanent Collection and a Conceptual Artists' Books Collection. The Permanent Collection reflects much of the significant art presented in San Diego over the last twenty years; the Athenaeum’s Artists' Books Collection contains artists’ books by notable regional artists, as well as rare Conceptual artists’ books which provide a vivid record of 20th and now 21st century knowledge, sensibilities, concerns, and questions. The Athenaeum is the only institution with the complete collections of these Conceptual artists’ books available for research. This emphasis on complete collections makes this one of Southern California’s most significant artists’ books collections. The Balboa Art Conservation Center will provide a general preservation assessment of the Athenaeum’s collections and work with staff to initiate an environmental monitoring program, develop housing guidelines, and write a long-range preservation plan.

Project fields:
Arts, Other

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$5,939 (approved)
$5,939 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2015 – 9/30/2016