Although it’s a concept that’s uncommon to lots of people, museum rotation is one aspect that has been practiced for decades. In most museums, the aspect is used to ensure that different collections found in a museum have a longer lifespan. It’s worth noting that rotation of collections is a term that represents a general practice of changing the objects that are on display. It means that as one object is removed from the display, another collection replaces it.
While it may be true that it’s a common practice in every museum, it’s done differently. In general, each Art Museum has a different way of carrying out its collection depending on various factors. Before providing answers to a question posed, let’s look into some factors that should be considered whenever there’s a need for an Art Museum to rotate its collections. One factor that’s considered when rotating collections in an art museum is the weather conditions of a place. Under normal circumstances, if an art museum is located in places where the light intensity is too high such as in some parts of Asia, then the rate of rotation will be more regular.
According to curators, collections that are sensitive to light should be rotated between two and three months. This will be different from areas with low light intensity where an Art Museum will be required to rotate light-sensitive collections after 6 and 8 months. However, the good news is that some museums have adopted new measures, including putting collections in a display glass that has enabled them to withstand these challenges. In the same fashion, the rotation practice is affected by the nature of the collections. For example, if an art museum deals majorly with paper collections, expect to witness rotation more often since most of the paper collections can fade when exposed to light for a longer period. It’s recommended that the paper works should have limited viewers, ranging from 3 to 6 months. The fragility of the collections is another factor that should come into play when establishing how often an art museum will rotate its collections.
If the collections are fragile, it’s advisable to rotate after every four months of display. Ideally, this could also change the Museum has fragile paper works in the collections. To ensure that such collections remain in good shape, allowing them to be displayed for less than three months will give them a longer lifespan. This is common with watercolor collections that are often displayed four times a year. The policy of a given museum, to a greater extent, can affect how a museum rotates its collection. While some museums permit rotations to be done after one month, other policies allow curators to perform rotations two times in a single month. Since lots of art museums are controlled by government agencies, there’s uniformity in applying these policies.
Consequently, the number of curators in an art museum will affect how rotations will be conducted since it’s a labor-intensive process. If you’re visiting an art museum with fewer laborers, be surprised to collections being rotated twice every week. Compelling evidence shows that a single museum has thousands of collections in its gallery and needs about 20 to 50 curators to carry out rotations successfully. The figure is even higher when it comes to large museums with the highest number of collections at their disposal. Because of the financial constraints, having the correct number of employees to implement rotational plans can prove more challenging.
In general, there’s no specific number of times that an art museum is required to rotate its collection even though this process is vital. This process varies from one museum to another, depending on a variety of factors. Having said that, an art museum can rotate its collections once or twice a year, depending on the nature of the collections. If the collections are not sensitive to light and not fragile, rotating once after two years will not be a bad idea. Since rotating collections in an art museum is a noble idea, conservators and other museum staff handle this process with lots of care to avoid damaging the collections. With the new display technique, collections can now stay on an exhibition for a longer duration before rotating.