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Art Audit: Performance Management Essay

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Updated: Dec 20th, 2021

How to perform an art audit

First, gather all the information you need for your art.

Secondly, evaluate and devise a system for the audit. In other words, you need to determine how best to go about the audit so that you do not omit any useful information. This will depend on where the audit is to be performed. The work can be done in a studio, an office, a warehouse, a gallery, or any other place and therefore one needs to come up with a systematic process to ensure that all the artwork is included.

How to Determine the Method to Be Used

Studio

An artist studio, a storage space, or a warehouse setting is preferred when using a studio method. In this method, you begin by setting up an area to work in (McClintock, 291). Then each piece is brought to this area one at a time. This method works well in a studio setting where a few of the pieces are being displayed or hang on the wall.

Gallery

Gallery or home/office setting is where the artwork is hung or being displayed.

In this method, it may be best to move from one area to the next round the gallery to perform the audit. Depending on the purpose of the audit, you can determine what you wish to accomplish by following the guidelines below:

Create a folder for each piece

This should include all documentation for the piece

Document each piece

This should include COA, detailed measurements, media, artist statement, bibliography, and other details of the piece or artist. Also, remember to include the bill of sale or receipt.

Photograph each piece

Several photos and close-up details of specific or unusual areas of the piece must be included together with an artist’s signature.

Tag and Register each piece

Utilize some form of identification systems (bar, code, etc.)

Create a database record

Come up with a computerized record for all works of art.

Create a catalog / Catalogues raisonne w/details and images etc

The catalog should include photos and details of the whole work. You can either print one copy for personal use or several copies for sale.

Step-by-Step

After gathering all documentation for each piece of art, you are ready to begin an artistic work.

For most people, in all three categories i.e. an artist, collector, and investor, it is easy and comfortable for them to talk about their art and art collection. One of the benefits of performing an audit is to know if you have a lot of facts and information about your art but they are not documented.

I have found out that recording your information as either audio or video is a good way to document otherwise lost facts. You can create your work or have an informal discussion with your assistants where they ask questions and answers are given.

Some people may find the fact that it is being video recorded somewhat intimidating at first, but keep in mind that this video could just be to record the information to ensure no details are left out, or it could be edited for a more professional presentation. Also, if the recording is less formal (Q & A) this will make it less intimidating and the responses will come easier.

To create a gallery setting, the owner of the gallery or artwork stops at each piece to describe the piece in detail and may refer to any documentation available (Said, 119). Verbally, make note of the information needed for the complete documentation

Then as you move from piece to piece, take digital still images of the art to create a portfolio of the collection.

It would also be the time to tag each piece with the registration numbers. Be sure to follow up by registering the art with a registry service, such as fineartregisty.com.

Each piece can be removed and tagged as it is being recorded. This documents the whole process. Whether you audio/video record the audit or not, each piece should be handled individually, documented, and photographed.

In photographing, each piece should contain closed-up images of interesting areas of the piece particularly the artist’s signature or other areas of interest.

Tips for Photographing Arts

Create a list or database for documentation from your audit.

Each piece should be entered into a database. You can also use any database or spreadsheet program that allows you to enter details of each piece into a list that will suffice.

Dictate then Transcribe (narrate)

Once you have finished, you will need to listen or watch the video to document the oral facts given in a written form. If the information is video recorded, this will ensure the correct facts go with the correct piece of art. There are several software programs on the market to assist you with transcribing the audio portion. However, audio-to-text software has not yet been developed. If you listen to a speech as it plays and stops the recording to make corrections as it progresses, this can save some time and effort.

The last step is to combine the information about each piece of art and include it in the corresponding folder.

Works Cited

McClintock, Anne. Art Work: Aspects of good Art and Design for starters and experts. London: Routledge, 1995.

Said, Edward. How to ensure proper passage of information using Art and Design. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.

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