Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Art History

First Advisor

Margaret Lindauer


Since the 1960s, the Petersburg Area Art League (PAAL) has obtained works of art for its permanent collection through purchases, private donations, and through the local art show, the Poplar Lawn Art Festival, later known as Artfest. Recently, however, the organization has decided to become a non-collecting institution in order to focus on its mission to promote the arts in Petersburg through gallery shows for local artists and educational programs. While PAAL’s staff members share a love of art and a dedication to the local community, they have not been trained in professional standards for handling museum collections as outlined by the American Association of Museums (AAM). Consequently, the PAAL collection had not been adequately documented or stored in a manner that protected the works from potential damage or degradation. This museums project was designed to help the Petersburg Area Art League meet AAM standards. During the summer of 2010, the collection of 150 artworks was accessioned; its storage facility was reorganized; a database was created; and a collections management policy that would ensure the continued care of the collection after the completion of this project was written and approved. This paper describes challenges encountered and resolved during the two-month project and provides a reference for those who wish to take on similar projects in the future.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2010