Artwork on the move
While details of the shipping and security involved with transporting the artwork is not public information, Kerns was clear that the paintings are well taken care of. "They are transported in climate controlled vehicles that maintain the same temperature and humidity that is required in the museums as well -- 70 degree temperature with, 50 percent humidity. The packing, unpacking and transport are all supervised by officials from the American Federation of Arts and National Museum Wales."
The exhibition came to Syracuse from Oklahoma City and moved on to Washington DC (the only large market on the tour) immediately following its closing here. The economic impact in the area was probably significant, but again, not the point of bringing it to town.
"The Chamber of Commerce and other groups have formulas to figure those things out. It's not something we can measure here beyond knowing how many patrons came to see the exhibit," Kern said. And there were lots of them, which made for long lines toward the end of the run, and in very cold weather.
The Everson staff met the challenge, creating a maze of velvet ropes within the main lobby, allowing the crowds to be warm during their wait, and even on heavy days (2271 attended on Jan. 2) the waiting times were not exceptionally long and the traffic flowed smoothly through the galleries. The Everson even joined the big box retailers this year with Black Friday lines.
For those who measure art in terms of its value, Kerns said that he really had no idea what the collection would be worth in terms of dollars. "Anyone who wants to know can probably find out more than I know by going on line. The collection is a tribute to the taste, patronage and philanthropy of the Davies sisters," he said.