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The Mary Nohl Estate

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Mia Bathke, Jacqueline Black, Eva Ives, Dana Kautto

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The Mary Nohl Estate

  1. 1. The Mary Nohl Estate: A Prototype for Artist Foundation Documentation Mia Bathke, Jacqueline Black, Eva Ives, Dana Kautto Pratt Institute School of Information INFO 661-01: Art Documentation, Fall 2018
  2. 2. About Mary Nohl’s Work ● With over 50 years working as a practicing artist, Mary Nohl worked with wood as a primary source of inspiration. ● Originally from Fox Point, Wisconsin, the artist moved to New York City in the late 1960s. ● Used reclaimed wood and found materials around the city as the basis for many works. Mary Nohl’s Art Environment in Fox Point, Wisconsin (photo by Alison Meier for Hyperallergic)
  3. 3. Current Status of Materials & Constituents ● Sizes range from table top sculptures to ones over ten feet tall. ● Nohl maintained sketches and sketchbooks to aid in assembly and sculpting of these materials into the final work. ● Less than 100 sculptures, along with all her drawings, sketches, and sketchbook, were bequeathed to Nohl’s cousin after her passing. Mary Nohl’s Art Environment in Fox Point, Wisconsin (photo by Alison Meier for Hyperallergic)
  4. 4. Project Overview ● We are seeking to prepare the estate for donation to a museum (or to several institutions). ● Survey and determine the scope, size, valuation of the mixed media materials. ● Bibliographic research may be conducted to authenticate the works. and provide context to our documentation. Mary Nohl’s Art Environment in Fox Point, Wisconsin (photo by Alison Meier for Hyperallergic)
  5. 5. Mary Nohl at her lake cottage environment (1994) (photo by Ron Byers, courtesy John Michael Kohler Arts Center) To appropriately use existing standards in the field of artists’ estates and foundations, utilizing a flexible approach to accommodate the particularities of this collection. To fully photograph, catalog, and organize the materials so the estate can access this information readily, as well as provide it to museums for the donation process. Mission Statement
  6. 6. Methodologies of Work A conserved fountain by Mary Nohl (photo by the author for Hyperallergic) ● Object Identification ● Photographic Documentation ● Cataloging & Description
  7. 7. Assign each object a unique identifier, while enabling us to start organizing according to: ● Type of material ● Relation to other objects ● Date created Wherever possible, inventory numbers will be marked on the object or affixed with a tag or sleeve. Object Identification Chicken bone sculptures in Mary Nohl’s kitchen (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)
  8. 8. Assigned sequentially in order of documentation, starting at 001. Type Codes: S (sculpture) D (drawing) B (sketchbook) Year of completion. Unknown dates will be represented 195U, 19UU. Optional, for multi-part objects. Single letters a- z, then double (aa, ab…). TYPE_###letter_YEAR
  9. 9. Required Usage ExplanationElement ● 3-digit inventory number ● Assigned sequentially per material type, in order of documentation ● Optional, for multi-part objects (e.g. sketches bound within a sketchbook) ● Single lowercase letters a-z, then double letters ● Year of completion ● Unknown dates estimated to the best of ability, represented as such: 19UU; 195U ● Denotes the material type ● Codes as follows: S = Sculpture; D = Drawing; B = Sketchbook TYPE ### letter YEAR The first sculpture we document. (photobyAlisonMeierforHyperallergic) Example: S_001_1961
  10. 10. Required Usage ExplanationElement ● 3-digit inventory number ● Assigned sequentially per material type, in order of documentation ● Optional, for multi-part objects (e.g. sketches bound within a sketchbook) ● Single lowercase letters a-z, then double letters ● Year of completion ● Unknown dates estimated to the best of ability, represented as such: 19UU; 195U ● Denotes the material type ● Codes as follows: S = Sculpture; D = Drawing; B = Sketchbook TYPE ### letter YEAR The 30th sketch in Sketchbook 2. Example: B_002ad_1959
  11. 11. Sculptures: ● Digitally photographed from at least 6 different angles ● Special attention to any indications of placement and/or orientation ● Detail shots of any conservation concerns, inscriptions, or labeling Sketchbooks & Drawings: ● Sketchbooks will be photographed front and back, plus inside covers ● Drawings and individual sketches scanned with a flatbed scanner (images courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical society) Photographic Documentation
  12. 12. Technologies ● xDams (a cloud-based metadata management platform) ● xDams translations records into XML for interoperability with outside institutions ● Google Sheets for inventory, sharing, and export options such as CSV, XML, and JSON ● Digital photography of all sculptures and found objects ● Scan sketches and sketchbooks with a minimum 300 dpi image resolution. ● All images created from documentation will be catalogued both to the spreadsheet and the xDams record Capturing Assets Describing Assets
  13. 13. Staff & Supplies Staff required: ● One professional conservator ● One professional archivist ● Interns as needed ● Two to three art handlers Supplies required: ● Digital camera ● Flatbed scanner ● Secure storage for digital assets ● Secure storage for physical assetsInstallation view of Mary Nohl’s living room in Greetings and Salutations and Boo at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (photo courtesy of Hyperallergic)
  14. 14. Budget Sony A7 III Digital Camera $1,998 Epson Perfection V19 Flatbed Scanner $65 LaCie 2 TB Portable Hard Drive (2) $350 Physical Storage $1,000 Equipment and Technical Expenses Total Estimate $53,700-$78,913 Part Time Conservator $12,000-$18,000 Part Time Archivist $34,000-$51,000 Part Time Interns $0 Part Time Art Handlers $4,300-$6,500 Personnel Expenses
  15. 15. Timeline for Completion: 18 months Mo. 1 Mo. 2 Mo. 3 Mo. 4 Mo. 5 Mo. 6 Mo. 7 Mo. 8 Mo. 9 Mo. 10 Mo. 11 Mo. 12 Acquisition Files & Condition Reports Photographic Documentation Cataloging & Description Collection Placement Inventory & Object Identification Mo. 13 Mo. 14 Mo. 15 Mo. 16 Mo. 17 Mo. 18 check-in check-in check-in
  16. 16. Cataloging & Description ● Dimensions of all works will be taken and recorded during inventory and photographing process ● Instructional sketches will be scanned and maintained digitally in relation to the sculpture they represent ● Using the LIDO framework we will be able to provide prospective institutions with the standardized information they will need in assessing whether or not to accept donations from the Nohl estate (LIDO environments model, courtesy LIDO Schema pamphlet) (Nohl’s loose sketches/instructions, courtesy Kohler Foundation)
  17. 17. Has Attributes: Inventory # Title Date(s) Creator / Role Object Work Def. Place of Creation Repository Description Material(s) Measurements Shape Inscription Copyright Sculpture* Collection Has Attributes: File Name Object Inventory # Image Orientation Capture Date Photographer Drawing* Sketchbook* Sketch* Visual Surrogates** Related Work Related Work Key if applicable required Digitized Images** Digitized Images** Related WorkRelated Work ORGANIZEBYDATE Visual Surrogates**
  18. 18. xDams Record Example
  19. 19. xDams Record Example
  20. 20. Bibliography Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York. "Session 4. Art, Artifact, Artist’s Record: Processing and Managing Collections: Rachel Jirka, Sally Brazil, Julia Pelta Feldman, Erin Murphy, Denis Lessard." Proceedings of Artists Records in the Archives: Symposium Proceedings, New York Public Library and Fashion Institute of Technology, New York. Accessed November 2, 2018. https://www.nycarchivists.org/resources/Documents/ArtistsRecordsSymposiumProceedings.pdf. ATHENA WP3 Working Group. Lightweight Information Describing Objects (lido): The International Harvesting Standard for Museums. LIDO Schema. Accessed November 2, 2018. http://www.lido-schema.org/documents/LIDO-Booklet.pdf. Brehmer, Debra. "A Single Woman Is a Witch: Battling to Save the Art Environment of Mary Nohl." Hyperallergic. June 22, 2017. Accessed November 12, 2018. https://hyperallergic.com/168575/a-single-woman-is-a-witch-battling-to-save-the-art-environment-of-mary-nohl/. Kohler Foundation Inc. "Mary Nohl Collection » Preservation." Kohler Foundation Inc. Accessed November 13, 2018. http://www.kohlerfoundation.org/preservation/major- collections/mary-nohl/. Manger, Barbara, and Janine Smith. Mary Nohl: A Lifetime in Art. Badger Biographies Series. Madison, WI: Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2013. Meier, Allison. "Saving the Art and Home of Mary Nohl, Whose Neighbors Called Her a Witch." Hyperallergic. September 06, 2017. Accessed November 10, 2018. https://hyperallergic.com/394874/greetings-and-boo-the-saving-of-mary-nohls-witch-house/. Meier, Allison. "50 Years of Celebrating, and Saving, Artist-Built Environments." Hyperallergic. August 24, 2017. Accessed November 10, 2018. https://hyperallergic.com/395525/50- years-of-celebrating-and-saving-artist-built-environments/. Muckian, Michael. "Sheboygan Exhibition Recreates the World of Artist Mary Nohl." The Wisconsin Gazette, March 10, 2016. Accessed November 11, 2018. https://www.wisconsingazette.com/entertainment/sheboygan-exhibition-recreates-the-world-of-artist-mary-nohl/article_4eeed97f-502e-5680-a17d-47dde677926c.html.

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