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The Registrar Discover his importance

Museums, public and private institutions that operate within the art world, have in their staff well-defined professionals that are involved in organizing an exhibition and in managing their own collection.

Among these the Registrar is of crucial importance, being a multidisciplinary professional at the service of all phases of artworks handling, during the loan both in and out…

Since the 1950s, in the United States, the the Registrar has a well-defined role and is present in museums and institutions.

Since 1978 the American Registrars, in fact, have gathered in a Professional Committee (Registrar’s Committee), recognized by the ‘American Associations of Museums (AAM).

Same goes for Britain, where this figure was born in the early’ 70s, then finding space in the museums of France, Germany, Denmark, Holland, Belgium and Spain.

In Italy, the figure of the Registrar was formalized with a decree of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities in 2001, and is defined as “the one who creates, documents and organizes all the documents related to the loan of a work of art”.

What is the Registrar dealing with?

His duties vary according to the size of the institution and its internal organization, but generally deals with everything related to the “handling” of works of art, specifically:

  • He arranges the loan documents and manages all the part related to the logistics activities of the work (insurance, packaging, and transport) coordinating the various professionals involved also in the reception and set ups
  • Guarantees the protection and conservation of the work, and during the process of handling he has the task of accompanying the work in its transfer, from the time of packaging up to the setting up
  • Creates and manages a “historic” archive containing all the documentation and all the loans received and granted by the institution over time

The Registrar can also be declined in two different roles, which can be performed by the same person or by two different figures:

  • Outgoing o Loans Registrar that deals with all outgoing loans
  • Exhibitions Registrar that has to do with incoming loans. In this case, the Registrar receives precise indications regarding the works to be requested on loan from the Scientific Committee or the exhibition curator, and also coordinates and supervises the insurance, transport, reception, control and positioning of the works destined for the exhibition.

Recently, also large international art galleries such as Gagosian and Hauser & Wirth have included the figure of the Registrar within their staff, effectively acting as an institution for all purposes.

The Registrar is a crosswise figure that acts as a glue to different professionals, involved in the handling of artworks, managing all those aspects that allow the organization and implementation of exhibitions and cultural events.

And you, did you know the the Registrar?

 

Discover more in the video of Andrea Concas about the Registrar…

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