A progress report on the Oceanic Galleries Reinstallation Project at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Amy Jones, Beth Edelstein, and Linsly Boyer


The Objects Conservation Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is in the midst of a 2-year project to re-assess the condition and installation of approximately 500 objects in the Oceanic Collection. The entire collection on exhibit was de-installed in 2004 in preparation for several capital projects now underway at the Museum, including major construction in the Rockefeller Wing where the collection was on view. Beginning in Summer 2005, a team of two conservators and one conservation technician embarked on the current project to address the conservation needs of the Oceanic objects to be re-installed for the scheduled opening of the new galleries in Fall 2007. The project is of particular interest as the collection was assessed in a similar way nearly 30 years ago in preparation for the original installation, giving us the opportunity to review the effectiveness of the conservation treatments used at the time. As the first of what we hope will be multiple reports on the Metropolitan’s Oceanic Collection, an overview of the project and several conservation treatment case studies will be presented.

2007 | Richmond | Volume 14