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Mobile Art Museums was RE: Why Would Teachers not use Museum Educational Curriculum-long answer-


From: Kimberly Herbert (kimberly_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Oct 15 2000 - 12:51:28 PDT

Ok I'm doing this from memory and it is information I don't normally deal
with, so if I misstate something it was an honest mistake on my part.

First, as I have stated earlier my boss wants to do a mobile museum for the
area we serve. Roughly (and this is only going to make sense to Texans) this
is ESC Region XV and the edge of ESC Region XVII (I think might be another
ESC Region). This is a 20+ county area that is might be larger than some
states I think it is. I know my boss is looking for both initial funding and
operational funding for this project. Beyond funding there are additional
legal issues.

(I hope I get this part correct this is my personal understanding and I'm
not a lawyer)

Museums, who have 501(3)c (non profit educational institution) status
according to the tax code, do not actually own their permanent collections.
The permanent collections are actually owned by the people of the state, and
are in trust to the museum. The museum, its employees, and board are
answerable to the state attorney general for any misuse or damage to the
permanent collection. There are different types of collections - permanent,
study, and some other category I can't remember applies when someone donates
a piece with the intent that we sell it to support the museum. For this
reason you will never see items from a permanent collection in a mobile
museum only study and the third category. There is no way in hell we could
risk items from permanent collection in such an insecure environment. Not
only are there the risks of theft, accident, and/or vandalism, but the lack
of environmental controls for steady temperature and humidity control would
endanger the art. Even if the law did allow this, the insurance carriers
would freak.

I'm not defending museums that do not take their responsibilities to
education seriously. Just trying to point out the difficulties we face,
trying to reach as many people as possible.

BTW my boss's motto is Not just art on the walls, but in our lives.

Kimberly Herbert (
CAM Administrator
San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts/Children's Art Museum