Barrick volunteer Floris Lafontant thinks about condition reports.
Much of my time as a volunteer has been spent condition reporting items in the Barrick Museum’s collection. A condition report is a practical and necessary thing in the museum world, but I’m often impressed with the simple act of creating a report. It is an almost transcendent experience. Handling art objects has a curious effect on time. In part, it’s the simultaneously slowed and hastened time of becoming engrossed in activity. It is also that, through careful examination of the piece, the life of the object unfolds. That the object survives is a testament to the artist. Each minor fracture and tear, each curious discoloration hints at how much or how little it was used as well as how much it was cared for and treasured.