Curate your next exhibition from your sofa!
A message to curators all over the world:
Working from home is our current reality, and we are all having to adjust our personal and professional lives to it. We are exploring different tools to make these adjustments easier, and thankfully discovering fantastic technologies every day. So here’s a (not so) new, but completely free tool to make your lives and work incredibly easier!
Vastari’s mission back in 2012 was simply to facilitate more loans internationally between lenders and institutions that were not physically connected, but we would never expect that one day the physical connection would be completely restricted and that the need for online connections would be so essential.
We at Vastari have been working very hard for the past 8 years to develop a tool to facilitate connections in the art world. We started building an online platform called Vastari Collections, which enables object owners to anonymously share the objects they would like to make available for museums. These object owners join Vastari through an annual subscription simply because they don’t want their objects to be hidden in storage, whilst they could be hanging on museum walls and seen by thousands of people every day. Our members trust that by sharing their objects with your institutions they are really contributing to maintaining cultural heritage!
With objects from all over the world, from paintings to sculptures, antiques or coins, from blue chip artists to very emerging ones, our database comprises thousands of individual pieces, all available for loans at your fingertips. And the access to it is completely free of cost if you are a non-profit organisation organising exhibitions.
Once you create your account and our team verifies your association with your (non-profit) institution, you will be able to browse our database using key words and filters to find objects from private collections, or even directly from artists. You can also message owners directly if you want further information about the piece. If you cannot find what you are looking for on our portal, you can always post an object request, telling our members a bit about your upcoming show and what types of pieces you are interested in. These requests can be thematic, if you don’t have a preference for artworks from a particular artist, or if you are still brainstorming an idea. And you always have the option to be anonymous if you prefer, either when messaging an object owner or when posting an object request.
It has been just fascinating to see how inspirational the searches on our portal are, simply because technology, through search engines, is able to suggest things that our brains would probably not think of! For example, if you are working on a thematic exhibition about the Moon, you might see on your search results conventional paintings or photographs representing the moon, but also Chinese shamanism’s connection to the moon, or a view of Venice during the new moon.
But if you are re-thinking your exhibition programme strategy post-covid, you might want to see what touring shows are available and open to co-production? On Vastari Exhibitions, you can also browse for exhibitions produced by other museums or by private producers, listed with a reference to the investment required to host those shows, details about how successful they were in previous venues and other important technical information. So instead of curating an exhibition from scratch, why not first check if there is any show related which is open to collaborations? And those searches are also fully free!
We truly hope to be enabling you at museums to curate shows even while working from home… through Vastari you can still open doors in this time when so many doors have been forcedely closed!