Local Option to Save on Storage and Display Supplies

A&B Store Fixtures has outlets in both Greensboro and Raleigh and carries several products with great potential for both collections storage and display.  Recently, our staff took a field trip to the inside-the-beltline Raleigh location and was impressed by the large variety and reasonable prices.  All items we surveyed had lower prices than online comparisons, and if you can schedule a trip to one of these stores, you will avoid shipping costs.  Five products seem particularly useful for collections purposes.

  1. Several participants at C2C’s November “Exhibits Bootcamp” workshop recommended this store as a low-cost place to buy manikins.   (Most are $100 or less.)  Many of these are faceless, fabric-covered clothing forms that work well in museums, since they can be padded out according to preservation guidelines for particular costumes.  Also, faceless forms do not draw attention away from the artifact, as more typical department store manikins might.
  2. Bob Hopkins, Exhibitions Coordinator at the NC Transportation Museum and one of the leaders for C2C’s exhibits workshop, recommended another product that A&B carries.  A glass display cube consists of panels of tempered glass and chrome-plated metal connectors.  Both materials are preservation appropriate.  According to Hopkins, the versatility of these items is their biggest asset.  A six-paneled cube can function as a riser block or be reconfigured into several shelves.  The material’s transparency can also be an advantage, as in this display of colored glass.
  3. Acrylic stands in various sizes are also useful and safe for a variety of artifact display purposes.
  4. Metal hanging racks on casters can be flexible elements in costume storage.
  5. Coat hangers are also available at A&B at considerable savings.  These are made of sealed maple and have wide, rounded ends.  Along with padding, the shape will maximize support for costumes in hanging storage.  Also, many smaller museums use hangers, rather than manikins, to display costume pieces.  The cost and space requirements of manikins can be prohibitive and often leave padded hangers as the better option.  Hangers can be purchased by the box or singly for less than $2 each.  Polyester quilt batting and muslin are available at local fabric stores and will add several more dollars to the cost.  Link to good online instructions for making padded hangers or learn from the NC Museum of History’s Textile Conservator, Paige Myers, at C2C’s “Textiles Intensive” workshop on April 26, 2012.

About collectionsconversations

This blog will contain posts from the C2C project staff on a variety of topics related to collections care and disaster preparedness. Enjoy the posts and let us know if you would like additional information or have a topic you would like for us to address.

Posted on February 7, 2012, in collections care, Connecting to Collections, Exhibitions, storage, workshops and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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