September 2012


MMAA’s traveling exhibition Our Treasures: Highlights from the Minnesota Museum of American Art left home this month to make its way to the first of its final two stops. The exhibition recently travelled to the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, North Dakota (opening September 30) and will return home this winter for its final stop at the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota (opening February 2, 2013).

With the help of MMAA’s collections staff, volunteers, and trusted art movers, 34 prized items from the collection were prepared for travel, professionally crated, and transported by a state of the art moving truck.  Here is an insider’s view of the process.


In preparation for their move each object is inspected to verify whether or not it is in stable condition to travel. Exhibition of an object can lead to wear and tear and some items must visit the conservator for a thorough cleaning before leaving home as was done with four Manship sculptures recently added to the exhibition (see image at the right of Manship's Day from the Moods of Time.) Artwork is then carefully packed in custom made crates designed specifically for individual items. For Our Treasures, 11 crates were packed ranging from the size of a milk crate to 5 x 2 x 10 feet.


Our treasures create tetris.jpg

To assure the collection’s safety, a high quality moving truck featuring a climate-controlled tractor trailer unit and high-cubes with air-ride suspension and lift gates is used. A vehicle like this can adjust for drastic temperature changes (especially during the humid summer months) and eliminate vibration during transport and loading/unloading. It took four professional art movers, led by Joel Pieper, and a pallet-lift to pack this 52 foot trailer, a process that requires what collections staff likes to call a game of “Crate Tetris.”


our treasures moving truck.jpg

MMAA Collections Associate 
Rosa Corral monitors the loading process in order to insure all crates are securely and successfully loaded on to the truck and nothing is accidentally left behind. Precise notes are made indicating crate size and loading order along with any specific unpacking notes for the Registrar at the receiving institution.

Our Treasures arrived safely at the Plains Art Museum and will open on September 30, 2012. For more information on the exhibition, please visit www.mmaatreasures.org.


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Upcoming Exhibition Dates:

Plains Art Museum

Fargo, ND
September 30-
January 6, 2013

Weisman Art Museum
Minneapolis, MN
February 2-
May 12, 2013       

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