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Grant number like: PG-51424-11

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Birmingham Museum of Art (Birmingham, AL 35203)
Melissa Falkner Mercurio (Project Director: May 2010 to March 2013)

Preservation Assistance Grants
Preservation and Access

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2011 – 12/31/2012

Rehousing of the Buten Wedgwood Collection

Purchase of storage equipment to rehouse the Buten Wedgwood Collection, which consists of almost 8,000 pieces of ceramics dating from the inception of the Wedgwood Company in 1759 through the 1980s. Harry and Nettie Buten began collecting Wedgwood in 1931 and opened their museum in Merion, Pennsylvania to the public in 1957. The collection, which includes some of the most unique Wedgwood wares, was acquired by the Birmingham Museum of Art in 2008, a gift from the Buten family through the Wedgwood Society of New York.

The NEH Preservation Assistance Grant would provide funds for re-housing the Buten Wedgwood Collection. Recognizing the importance of this comprehensive collection of almost 8,000 pieces, the Birmingham Museum of Art has developed a comprehensive plan to properly address the safety, security, and access to the Buten objects. Approximately three-quarters of the Buten Wedgwood Collection will be designated for movement to the newly constructed Buten Storage Area for long-term storage. This storage area will consist of heavy-duty industrial shelving outfitted with decking allowing objects to rest on padded, open shelves or in archival trays contained in an outer archival box. The remaining one-fourth of the Collection will be stored on open shelves in Museum storage cabinets in the Museum's Small Object Storage area. The NEH grant would support the purchase of storage trays, tissues, and additional cabinet shelves and hardware.