I already have an art advisor, so why do I need a professional registrar?
Art advisors typically act as sales consultants, and charge fees based on the purchase price of new acquisitions. Some offer additional collection care services, and often far down the list of these is data management. Sales are sexy; reconciling insurance schedules, not so much.
Information management is our primary focus. We live to organize and reconcile, to fully realize a collection catalogue, and to help you easily access information in practical ways. We charge for our work by the hour and never take fees from third parties.
Our clients know that art registration is a specialized and thriving profession whose members work in museums and galleries around the world. A registrar-managed digital catalogue is an essential centralized repository and is the fastest and most accurate tool for asset reporting.
We routinely record purchases and sales, prepare insurance schedules, appraisal, trust and estate plan inventories, perform site inspections, and lead location and warehouse reviews. We create documentation for art loans, donations, conservation, and for all kinds of specialized private publications.
How does a digital catalogue add value to my collection?
A catalogue and the up-to-date illustrated reports it generates are the best tools for communication. Clear communication reduces risk and saves time.
Data entry by an experienced registrar begins with the review of purchase invoices and contracts. We routinely advise our clients of errors and omissions, and owners appreciate that we have no transactional interest in their collecting activity.
In our experience with thousands of transaction records, one in four documents we vet contain significant concerns that, when brought to a client’s attention, eventually warrant re-issue and correction by the seller, borrower, or service provider.
Fine art insurance brokers recognize the risk management benefits of organized record-keeping and digital reporting. Insurance schedules periodically generated from the source — your own catalogue — can eliminate per-purchase adjustments to coverage, and almost always result in broader terms and more competitive rates.
Your catalogue and archive can preserve certificates and import/export records essential for future sale. A digital catalogue records condition reports and photographs indispensable for authentication, insurance claims, and catalogue raisonné submissions.
A digital catalogue also allows for the powerful analysis of your assets. Our experts can “slice and dice” your data to quickly help you make informed decisions. Customized reports are our specialty, and, once standardized and approved, we can automate their creation at regular intervals to support all kinds of administrative, legal, and accounting tasks.
What software and hardware do you recommend?
We know every collection and collector is unique, but with common goals: to capture their passion, preserve and enhance their assets, and streamline mundane but essential reporting.
When considering a professional catalogue, branding should take a back seat to utility and value. Therefore, we don’t sell software or hardware: we build systems and make all kinds of databases work more effectively over time.
After listening to your objectives and mapping in-place organization, JWSC project leaders can advise on the many apps and data storage strategies available to you, and clearly explain the requirements and our experience of each. Whether a turn-key solution delivered to your location, or a fully hosted program managed at our offices in Chicago, we work to your specifications and toward effective, well-documented workflows.
Why should I invest in professional archive storage?
Original receipts, appraisals, loan and exhibition documentation, auction records, photography, and published references all contribute to the value and importance of your collection. These materials provide vital proof of provenance, value, and condition in the event of loss or damage. Complete and organized records are crucial at the time of sale. Additionally, these unpublished records tell the story of your collection as it grows and may be a resource for family historians as well as scholars for generations.
Office filing systems are sufficient for short-term storage and retrieval, but inadequate for long-term document preservation and efficient record retrieval. Collection records are best kept together, organized by object, and should be digitized prior to filing so they can be electronically searched and shared without being handled. We can design an easy-to-use storage system for your originals and establish standards for record-keeping to last a lifetime.
Intelligent technology for your collection