Hauser & Wirth is trying to set a new precedent for artistic philanthropy by providing large funds for digital archiving projects in New York. Whilst philanthropic efforts in the art world tend to go towards eye-catching, glamorous projects, the institute wants to emphasise the effect that archiving can have for the arts.
“It’s massive amounts of materials, but it’s not a very sexy thing to fund right now.” tells Lisa Darms to The Art Newspaper. The executive director of Hauser & Wirth Institute suggests that while endowing a museum wing is good, real preservation can be done by funding archiving.
The six figure sum is a massive increase on grants from last year when the institute gave $60,000 to small archival projects in Canada and the U.S. It hopes that archival projects will have a far greater effect for the artistic historical record than other projects of similar cost. Despite the volume of material that many museums and galleries have, digital archiving tends to be a low priority.
…what people need is money to process archives and digitise them
Lisa Darms, executive director of Hauser & Wirth institute
Interest in archives tends to happen after a disaster: fires, floods, and natural disasters often spur fundraising efforts. However, the damage is done by this point. As such, the push for digital preservation should be sooner rather than later, which is the importance of funding from organisations such as Hauser & Wirth. Large value grants like this may help to set a precedent across the world to support archiving before it becomes a tragic headline.
Read more on this at The Art Newspaper, or check out the tags below for more news about digital archiving.