Damaged art in Chelsea, NYC Image: Gus Powell / New York Magazine

Damaged art in Chelsea, NYC
Image: Gus Powell / New York Magazine

The Museum of Modern Art knows how hard NYC’s’ art community was hit by Hurricane Sandy. They also know that, since they’re experts on the subject, they’re the best help around for artists and galleries struggling to preserve damaged art. That’s why it wasn’t long after the storm ended that MoMA partnered with the Conservators from the American Institute for Conservation Collections Emergency Response Team to educate the public on how to conserve art, books, and archived works that were damaged by Sandy.

They offered a free seminar to the public, as well as to any artists and galleries looking to find out more information. In addition to the informational seminar, MoMA also posted immediate response guidelines on its website that give step-by-step information on preserving all types of museum work that may have been damaged, as well as providing a list of suppliers and services to contact for assistance. The American Institute for Conservation also has a 24-hour assistance number available (202-661-8068) for advice or the arrangement of a survey and salvage team.

MoMA PS1 has also sent relief missions of volunteers to the Rockaways to help with cleanup. Director Klaus Biesenbach asked for volunteers to contact him via Twitter, stressing that the trip was “not a holiday excursion.” Volunteers were asked to bring cameras for documentation purposes, as well as garbage bags, work gloves, water, flashlights, batteries, generators, gas, candles, gas-powered pumps, lanterns, food, and rubber boots.

Rockaway was one of the hardest hit areas by Sandy, and it’s also an area of NYC heavily populated by artists. Overall, damage to artwork and galleries could be well into the millions. And while some galleries and artists have insurance, there are still many that do not.