Thanks to a partnership between the Akron Art Museum and the Akron-Summit County Public Library, not only can you get a book to place on the nightstand beside your bed, you can also get a painting to hang over your bed.
According to a recent article, the museum is creating the Akron Art Library in the Akron-Summit County Public Library Main Library. Patrons can view the art and then use their library card to borrow a work for four weeks and renew it up to five times if no one else places a request for it.
“We want to show we can trust the public with works of art,” said Art Museum Director of Education Alison Caplan. “We want people to have that moment of ‘are you sure we can take this out?'”
Even so, the fine for not returning a borrowed piece is $500 and late fees run 50 cents per day, she said.
All the art available to borrow — paintings, drawings, photos and other two-dimensional work — is created by professional Northeast Ohio artists, many of whom have been featured at the museum.
“We tried to highlight artists that came from Akron and the region and have gone on to do great things,” Caplan said. “It’s a really good mix.”
If this sounds somewhat familiar to you, it might be because four years ago I wrote about how Oberlin College has been lending out priceless works by Dali, Picasso, Chagall, etc to their students since the 1940s.
Oberlin says they haven’t had anything damaged or stolen in all that time so the risk of allowing people to take art works home with them might not be as great as you might imagine. The museum’s focus on circulating works by regional artists can help cultivate an awareness and appreciation that there are well regarded creative people perusing produce at the supermarket and laughing too loudly behind them in the movie theater.
Not to mention the Art Library program reinforces the idea that your home is an appropriate place for art that appears in a museum and that access to such work is within your reach.
I wonder if they have/will start a children’s section so kids can follow the example of their parents and check out something to hang on their walls as well.