Taking care of a collection involves a lot of work behind the scenes. From looking after the artwork on the walls, to managing the collection store, and maintaining up-to-date policies and procedures – there is always something to be done. 

This month the Collection Team has been learning about collection rationalisation. Rationalisation involves reviewing the art collection and making sure we are collecting with purpose and sustainably into the future.  

GHAT wants to ensure that the artworks in our care remain relevant and are actively used and enjoyed by NHSG staff, patients and visitors. For this purpose, we need to understand how we collect and why. 

The team have attended rationalisation seminars and workshops delivered by the Museums Association. They have also visited colleagues in similar situations to share expertise, ahead of applying the lessons learned to the GHAT collection.  

Museums Association Director Sharon Heal made a great point when connecting collection rationalisation and sustainability:  

‘The climate crisis is one of the biggest challenges that we face as a society and museums across the UK are working with their communities to support action towards net zero. But we also have to do our bit within the museum space to break the cycle of endless accumulation and think more proactively and dynamically about our collections.’