Grant Opportunity: Managing Fine & Decorative Arts

Managing Fine & Decorative Arts

Manage and display challenging formats in your collections.

A globe sits on a table with a statue in the background.Grant Amount:

Up to $20,000

Time Range:

1 year


Public Libraries

Staff Contact:

Evan Knight

Program Description

This grant will address the needs of public libraries to better understand their arts collections, to enhance the preservation of those collections, and to promote access of those collections to their communities. For the purposes of this grant category, common formats of “fine arts” include paintings (including murals), sculptures, art prints, art photographs, and artist’s books; “decorative arts” can include furniture, textiles, and musical instruments. Projects should address the specific needs of the institution and their community, and may include curatorial consultants, collections management consultants, inventorying collections, conservation surveys, cataloging, photography of art objects, exhibition planning, certain types of hanging or display fixtures, installation, art handling, matting, and framing. This grant is flexible to support a variety of projects that enhance management of these collections in public libraries; however, it is not intended for the conservation of arts objects or the purchase of collections management software.

Programming and outreach should strive to reach all members of the community and connect the arts collections to contemporary life. Libraries should seek out partnerships with arts, historical, academic, and collecting persons and institutions at the local, regional, and, where appropriate, national levels.

Applicants are required to complete two online questionnaires by the application deadline, available at MBLC LibGuide for Preservation in MA Libraries | Forms

  1. Preservation Self-Assessment
  2. Special Collection Management Priorities


Massachusetts public libraries are rich in arts collections. In addition to aesthetic significance, these collections often illuminate local and regional histories. Through close study and contemporary interpretations of their design, content, and provenance, arts collections can present a variety of learning opportunities and benefits to their host communities. However, these collections can often be overlooked or inaccessible due to their special formats. In order to enhance the preservation and accessibility of these collections to their communities, many public libraries need specialized support in curation, arts management, and exhibition planning. From there, they can offer activities and programs that provide opportunities for all ages and abilities to explore and experience art, craft, and history.

For More Information

Robert Favini, Head of Library Advisory and Development
617-725-1860 x237
857-488-6590 (Mobile)

Amy Clayton, Administrative Coordinator
617-725-1860 x228
857-488-6408 (Mobile)