Back in the 1940s, during the Second World War, my mother and I came from Barrington into Chicago on a mother-daughter outing in the big city.  We probably went to the Chicago Symphony with my grandmother, but what I remember was going to The Art Institute to see what my mother claimed to be a very special loan exhibition from The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.  The objects exhibited were the series of tapestries called "The Hunt of the Unicorn."  The tapestries were hung around the Grand Staircase.  The exhibit was wonderful and I was enchanted.  But I was also impressed by what my mother told me about how special it was that the Metropolitan Museum had loaned these treasures to The Art Institute, partly prompted, as I remember, by the fear that German U-Boats might wander up the Hudson River and shell The Cloisters, the branch of the Metropolitan at the north end of Manhattan Island where the tapestries were housed.


What still surprises me is that I eventually became associated with a museum in a way which would involved me in the actual loan process of art objects between museums.  It really is the "big deal" my mother made it out to be.  I will be telling you about some of my adventures with loans between museums.  My experiences were related to my duties in the Architecture Department at the Art Institute of Chicago.  In 1980, I started as a volunteer for John Zukowsky, the new Architectural Archivist in the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries; the Architecture Department was created the following year with John as the first curator.  I was hired full time in 1986, and I retired at the end of June in 2002.


During the last hundred and fifty years or so, the word "museum" has generally meant "a building housing cultural material to which the public has access."   There is also the concept of preservation, conservation, and interpretation of the material in the museum.  I am going to be talking about "art museums,"  but most museums operate in a similar fashion.


First of all, what is a "museum," why and when did they start?


People gather or collect all sorts of things: antiquities, shells, rocks, stuffed birds, pottery, jewelry, textiles, drawings and paintings, sculpture, furniture, and even architecture.


But once collected, then what?  Enter "the museum."


In the city of Ur, which was about 140 miles south of Babylon, Archeologists have discovered, in the Sixth Century BC levels of the city, indications of collections of antiquities. The archeologists even found what seems to be, when translated, what we would consider a "museum label."


The actual word "museum" is derived from the Greek work meaning "seat of the Muses,"  and referred to a philosophical institution or a place for contemplation.  By the Third Century BC the Museum at Alexandria, Egypt, had a college of scholars as well as the great Library; but not a collection of objects, which is what we associate with the word "museum."


And then there was the Roman Empire.  Talk about collectors!  I think the Romans vacuumed up everything they could move to Rome. By the Second Century, AD, Rome contained the largest collection of art ever assembled.  It came from all over the their empire, and represented many different periods, styles, and types of art.  In classical Rome the art available to the public was concentrated in and around the temples, particularly on the Capitoline Hill.


If we move forward in time, a thousand years or so, to 1471, we get to the founding of the Capitoline Museums, the first "public museums," by Pope Sixtus IV;  Sixtus donated a group of six bronze statues to the "the People of Rome."  These pieces included the statue of the she-wolf with the infants Romulus and Rebus that has become the symbol for the city of Rome.


As we move into the European Renaissance, many of the great princely houses developed art collections, but these were not available to the public.  The collections of various churches could be viewed by the public only when they were put on public display.


It was the rise of the banking and merchant families that produced the really great Renaissance art collections.


In 1523, in Venice,  Domenico Cardinal Grimani and his brother Antonio Grimani gave their extensive art collection to the Venetian Republic.  This appears to be the earliest recorded gift of a private collection to a public entity.


Cosimo de' Medici, and his descendents,  were among those who collected art on a spectacular scale.  Part of the Uffizi Palace was converted to an art gallery and opened to a limited public in 1582.  The family bequeathed the collection to the state of Tuscany in 1743; the gallery was opened to the public in 1769 with 100,000 prints and drawings, and not a few paintings.  Now, that was a museum!


In Renaissance England, the Tutors were more interested in music; the collection of Charles the First was "dispersed" after his execution in 1649; the collection of Charles II was mostly lost in a fire at Whitehall Palace in 1698.  But, with the rise of business fortunes, the private sector came to the rescue. Elias Ashmole gave his collection, which was mostly objects related to natural history, to the University of Oxford.  This is the first recorded instance of a corporation receiving a private collection, erecting a building to house it, and making it available to the public.  The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford opened to the public in 1683;  it now has a splendid fine art collection that is especially noted for the drawings.


As Elizabeth Peters' fictional Egyptologist Radcliffe Emerson said, "Frenchmen are all alike.  They are not to be trusted with ladies or with antiquities."  This brings us to Napoleon;  looting on a Roman scale, but in a much shorter period of time.  So much art was taken from so many places that the Congress of Vienna and the Second Treaty of Paris, both in 1815, required France to return all art stolen in the previous twenty years. So most of the stolen art was returned to collections in Venice, Austria, and various other city-states and princely collections.


The French Revolution changed the Louvre from a royal palace to a museum.  In 1793 the new Museum Central des Arts opened to the public in the Grand Gallerie and the Salon Carré.  The modern Louvre Museum dates to 1882 when the Tuileries were demolished;  the new galleries opened to the public in 1888.


In all fairness to Napoleon, I should mention Thomas Bruce, the Seventh Earl of Elgin, who thought he was rescuing the unloved and abandoned antiquities of Greece when, at great personal expense, he shipped back to London various pieces of the Parthenon.  The crates arrived in England between 1805 and 1812.  Parliament purchased them from him, "on behalf of the public," in 1816 for £35,000.  Actually, Parliament authorized a public lottery to provide the money to buy the collection and provide a place to keep it.  The marbles were given to the British Museum which had been founded 1753 and opened to the public in 1759.  The British Museum is governed by Trustees responsible to Parliament;  the collections belong to the public and are to be "held in perpetuity."


As you can see, the majority of the European museums are owned by the public, or rather,  by the state for the public.  This is not generally the case in the United States, except for the unfortunate example of the New York Public Library.  After our Civil War, museums, often with associated schools, started springing up everywhere.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York was founded in 1870 by business men, financiers, and "leading artists and thinkers of the day," to bring art and art education  "to the American people."   They started with 174 paintings from three private European collections.


The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston opened its doors to the public on July 4, 1876;  when else?  By that time they had 5,600 "works of art."  Their school opened the same year.


The Saint Louis Art Museum was founded in 1879 as the St. Louis School and Museum of Fine Arts;  it was an independent entity within Washington University, similar to the Ashmolean at Oxford.  The original location was downtown,  but after the World's Fair of 1904 it was moved to Forest Park.


The Art Institute of Chicago was founded in 1879 as the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and was both a museum and a school; its first location was at the southwest corner of State and Monroe Streets. The name was changed to The Art Institute of Chicago.  It had several homes before it moved to its present location in Grant Park in December 1893. During the early years, the records suggest that most of the exhibits were of the artwork belonging to the various members of the organization as well as artwork for sale.  The first Annual Exhibition opened in January 1883 when the museum had relocated to Van Buren St. at Michigan Ave.  The catalog for the Third Annual Exhibition, in 1885, announced,  "The Institute now maintains a continuous exhibition, partly permanent and partly transient, depending in great measure upon receipts from annual memberships."


This "transient" collection appeared to consist of two categories of artwork … works of art for sale, often by the artists themselves, including Alfred Bierstadt, and loans from private collectors, galleries, and other museums.


It is the loans I am interested in, or rather, the actual movement of the loans to and from the museum.


If a curator is willing to lend a requested object to another institution, permission has to be obtained and coordinated with a number of other departments.  At the Art Institute, the departmental committee and the Board of Trustees must approve the loan.  The Conservation Department must examine the object and certify that it is safe to be moved.  The in-house photography section must have up-to-date digital photographs.  The Registrar must also approve the loan to avoid time and space conflicts with the art handlers, the art packing and crate builders, truck and plane schedules, as well as the availability of staff to act as couriers.


Art couriers are required by the insurance companies when the value of the art being shipped or moved is more than a certain amount.  They are also needed by the home or lending museum, just to keep an eye on things in case something goes wrong.   At The Art Institute, art couriers must be staff qualified to "handle art."  This includes the curators and their technical staff, the conservation staff, the photographers, the art handlers who move objects around the museum and hang the art, and the people who prepare the art for shipment by wrapping or crating.


When traveling with art, sometimes things do go wrong, or, at least, not as planned.


One loan from The Art Institute to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence included some large objects, packed in really big crates, which did not fit through some of the doors leading to the exhibition gallery.  The Art Institute's crates had to be hoisted out over the Arno River and through a large window into the gallery.  The Art Institute courier, now the registrar, took a very dim view of this operation.  As I understand it, that was the last loan by The Art Institute to the Uffizi Gallery.


When Italy got upset about losing its artistic treasures,  a new rule was established that allowed art to come into the country at any entry point, but art leaving the country had to be inspected in Rome before it left.  My boss, John Zukowsky, was bringing back some Mies drawings exhibited in Milan.  Instead of flying home directly from Milan, he had ride with the truck taking the crates of drawings to Rome, and then watch as the crates were deposited in an unprotected courtyard where they were opened and inspected, apparently in a light drizzle.  Fortunately, there was no damage to the drawings.


My shortest courier trip with an object being loaned to another museum was from The Art Institute to the Museum of Contemporary Art on Chicago Avenue.  I went by taxi.  I was taking the small model of Walter Netsch's design for the Inland Steel Building; the model has its own special packing case that includes a suitcase-like handle to make it easy to take in and out of cabs. The taxi was required to pull into the museum's loading dock;  the taxi driver thought that was "real cool,"


Mrs. Potter Palmer would take her favorite Picasso painting with her when she went to Europe on a steamship.  However,  in today's world, art going to areas not served by the United States highway system is moved by air.


Small items can be hand carried onto airplanes.  Two first class tickets can accommodate a courier and a smallish case.  This is the way John Zukowsky carried the entire Louis Sullivan "System of Architectural Ornament" series of twenty drawings,  packed in an artist's portfolio, to Germany to be photographed for the 1990 Rizzoli edition of A System of Architectural Ornament.


My first trip traveling with art was in September, 1987.  The exhibition, "Chicago Architecture and Design, 1872-1922: Birth of a Metropolis," was a large show with 277 catalog entries, many of them including more than one object.  The exhibition opened not at The Art Institute, but at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.  There were so many crates that three huge pallets were required … pallets so large that they could be carried only on a 747 cargo plane.  The two official couriers were from the Registrar's office, but they were not familiar with architectural drawings, fragments, and models;  I was needed in case work was required on one of the objects.  It was a case of "Have screwdriver, will travel."  My suitcase included my tool-kit with my Yankee screwdriver so I could remove frames easily, rice-paste and special rice paper for repairing mountings and tears, linen tape and archival paper for other repairs or reinforcements, touch-up equipment for frames, plaster, and terra-cotta.


You can't believe how big a 747 is!  When a plane is fitted out for cargo, the flight deck level includes the cockpit as well as a small galley, a toilet room, airline seating for three to six people such as couriers, and, sometimes, a double bunk bed. The rest of the plane is for fuel and cargo.  The cargo area floor is specially fitted-out with metal floor plates containing powered rotating balls that move the pallets with amazing precision.  There are two cargo loading doors:  there is a big door on the side of the plane and, it turns out, the entire nose of the plane is hinged to swing out and provide access to the front area.


Cargo flights are loaded at the cargo section at O'Hare Field, which is south on Mannheim Road somewhere.  Our crates, which had been moved from the Art Institute in a big semi tractor-trailer, were arranged on the cargo building floor.  The Registrars and I checked each crate to make sure everything had arrived safely.  Then the cargo loaders started arranging the crates on three large wood pallets.  Packing crates may have one or more stenciled symbols on them:  "This Side Up" with an arrow,  a picture of an umbrella indicates that the crate must be kept dry; the symbol of a broken goblet indicates fragile contents.  Some cases carry a stencil showing the profile of an airplane with an arrow and the words "direction of flight."  If framed drawings or paintings are packed into a crate vertically, it is important that the frames line up to be parallel with the direction of flight so that powerful take-offs and landings don't stress the artwork within the frame.  As the crates were assembled on the wood pallets, the Registrars kept an eagle eye on the direction of the arrows.  When everything was placed and approved, the cargo guys tied everything on a pallet together, wrapped it with vast quantities of what looked like oversize rolls of plastic wrap, and then attached it to the pallet with cargo nets.


Eventually everything was ready to go and big forklifts moved the pallets, one by one,  into the plane.  What a show!  We watched our pallets being loaded, as well as the pallets adjacent to ours; one must check to make sure that materials loaded on adjacent pallets cannot damage our objects ... no bottles of acids, for instance.   The three of us climbed up to the flight deck level that is reached from the cargo floor by means of a steep pull-down ladder type stair, just like going into an attic.   We were welcomed by the crew,  pilot, co-pilot, and navigator, who showed us where everything was.   Eventually we took off and had an uneventful night trip to Paris.


At Charles De Gaulle airport we were met by the local freight forwarder.  After clearing customs, and having our art papers cleared,  we watched our crates being unloaded, disentangled from the shipping pallets, and loaded into trucks to be driven into Paris.  I was rather charmed to see that our 747 was parked next to an equally large Air New Zealand 747 that apparently was completely filled with kiwis.


We arrived at the Musée d'Orsay without any problems and were greeted by the staff members we would be working with.  We supervised the unloading of the crates, counted them again,  and saw the crates moved to the new gallery for visiting exhibits.  When art crates arrive after a flight they must "rest" for 24 hours before being opened.  This is supposed to give the art time to get acclimatized.


The next day we started work.  When we entered the Musée d'Orsay through the staff entrance, we exchanged our Art Institute identification badges for day-badges for the French museum.  We unpacked, and checked everything.  When art leaves a museum, it goes with what is called a "Condition Report" filed in a "Condition Book."  In the case of this exhibition, there were two Condition Books.  The books contained photographs of each object in the exhibit and a sheet on which every crease, smudge, sign of wear, fingerprint, ink smear, etc. had been recorded.  Everything was checked to see if there had been a change.  I did have to reframe one drawing, but nothing was damaged.  After about three days, everything was checked.  The museum had a week to hang the show.  The Registrars returned to Chicago, I went to Italy for a long weekend in Tuscany with a friend from grade school.  When I returned to Paris I met my husband at a railroad station, and we went off the Brittany for a week.


Manly and I returned to Paris on September 30.  The following day Henri Loyrette, then the curator for the Department of Architecture at the Musée d'Orsay and now the curator for the entire Louvre Museum,  hosted a private dinner party for the key people involved with the exhibit.  The dinner was at his apartment that was located within the museum, but with its own entrance.


The following morning the exhibit was opened by the French Minister of Culture and Illinois Governor Jim Thompson.  How's that for class?  There was a fancy buffet lunch for a few hundred special people.  That evening there was a cocktail reception at the residence of the American ambassador for most of the same people.  Really nice art!


All courier trips are not so trouble free.  As I had now been trained in what art couriers were supposed to do, I was permitted to do trips on my own.


In 1993 I was the courier to return drawings borrowed from Spain for the exhibition, "Building A New Spain: Contemporary Spanish Architecture;"  these drawings were shown at the Art Institute from October 24, 1992 to January 3, 1993.  At that time, there was no direct passenger flight from Chicago to Madrid;  the crates were to return to Spain on some sort of Spanish cargo flight.  The special art movers took me and the crates of drawings out to the O'Hare International Cargo area, I checked in, the crates were unloaded, and I was informed by the really nice guy in charge that the plane was coming from Mexico, but that it was very late and wouldn't be taking off on time.  Eventually, as the plane was about to land,  I was warned that because some "Spanish pilot" (actually, I think he was Cuban, and he was very nice) was dead-heading back to Spain, he would be sleeping on the passenger airline seats on the flight deck level;  I would not be allowed to sit on those chairs or even go through the area to get to the bathroom.   Ah, Spanish sensibilities.  The only seat available to me was the FAA jump seat behind the pilot. The pilots, of course, pretended that they did not speak English.  My college Spanish was pretty rusty, but they pretended to not understand that either.


In addition to the Spanish pilot, there was a Mexican mechanic going to Spain to fix something.  He didn't get any seat at all; most of the time he sat on the doorsill between the cockpit and the lounge area I was not permitted to enter.  He understood my attempts at Spanish and brought me food;  I turned down his offers of coffee and other liquids.


The pilots and navigator chain-smoked all the way across the Atlantic.


We flew through and above cotton wool until we reached the coast of Spain.  By this time it seemed like the middle of the night.  Finally the plane lost altitude and the pilots pointed ahead and made noises indicating that Madrid was straight ahead, but everything was pitch black as we got lower and lower.  All of a sudden runway lights appeared in front of us and we landed safely.  The plane pulled into a cargo area;  my pallet of returning art was taken off the plane and abandoned on the tarmac.  I was met by some chap from Ministry of Public Works and Transportation who assured me that the pallet would be moved, which seemed to actually happen.  My chaperone took me into Madrid to my hotel and asked me to come to his office the following day so we could arrange to unpack the crates.


When I showed up at his office at the appointed time, it turned out that the crates had been moved to an off-site warehouse that was hard to get to.  They did not seem eager to have me inspect the drawings.  After consulting with our Registrars, I came home…on a real airplane with lots of seats, and a restroom, and meals at reasonable times.


In January of 1994 I was asked to be the courier to take seven framed architectural drawings packed in three crates,  to Paris to be part of the exhibition "La Ville" at the Musée national d'art moderne at the Centre George Pompidou in Paris.


"La Ville" was a huge show;  they planned to have over 1200 objects from 400 lenders. That meant at least 350 couriers.  Fortunately, Air France was one of the sponsors.


I was scheduled to leave on the evening of January 19, 1994, but the plane was late.  It had been twenty degrees below zero the night before and it was still only zero degrees, so I wasn't surprised that the plane might be late.  I had scheduled dinner the next night with a friend in Paris, so I called her to suggest that we make dinner a day later.


The art and I finally left the Art Institute in a special art-moving truck after 9:00 pm and drove through snow to the Air France cargo terminal.  Our three crates did not fill up a small pallet, so other freight was added;  part of my job was to make sure that nothing that might prove to be dangerous to our art be placed on the same pallet.  The pallet was tied and braced, wrapped in plastic and attached to the pallet base with a cargo net.  And we waited for the plane to come from New York.  The regular Air France cargo schedule is Paris to New York, New York to Chicago, then Chicago back to Paris;  pilots are changed in either New York or Chicago.


It was another really cold night, so I was allowed to go to a warm room with a window overlooking the cargo-holding area.


During the course of the early morning hours,  I was joined by an attractive woman DVM who was supervising two crates of sheep, 36 animals,  being shipped to a prince in Saudi Arabia for breeding purposes.  The crates were large enough so that the sheep, 18 in each crate,  could stand and walk around. The sheep had probably been sheared in the late fall;  they were very thin.  The vet said they were healthy and of a breed that was rarely exported as it wasn't especially good for either wool or meat.  She was also concerned that the animals would need food and water when they finally reached Paris.


The plane finally arrived at 6:00 am,  another huge 747.  The unloading and then the loading was very slow because only one loader was working.  You remember that 747's are loaded through both the nose and a side entrance.  The weather was so cold that the hydraulic gear on the loader would freeze so that it would not work;  one loader would be unloading or loading while the other was in the cargo area being thawed out.


I went on board about 9:00 am after the front part of the plane was loaded and the large nose hatch closed.  I was warmly welcomed by the three-man crew and a curator from the Pompidou on her way home after returning drawings to the Museum of Modern Art in New York.


We took off eleven hours late.  Remember me mentioning the bunk beds?  We took naps and were awakened by the smell of food being heated up for us.  Air France had provided two meals for us, one hot and one cold.  We combined them into one super-meal of cold salmon with peas and carrots,  a nice salad,  and then the hot course of steak,  veggies,  and rice;  this was followed by an assortment of cheeses;  fruit, yogurt and cookies were also available.  We were provided with wine, put the pilots were not.


We landed in Paris just before midnight local time.  As in Madrid, the only runway lights showing were for the runway we landed on.  It was very foggy and from our high perch on the flight deck we could just see the ground.  I think Charles De Gaulle Airport closes at midnight because at midnight all the lights turned off except in one terminal building that stays open until 1:00 am.


The plane parked at the deserted cargo area. No one from the office of our French freight forwarder/broker was at the plane to meet me,  although the forwarder for the French curator was there.  I explained that I had to stay with the art, but that wouldn't work as there was no cargo unloading crew,  no freight forwarder,  and everyone was leaving.  The pilots took me to one of the main terminals in their van, where they left me.  The terminal was deserted except for one man cleaning the floors.  With the flashlight from my purse, I did locate a telephone and reached an Art Institute registrar at home.  We agreed that I would go to another terminal in hopes of finding someone to page our freight forwarder.  I plopped my suitcase onto a luggage trolley and wandered down the empty roadway system to another terminal that had doors that opened and a few minor signs of life.  There was one open Air France office where a very nice man put a call out for my forwarder to come and meet me.


Surprise!  A little man from the forwarding company did appear. He explained that the plane was very late,  the airport was closed,  and we would deal with our crates in the morning.  The man then drove me into Paris to a hotel right across the street from the office of the freight forwarder so we could get an early start in the morning.


By 8:00 the next morning I had breakfasted and had crossed the street to the office of the freight forwarder.  They were really nice.  Our crew and I got into their truck and we returned to the cargo area at Charles De Gaulle.  The cargo people there claimed that our crates were not there.  One of my guys got a special badge so he could go into the stored freight area;  he found our three crates.  The fact that all Art Institute crates are painted red helps with the identification, especially in a big warehouse filled with crates.  By 10:00 the truck was loaded.  The trip into the underground loading and delivery area of the Pompidou Center was interesting;  it is somewhat like the freight delivery/pick-up area at Union Station.  The only problem here was that the Pompidou's big freight elevator was broken and none of the crates could be taken up to the Grand Gallery on the 5th floor.  Swell!  My three crates were taken out of the truck and put into a safe holding area in the basement with a number of other crates also waiting for the elevator.  I could see the elevator mechanic working very hard.


I checked in, got paid, and went to the hotel where all the couriers were staying.  I had lunch with the courier from Australia.


After lunch I returned to the Pompidou Centre. The person at the Information counter on the entrance level told me that I couldn't get to the 5th floor. So I went up the main Museum entrance on the 4th floor where my papers were understood and a guard took me through the various security doors and up the secure staff elevator to the 5th floor. Our three crates were there!  As each crate was unpacked,  the framed drawings were taken to the tables where one of the registrars and I completed the condition reports for our seven drawings.


By 4:30 I was finished.  I had my delayed dinner with Betty Blum that night and returned to Chicago the next day.  When I was asked why I was leaving Paris so quickly I explained that my daughter was getting married in three weeks and I really had to get home.


And I never learned what happened to the sheep.


The following May I represented the Art Institute at the conference of the International Confederation of Architectural Museums in Madrid; I then flew to Paris to collect our seven drawings from the Pompidou Center.  I did not linger in Paris this time either, as our son was to be married in three weeks.  The trip home was on time and uneventful, but one of the loveliest flights I have ever had.  Greenland was spectacular,  but best of all was the view of Lake Michigan and points west:  as we passed over the middle of the state of Michigan, just before we started descending for our landing at O'Hare, the pilots called me to come and sit behind them, explaining that the atmosphere was unusually clear;  it was twilight and so clear that we could see from Aurora to Milwaukee.  We were still high enough to actually see the curvature of the earth.  Fantastic!


In December 1995, I was asked to go to Japan, along with two other couriers, to assist in the return of Japanese prints to The Art Institute.  The Asian Art Department had three shipments returning from Tokyo;  as I was a specialist for "works of art on paper,"  I was asked to help them out. Two of us left Chicago on December 8th on Japan Air Line's flight to Tokyo.  This plane was a 747 which carried regular passengers as well as containerized cargo;  such flights are called "combis," as in combined flights.


My traveling companion had not been a courier before, so I was supposed to supervise and train her; however, she had been an exchange student in Japan for a year and spoke some Japanese and understood the subway and train system, so she trained me in how to get around Tokyo.


On Monday morning we went to the Tobu Museum where we checked our Japanese prints and supervising their packing.  By noon we were finished and the Art Institute's three crates were closed and sealed.  All the couriers were invited to a farewell lunch.  There was lots of interesting food and interesting couriers from many European and American museums.


During rest of the week,  I had several errands, such as checking out what was then the new Museum of Contemporary Art, which had asked to borrow some our Hilberseimer drawings,  and paying a courtesy call on Dr. Kisho Kurokawa.


On Thursday, all the couriers had to be back at the Tobu Museum to meet with the Japanese customs officials who inspected the borrowed drawings before granting export permission.


The next day, the "trainee" courier and I, was well as several other couriers, were taken, along with the related art crates, to the Narita Airport cargo area; here we supervised the wrapping and eventual placement of the art crates into cargo containers.  Then we all went to the general passenger area of Narita where the paperwork was cleared and the outgoing passengers went through passport control.   I was returned to Tokyo.


Monday morning, bright and early at 6:00 am, I, and the courier from Brussels, were met by our local guardian. We returned to the Tobu Museum, our crates of drawings were loaded into a truck, and we all went back to the cargo area at Narita, almost a two-hour drive during rush hour.  My two Art Institute crates were wrapped in plastic,  loaded into a cargo container, which was then sealed and also wrapped in plastic, and then placed on a pallet. I got the required paperwork and was told that the container would be stored under the First Class compartment on the plane.

We were then taken to the passenger building were I checked in.  I arrived at my gate early – part of the courier experience.  I could watch as the "sex-tour" groups left on the flights to Bangkok.

I could finally board the flight home.  After take-off, the announcements were made in three languages: Japanese, Chinese, and English. We were told that we would reach the International Date Line in 3 hours, where it was still Sunday; we would be traveling at 550 miles per hour; and we would be flying at 33,000 feet.


Now, that is high art.





Respectfully submitted,




Luigi H. Mumford

Presented at The Chicago Literary Club

January 30, 2006







Books and Articles:


Art Institute of Chicago.  Art Institute of Chicago Exhibition Catalogs Publications 1879-1888.  Chicago:  Art Institute of Chicago.  1887.


Encyclopaedia Britannica, Standard Edition 2005,  Version 2005.00.00.


Gopnik, Blake.  "Mist Opportunities: Turner's Impressionistic Lens." The Washington Post,  August 29, 2004.


Groark, Virginia.  "Racehorses taking off – by plane."  Chicago Tribune,  August 12, 2004.


Kimmelman, Michael.  "Where the Art Grows on Trees (and Everywhere Else),"   Weekend Arts Section,  The New York Times,  December 30, 2005.


Lewis,  Geoggrey D.  "Museums."  Encyclopaedia Britannica, Standard Edition 2005,  Version 2005.00.00.

         This is also available as an independent publication.


Perrottet, Tony.  "The Glory that is Rome."  Smithsonian,  October, 2005,  p. 88-95.


Peters, Elizabeth.  The Mummy Case.  New York:  Warner books, Inc., 1985.


Renner, Lisanne.  "A War Against Time for the Painted Soldiers of Gettysburg."  The New York Times,  November 16, 2005.


Riding, Alan.  "In a Trend, Museums in Paris Branch Out,"  The New York Times,  January 10, 2005.


Riding, Alan.  "Why 'Antiquities Trials' Focus on America,"  The New York Times,  November 25, 2005. 


Rorimer, James J.  The Unicorn Tapestries at the Cloisters.  New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1962.


Saliga, Pauline, and Martha Thorne, editors.  Building in a New Spain: Contemporary Spanish Architecture.  Barcelona: Editorial Gustavo Gilli; Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1992.


Vogel, Carol.  "A Titian Travels To Washington."  The New York Times,  January 20, 2006.


Zukowsky, John, ed. Chicago Architecture, 1872-1922: Birth of a Metropolis.  Munich: Prestel-Verlag; Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1987.


Zukowsky, John, ed.  Mies Reconsidered: His Career; Legacy, and Disciples.  Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1986.





Higinbotham, Susan S.  "Angles in the White City: The Leadership role of the Women of The Fortnightly in the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893."  Lecture given at The Fortnightly of Chicago,  June 9, 2005.


Dan L. Monroe.  "Transforming Museums."  Lecture given at The Fortnightly of Chicago,  April 21, 2004.



Web Sites:


Art Institute of Chicago.  www.artic.edu/aic


Capitoline Museums.  www.museicapitolini.org/en/museo/sezioni.


Congress of Vienna.  www.pvhs.chico.ca.k12.us/~bsilva/projects/congress/vienessy.html


Louve Museum.  www.louvre/fr/llv/musee/institution


The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  www.metmuseum.org/Press_Room/full_release.


Milwaukee Art Museum.  www.mam.org/aboutus/history/htm.


Mumford Family Trips.  www.mumford.cx.

         France and England.  September -October, 1987.

         Luigi Mumford's Trip to Paris.  January 19-22, 1994.

         Luigi's Courier Trip to Japan.  December 8-18, 1994.

         Where is Luigi this time?  Germany , June 12-16, 2000.


Museum of Fine Arts.  www.mfa.org/about/index.asp


Pergamon Museum: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.  www.smb.spk-berlin.de/smb/en/sammlungen/details

Also see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perganon_Museum

Also see: www.geocities.com/intrepidberkeleyexplorer/Page23B.html


The Saint Louis Art Museum.  www.stlouis.art.museum/index.


Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah.  www.telfair.org/about/default.asp