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Report from the Archiving Front

Carole d'Inverno

CALL Legacy Specialist

CALL artist Jim Woodring with Legacy Specialists Carole d’Inverno and Carolyn Dunford. photo: Marc Bohne

As a Legacy Specialist in Artist Trust’s Creating a Living Legacy (CALL) Program, my role is to assist artists with documenting and archiving their life’s work. To my delight, I was paired with cartoonist Jim Woodring in this role. The Woodrings are longtime family friends and I knew that organizing his artwork would be a pleasure—and a treat!

It was equally special to work alongside Carolyn Dunford, my Legacy Specialist partner. We made a great team; Carolyn’s database knowledge streamlined the important task of cataloging the artwork, while I organized our workspace, taking special care not to disturb Jim’s studio area.

After consulting with Jim, Carolyn and I created a plan to organize the artwork and we quickly settled into our tasks. Jim gathered drawings in his studio and brought them to the dining room where we established our “command center.” We organized the artwork by medium: inks, pencils and watercolors. Each piece was wrapped in archival paper or placed in an archival envelope and stored in appropriately-sized boxes. Carolyn entered the title and information about each piece into the spreadsheet while I labeled the work. Each box was labeled and included a list of contents. 

The job of cataloging and organizing Jim’s work was very rewarding. We even had the opportunity to view some of his earliest work from his high school days! It was a privilege to get an inside look at his development through the years. Jim was very appreciative to have our help, saying, “We made a terrific team…now it’s much easier to locate exactly what I need, saving me a lot of time, and I can keep my future work organized in the system they set up.”