“Some of the pieces I’m challenged by are the ones on paper plates or non-archival material, maybe tempera paint that’s kind of chipping off, things like that,” Weinstock said. Other works have buckled, she explained, because so much paint was applied. “So we need to look at how to deal with those tricky pieces.”
“We do have a pretty major task ahead of us. It’s uncharted territory, too,” Hunt McLanahan added. “How do we assess the works and catalogue them, particularly when some of them have nothing, no name?”
For their part, the CMA’s insurers do not consider the collection to be art. “According to them, they're value-less because they’re unknown children’s artwork,” Hunt McLanahan said. “They’re considered ephemera, and they’re insured like our office files. How can you evaluate that? The Met
has all their assets on their books, we don’t have anything.”
In many ways, CMA is forging its own path as an institution. “Even when you look at children’s museums as a whole, we really don’t fit that model,” Weinstock said. “Because children’s museums across the nation always have a focus—history or language or math. And for us it’s the arts.” Even among the handful of children’s art museums, she noted, none operate in quite the same way as CMA. “I guess we are the model,” she said, smiling.