The Center In Action: Flood Recovery Efforts in Louisiana

In the wake of disastrous floods that swept through Louisiana, our expertly trained team of art handlers and conservators have once again come to the rescue of an influx of more than 1,600 artworks in desperate need of restoration.

As a disaster response resource for art and heirlooms, The Center has responded to countless emergency situations in the past 33 years that require decisive action and expert judgment. The Center has perfected emergency response tactics for a variety of unique situations. Paul Kirk, Director of Transportation and Installation at The Center, elaborates:

"In the disaster recovery field you never quite know what you are getting into until you arrive on the scene; fire, flood construction damage, we have seen it all. Our first priority upon arrival is to make sure that the site is safe and that our staff has all the proper safety measures in place to enter the job site. Each site is unique in its recovery needs and being able to quickly adapt to the conditions is important."

Conserving precious and irreplaceable works of art from disastrous environments means acting with unparalleled precision and accuracy. These environments can be dangerous, and safety is of the utmost importance to accomplish the admirable feat of saving and conserving cherished works. 

"The best part is helping the client in a time of need,” said Paul.  “Once the team is in place, we work closely with the client, who shows us the priorities of the collection."

The recovery team works with clients to quickly move out the works in a coordinated effort, all while keeping meticulous records and detail of the inventory. Once the priority items are removed, the works are set up for transport and securely relocated to our state of the art conservation laboratory with over 28,000 square feet. There, a thorough intake of the inventory begins, and our conservators are able to initiate the appropriate triage phase of the project, which can be just as pivotal in impacting final treatment results. 

Vice President of Client Services, April Hann Lanford shares that “When it comes to disaster response, time is of the essence. Each situation offers a new set of challenges, pushing us to always work calmly and effectively under pressure. The sooner we can arrive and assess the condition, the sooner we can recover a collection, which in time will yield better results. Over the years, we have learned to make the best possible decisions under pressure and take the necessary actions as quickly as each situation allows.”

The result? Pristine works of art, that would have otherwise been lost, can now withstand the tests of time.