People Power

What is a courier?

For many loans—particularly of fragile or especially valuable objects—a museum staff member, typically from the lending institution, accompanies the work of art as a courier to ensure that it travels securely and is properly installed. This increases the object’s carbon footprint because the courier travels to and from the exhibition venue for both delivery and pickup—twice as many times as the art.

At every step of the loan process, people are involved. Moving crates and objects at either end of the trip involves a team of art handlers, who often use dollies or forklifts, and at times even cranes.

Art handlers installing a painting for Nature's Nation at the Princeton University Art Museum.