A series of severe storms that struck Albany, Georgia, on Monday, January 2, caused serious damage to the Albany Museum of Art, forcing the institution to close its doors until further notice. Offices, galleries, and vaults on the museum’s second floor were flooded after high winds tore off sections of the building’s roof. On Thursday, January 5, Governor Nathan Deal declared Dougherty County as well as the surrounding counties a disaster area.
Museum director Paula Williams arrived at the museum on the morning of January 3 to assess the damage to the museum before calling staff members, the board of trustees, insurance companies, lenders, and volunteers for assistance. AXA ART, the museum’s fine-art insurance company, sent a team from Chicago’s Conservation Center that night. Since then, the conservationists have been assessing the damage to loaned artworks and the museum’s collection. Works that did not need restoration were moved to a secure off-site facility.
In a statement, the museum said, “Countless individuals, organizations, institutions, and more have offered their support, which museum staff members greatly appreciate. We are waiting for assessments to be completed before we can work out a full plan of how to proceed and what our needs will be, but they will be considerable. We do not have time at the moment to respond to all of you who have pledged your assistance, but we are very thankful for the community, statewide and regional response.”