Asset and Guest Security O'Dell Research Paper

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As such, while guest security is set in place to ensure the safety of the individuals present in a gallery, asset security is further set in place to protect the integrity of the O'Dell Gallery itself and its contents. Unlike guest security, asset security is a largely technologically-based field, which utilizes tracking systems, surveillance cameras and the like to ensure that priceless works of art remain intact and in place during exhibitions such as those which take place in the O'Dell Gallery.

Much like the artwork hanging in a museum or gallery, asset security is equally as profound. Steven Keller, principal of his own museum consultancy and former executive director of protective services at the Art Institute of Chicago notes that asset security requires a priority focus on the safety and security of the asset at hand, including taking measures such as "generous amounts of planning, technology and ingenuity" (Berinato, 2004, p.1). The measures that are utilized in order to secure assets such as priceless artwork are vast and varied, and can be as complex and expensive as any museum or gallery can afford to install. However, while these measures range significantly, certain measures have become standard in the asset protection playbook of such galleries and art museums.

As touched upon, asset protection involves a solid mix of manpower and technology. Security guards, separate from guest safety staff, are often on alert during closed hours and are also a constant presence in museums and galleries across the world. These individuals often patrol museums and galleries as plain-clothed officers, communicating with staff inside the museum or gallery and with individuals located within outside security centers (Berinato, 2004, p.2). Technologically-based measures in galleries and museums often include the installation of vibration sensors, individualized serial numbers on inventory, motion-detection devices, saturation motion detection which create few "dead spots" on security camera range, closed-circuit television cameras, and alarm windows and doors, just to name a few (Hughey, 2009, p.1).

Manifesting Security Measures in Risk Management Programming

Differences between asset and guest security are further manifested in the risk management program of any business entity, such as the O'Dell Gallery.
Effective risk management programming must work to integrate security and management into any business venture in a way that supports the business and its mission in order to secure key assets, rather than restrict its operation (Gilbert, 2011, p.14). As quickly as companies develop, so too do the risks and threats that they face, such as the threats which push businesses to instill security measures.

Risk management programs set in place in businesses such as the O'Dell Gallery include security measures such as those previously stated, as well as insurance measures that take into account the risks that a business such as the O'Dell takes on upon bringing works of art outside the gallery's direct ownership into its venue. Like any successful risk management plan, asset and guest security in a business plan must be developed with strategies, operations, and the ability for plans to move from the page authored by departmental management to action by the business staff. Such requirements, such as security itself, are essential to the ventures of any business, including the O'Dell.


Berinato, S. (2004 September 1). Museum security: the art of securing pricelessness.

CSO Security and Risk. Web. Retrieved from: [Accessed on 14 January 2012].

Birmingham Museum of Art. (2011). Safety and security. Web. Retrieved from: [Accessed on 14 January 2012].

Gilbert, B. (2011). The art of asset protection. Print. New York, NY: Create Space


Hughey, J. (2009). Safe and secure. Indiana University Art Museum. Web. Retrieved

from: [Accessed on 14 January 2012].

O'Dell Gallery of Fine Art Security Measures.....

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