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Environmental Systems for Art Storage


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Lecture for ENGI/HUMA 240: Environmental Controls for Art Storage

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Environmental Systems for Art Storage

  1. 1. Environmental Systems for Art Storage and Transportation<br />ENGI/HUMA 240<br />Matthew Wettergreen, PhD<br />
  2. 2. Conservation’s history of Climate Control<br />Duncan Cameron’s prescription for the ideal museum environment (Museum News, (46)9:17-22, 1968)<br />The perfect preservation of a collection requires:<br />Site on high land<br />Fire-proof<br />Vibration-free structure<br />Protection against shock and sound waves<br />Elaborate emergency backup control system<br />Constant temperature (60-68F)<br />Constant relative humidity (50-60%)<br />Pollution free air<br />Total darkness<br />Absence of all organisms<br />
  3. 3. Light Damage<br />
  4. 4. Fire Damage<br />
  5. 5. Water Damage<br />
  6. 6. Protection<br />Environmental Systems<br />Prevention<br />Monitoring<br />
  7. 7. Prevention<br />Water Damage<br />Roofs flood: storage away from top floor<br />Basements flood: storage away from basement<br />Fire Damage<br />Fire resistant materials<br />Sprinkler systems<br />Loss<br />Security systems<br />
  8. 8. Protection<br />Temperature<br />Constant<br />No extremes<br />Light<br />Low light<br />No windows in storage facilities<br />Water<br />Raised platforms<br />Humidity (RH)<br />Constant<br />No extremes<br />Fire<br />Fire retardant storage materials<br />Sprinkler system<br />Particulates<br />High-efficiency filter<br />
  9. 9. Inanimate vs. Animate Needs<br />Stable RH<br />68-75 F<br />High light<br />Low Light<br />Loosely <br />regulated RH<br />Low Temp<br />
  10. 10. Monitoring<br />Passively/Actively reports on conditions in storage system<br />Enables staff to develop strategies for cost reduction due to energy costs<br />Assist facilities staff in responding to human comfort<br />Provides information to increase short and long-term preservation<br />Aids in assessing environmental control<br />
  11. 11. Types of T/RH Monitoring Equipment<br />Nonrecording devices<br />Paper strips impregnated with chemical salts for RH<br />Mechanical devices measuring the expansion/contraction of a metallic strip<br />Mechnaical devices that measure the expansion/contraction of a hygroscopic element<br />Electronic devices that store and recall min/max values<br />Recording devices<br />Graphic devices (include pic of hygroscopic device)<br />Thermostats<br />Humidistats<br />New Technologies for Monitoring<br />Wireless, computer controlled<br />
  12. 12. Types of T/RH Monitoring Equipment<br />
  13. 13. T/RH Calibration<br />Low cost devices require calibration<br />Accuracy<br />Repeatability<br />Actual devices do not measure humidity, they measure deviation from a set point<br />Most common device is psychrometer<br />two thermometers: one that reads temperature, one that reads effect of cooling water as it evaporates<br />Needs for calibration device<br />Deionized water<br />Saturated and nonsaturated salt solutions<br />
  14. 14. T/RH Measuring Basics<br />Appropriate single room location choice<br />Center of room varies from exterior walls<br />Necessary to develop an average<br />Buildings w/o environmental control<br />Singles spaces require one system per room<br />Buildings with some environmental control<br />Several systems for non-central control<br />Buildings with HVAC systems<br />One measuring device per subzone<br />HVAC act independent of monitoring system<br />
  15. 15. Radiation<br />
  16. 16. Light Monitoring<br />Radiation divided into 3 categories<br />Ultraviolet (&lt;400nm)<br />Visible (400-760 nm)<br />Infrared (&gt;760 nm)<br />All three types result in deterioration<br />Light damage is cumulative and irreversible<br />UV light is high energy and results in many changes in museum materials<br />Infrared light causes damage by increasing rate of chemical reactions and localizing heat on the specimen<br />Visible light exists at the continuum of UV and IR and combines damage of both<br />Color temperature<br />
  17. 17. Light Levels<br />Not to exceed 50 lux<br />Costume, textiles, watercolor paintings, tapestries, furniture, prints and drawings, postage stamps, manuscripts, ephemera, miniatures, wallpaper, dyed leather, most natural history and ethnographic items<br />Not to exceed 200 lux<br /><ul><li>Oil/tempura paintings, undyed leather, lacquer, wood, horn, bone and ivory, stone
  18. 18. Special precautions taken for objects made of more than one material
  19. 19. Rooms with windows usually experience >200 lux on a daily basis</li></li></ul><li>Controlling Light Levels<br />Curtains<br />Removal of objects away from windows<br />Screens to cover display cases<br />Blinds with vertical or horizontal louvres<br />Reduction in bulb wattage<br />Cut illumination when museum is closed<br />High tech solutions<br />Photocells for automatic blind control<br />Motion sensors to control lights<br />Install grey sensitive glass in windows<br />
  20. 20. UV Radiation<br />Very damaging to all materials<br />Measured by UV-monitor <br />Methods of protection<br />Laminated glass UV filter<br />Acrylic/polycarbonate sheets<br />UV varnish application to windows or display cases<br />Plastic filter sleeves for fluorescent lamp tubes<br />
  21. 21. Specialty Monitoring<br />
  22. 22. Monitoring Particulates<br />Few simple or cost effective devices exist<br />Best practice: visual inspection of the collections and collection containers<br />Frequency of need for cleaning may indicate source<br />Filtering system may collect particles due to environmental control systems<br />Requires commercial grade filtration systems<br />HEPA filters are sufficient<br />
  23. 23. Monitoring Gaseous Pollutants<br />Gas monitoring systems are expensive<br />Devices measure short-term exposure of specific pollutants<br />Formaldehyde<br />SO2, SO3, O3, NO, NO2<br />Passive system uses measure the effect of exposure on polished metal samples<br />
  24. 24. Pest Management<br />All materials being accessioned made of organic materials are first quarantined<br />Anoxic environment applied to art object<br />Nitrogen<br />Argon<br />Carbon Dioxide<br />Oxygen barrier films used with microclimates<br />Low cost solution is oxygen deprivation<br />
  25. 25. Shock/Vibration Monitoring<br />
  26. 26. Microclimates<br />
  27. 27. Microclimates<br />Specialized or isolated environments<br />Travel cases<br />Display cases<br />Useful for objects with unique composition<br />Known outgassing components<br />Multiple materials<br />Unknown materials<br />
  28. 28. Microclimates - Protection<br />Object will create a problem and leach harmful chemicals<br />Solution<br />Sealed container<br />Activated carbon and a sorbent for chemical absorption<br />
  29. 29. Microclimates - Monitoring<br />Object is composed of materials requiring special care<br />Paper<br />Unique compositions of dyes<br />Sealed container<br />Active T/RH control in case<br />Nitrogen replacement for air<br />
  30. 30. New Technologies in Environmental Monitoring<br />
  31. 31. Micro Sensing Devices<br />Real-time monitoring<br />Wirelessly connected via mesh networking<br />Remote systems<br />Simpler management and data analysis<br />Passive recording<br />Active alerts<br />
  32. 32. Picture References<br />Slide 3<br /><br />Slide 4<br /><br />Slide 5<br /><br />Slide 9<br /><br />Slide 12<br /><br /><br /><br />Slide 15<br /><br />Slide 24<br /><br /><br />Slide 26<br /><br />Slide 30<br /><br />