By Rebecca Engelhardt, Collections and Exhibitions Manager
As part of our ongoing series on the care of artwork at Museum of Glass (MOG), this post reviews the methods that we use to protect our collections from fire, water, and pests.
The Curatorial department at MOG works closely with our colleagues in the Security and Facilities departments to monitor for the threat of fire, water, and pests.
Insuring that our smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are properly installed, accessible, and inspected lowers the threat of fire.
Careful storage of flammable chemicals in specially designed cabinets, like this one, isolates them away from the artwork we have on display and in storage.
Leaks and Floods
Much like your own home, damage from rising groundwater or from broken plumbing is a risk to our collection. Undetected or remedied leaks or floods will result in water damage of objects, and could lead to mold, another thread to the collection.
We monitor the building for any leaks and keep a fully-stocked set of disaster response supplies at hand.
Covered display vitrines and storage shelving adds a layer of protection from leaks.
Pests are another risk that museums try to avoid. At MOG, we do not allow food, drinks, or potted plants in our galleries or storage areas, as these things all attract pests. We also ask that our custodial team stays on top of their housekeeping to deter vermin and insects.
Although most of the artwork at the Museum is glass (and not so tasty to pests), many pieces at the Museum include materials such as paper and wood. These are the organic materials that are easily damaged by pests.
Watch out for pests who would like to dine on the materials in your artwork!
Stay tuned for more on caring for art at MOG!
For more from the Care and Handling of Artwork series, check out:
- Care and Handling of Artwork at Museum of Glass
- Protection from Thieves and Vandals and Disassociation
Rebecca Engelhardt is the Registrar/Collections Manager at Museum of Glass. Her background includes ten years at MOG, plus time at major museums such as Smithsonian Institution and The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.