Historical Perspectives in the Conservation of Works of Art on Paper

Shin Maekawa, Vincent L. Beltran, and Michael C. Henry; 2015

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2016 Prose Award Winner
Environmental Science

In recent years more cultural institutions in hot and humid climates have been installing air-conditioning systems to protect their collections and provide comfort for both employees and visitors. This practice, however, can pose complications, including problems of installation and maintenance as well as structural damage to buildings, while failing to provide collections with a viable conservation environment.

This volume offers hands-on guidance to the specific challenges involved in conserving cultural heritage in hot and humid climates. Initial chapters present scientific and geographic overviews of these climates, outline risk-based classifications for environmental control, and discuss related issues of human health and comfort. The authors then describe climate management strategies that offer effective and reliable alternatives to conventional air-conditioning systems and that require minimal intervention to the historic fabric of buildings that house collections. The book concludes with seven case studies of successful climate improvement projects undertaken by the Getty Conservation Institute in collaboration with cultural institutions around the world. Appendixes include a unit conversion table, a glossary, and a full bibliography.