This event has ended. Create your own event on Sched.
Back To Schedule
Sunday, May 15 • 5:00pm - 5:30pm
(Collection Care) Conservation-exhibition design-HVAC: The design and implementation of a plan for the management of RH and temperature control for traveling exhibitions in an historic building.

Log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

From June to September 2015, the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso (ACSI) in Mexico City presented the traveling exhibition "Earthly and Divine: Islamic Art from the seventh to nineteenth centuries," curated by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In order to meet the lending institution's loan requirements for the preservation of the objects, a management plan was designed based on the efficient use of portable dehumidifiers, semi-industrial air-conditioning equipment and wall-mounted, mini-split air-conditioning units. This plan leveraged the thermal characteristics of the historic building while utilizing non-permanent HVAC systems in an otherwise non-climatized space in order to maintain the optimal temperature and relative humidity conditions within +/- 5% RH and +/- 2 degrees Celsius. The successful performance of this system makes it a viable model for traveling exhibitions in spaces without permanent climate control.  This work was made possible through an interdisciplinary effort coordinated by the conservator and the Head of Exhibitions & Registration, and involved staff from LACMA, and the ACSI offices of Exhibition Design, Maintenance, Exhibition, and Administration, as well as HVAC technicians. The fundamental elements for the implementation of this plan include the management of visitors/group flow through the galleries, the construction of ventilation chambers (plenum space), a monthly program of equipment maintenance and daily monitoring. So, a strict management of the human resources of the museum can replace, at least for a limited period, an automated central air system. This model also works as a zone control or a humidity back up system that functions in the room as a low-cost improvement to a central HVAC system. This project also allows for reflection about the traditional and new roles of the museum conservator; our new roles go beyond the limits of a conservation that tends to be merely prescriptive, opening channels from which one can implement solutions based on interdisciplinarity. It also raises viable alternatives for inter-institutional negotiation on the basis of a realistic definition and practical approach to conservation problems. There is a clear difference between conservation and those departments committed to exhibition planning and design, and each serve very specific problems within the museum. At the institutional level, the distinction is marked in such a way that it promotes a separation between the conservator and the other departments. Nevertheless, from experience, for a conservator that uses more of an operational logic, more participative, the distinction does not exist, or at least the division is not so clear.   In our case, the traveling exhibitions have forced us to adapt the classic scheme of conservation, and working as a team. We have managed to adjust the "rule" without trangressing it, understanding it well before application, streamlining the process, and given the necessary elements to work with, making simple and efficient solutions; unfortunately these situations and their results often stay within the private world of the individual museum. To grow as a field, we must open those doors and discuss this common experience.


Tadeo Velandia

Conservator, Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso / Perpetua restauración
Restaurator/Conservator. Professional in Museums and Cultural institutions. Born in Colombia. Permanently live and work in Mexico DF. EMPLOYMENT 1999-2000 Conservator Museo Nacional de Antropología (MNA-INAH). Restoration of the Jade Mask of bat god from Monte Alban and ceramic urns... Read More →

Sunday May 15, 2016 5:00pm - 5:30pm EDT
Room 516 AB