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Sunday, May 15 • 4:30pm - 5:00pm
(Collection Care) Art and noise: Is it a problem?

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Today’s focus on attracting new audiences to museums to engage with exhibitions in a range of ways, has resulted in many museums hosting activities that are unusual in a gallery environment—including concerts, parties, and athletic and dance performances which often involve vigorous physical and extreme audio energy, sometimes close enough to impact works of art. At one such event, the use of “sub woofer” speakers, one floor above, caused visible movement of some sensitive artifacts. A preliminary review has provided several anecdotal reports of damage to fragile objects (mostly fine glass and minerals) after exposure to high levels of noise/vibration. But no information on noise levels or frequencies was documented. The purpose of this project is to review existing information on the effects of high noise/vibration on delicate artifacts and works of art; to quantify sound/vibration levels, including frequency analyses, during events and/or maintenance/construction activities; and to learn when damage may occur. Ultimately, the aim is to identify scenarios/situations where damage may occur and to prevent or mitigate this damage to art and, coincidentally to people (artists, gallery employees and visitors). In this presentation, the collaborators on this project, the Head of Conservation and Collections Care at the Art Gallery of Ontario, and a Professor of Occupational Hygiene from the University of Toronto will talk about the project and the preliminary findings.

avatar for Margaret Haupt

Margaret Haupt

Head of Conservation, Special Adviser on Collections Care, Art Gallery of Ontario
Director of a conservation concern pacticing conservation for federal state and local governments since 1985; works include PA state capitol bronze conservation since 2001, State Capitol of Georgia Cupola gilding, Ronald Reagan Fed Courthouse gilding Santa Ana, CA, National Trust... Read More →
avatar for Andrea Sass-Kortsak

Andrea Sass-Kortsak

Associate Professor, Occupational Hygiene, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
Dr. Andrea Sass-Kortsak has been a faculty member at the University of Toronto for over 30 years. Her research focus is in Exposure Assessment including the development and validation of sampling methods used to determine exposures; and, identification and assessment of factors influencing... Read More →


Sandra Deike

Manager, Health & Safety, Art Gallery of Ontario
Sandra Deike has been practicing Occupational Hygiene for almost 20 years in the education and healthcare sectors, holds ROH, CIH and CRSP designations and is currently the Manager, Health and Safety at the Art Gallery of Ontario.  New to the world of the arts, she has found... Read More →

Sunday May 15, 2016 4:30pm - 5:00pm EDT
Room 516 AB