It’s important to ensure the safety of the precious art collections in a gallery. Art galleries are at the same time a business and a heritage. As such, preserving the art pieces in good condition guarantees the owner the expected profit or satisfaction from showcasing and eventually selling the artistic creations while offering the public a collection of valuable intellectual creations in form of painting.
Art collections in a gallery may be exposed to a variety of risks. These include fire accidents, natural calamities such as floods, theft or deliberate damage by humans. The most consistent threat factor is, however, environmental. This is because most materials used in paintings are vulnerable to environmental variations. As a result, the gallery should, as much as possible, maintain a favourable and consistent environment. To enable this, the following aspects should be taken care of to create a perfect environment for a gallery.
1. Controlling extreme temperatures and levels of moisture
High levels of moisture and extreme cold can easily cause mould or the warping of frames. Extreme heat may cause colour fading. Favourable temperatures can be ensured by heating when temperatures are low or cooling when they are extremely high. Air conditioning and appropriated ventilation will help maintain constant humidity levels. The choice between a smooth surface flooring or a stoned carpet must be made according to the theme of the gallery. For example, a stoned carpet will be best suited for a gallery with water and fountain works, in order to absorb any spill overs and not create a slippery situation for the gallery enthusiast. Whereas, a gallery focussing on art and sculptures need to maintain a smooth marble or wooden flooring.
2. Ensuring proper lighting
Consistent exposure to sunlight can eventually cause colour fading on paintings and should be avoided. Light bulbs with high voltage may cause the same if used to illuminate paintings from a close distance. It’s important to use cool lights. Besides, light can also distort the original colour of painting and alter the way people see and appreciate the artistic piece. The interior lighting and wall reflection needs to be explicitly focussed upon. The proper lighting should, therefore, ensure that the original colours are maintained.
3. Keeping away atmospheric pollutants
These may come from the outside as in the case of smog or may be caused by the use of chemicals within the gallery such as cleaning detergents. Avoiding the use of harsh cleaners is important to ensure a clean atmosphere for the paintings. Consistent dusting inside the gallery will get rid of dust and smog that could otherwise settle on paintings. The protective glass is a must use.
4. Monitor for attack by insects or other microorganisms
An insect walking on a painting is bound to leave undesirable marks. Some may also spoil painting frames. It is important to control for any insects and get rid of them if noticed.
5. Choose an appropriate building and location
The walls of a gallery should be made to preserve appropriate temperature levels. Buildings with walls that allow extreme heating or cooling are not your best choice for a gallery. Overall, choose an appropriate location for the gallery and avoid harsh climate prone locality. For example, setting a gallery in a low land exposes it to flash flooding.
Keeping appropriate environmental conditions in a gallery is key in preserving the art collections. It is important to underscore that a favourable environment within a gallery is also geared towards the comfort of the visitor and lover of art.