There are many historic artifacts that are irreplaceable and on display in museums around the world. From famous paintings and sculptures to actual mummies and artifacts, many museums and galleries house objects that have survived for, in some cases, thousands of years. Regardless of the age, monitoring the surroundings of delicate artwork is key to the preservation and longevity of that piece.
It is common to see signs posted asking viewers to refrain from touching the artwork and artifacts in galleries. This is because the transferring of natural oils from human skin can have disastrous effects on the historic pieces. However, slight temperature and humidity variations can have an even greater negative impact on most artwork.
According to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, inadequate temperature and humidity levels can cause an array of degradation to different mediums. Deterioration from humidity can lead to warping, fading, cracking, yellowing and even mold growth. To further complicate the storage requirements, different mediums and objects require unique temperature and humidity levels in order to remain intact.
Incorrect temperature and humidity levels in showrooms can mean the difference between maintaining and degraded the irreplaceable pieces. For that reason, monitoring environmental parameters is paramount. Historically, hygrothermographs have been used to simultaneously measure temperature and humidity within the galleries. They are essentially strip chart recorders, devices that use pens and paper to record any temperature or humidity fluctuations. Generally only checked once per week, the hygrothermographs require frequent calibration and have high maintenance cost, because of the need for constant paper and pen replacements.
Today, data loggers are used for an accurate, streamlined process for continuously monitoring temperature and humidity in museums and art galleries. With MadgeTech’s wireless capabilities, data loggers can transmit data in real time to a central computer, where it can be viewed or relayed to the MadgeTech Cloud for viewing on any internet enabled device, such as a smartphone or tablet.
Alarms can easily be configured to send text and email alerts if temperature or humidity thresholds are breached, allowing immediate action to be taken to protect the valuable pieces. These user configurable safe limits can be set up to differ per logger, per room, per facility as desired and needed.
MadgeTech’s Therm-A-Lert-RH are ideal solutions for the continuous monitoring of temperature and humidity sensitive areas. Featuring two way wireless communication, the device can be started and stopped from the central computer, and even relay data in real time for 24/7 monitoring. The RFRHTemp2000A is another wireless option that additionally provide current reading monitoring on the LCD screen as well as the capability for audible alarms to sound when thresholds have been breached.
By taking the correct precautions and monitoring the environments in which the historic artifacts are stored, they can continue to be on display and shared with the world for years to come.