Winterthur to change the climate of its Delaware collection and hopefully the way items are preserved
August 29, 2012By John Mussoni
There are 173 rooms at
Price, who is the head of Conservation Projects at Winterthur, was one the people excited to hear that the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded $350,000 to change the way those items are preserved. A 2-year project will begin in October to create micro-climates for each room. Those micro-climates will allow each room to change to the conditions necessary for preservation and in the end will save money too. It’s a device that is no bigger than a thermostat, and it can be remote controlled.
Wintethur Director, Dr. David Roselle, said the collections there are unique. “We have to be careful about humidity, heat, cooling, sunlight, and lots of other things to be good stewards of the collection.”
The NEH thinks so too. Dr. Nadina Gardner, Director for the Division of Preservation and Access for NEH agrees. “What could be more sensible than using preservation methods that will extend the life of a precious cultural heritage while lowering costs and greenhouse emissions.”
Senator Chris Coons (D-Delaware) called a conservation project like this something that he has followed all through his career. He said he also “knows a thing or two about priceless artifacts.” He joked that he once broke “the ears” off his grandmother’s priceless 16th century Dutch pitcher, and while this project won’t bring that back, it will change the way items are preserved.
Carper, Coons, and Congressman John Carney (D-Delaware) praised the NEH as a way that federal money should be spent.
In addition to the Winterthur grant the NEH awarded $39m in projects across the country. In addition to Wintethur there were several other