Conserving an Exhibition Essay

Conserving artworks is an essential activity since it ensures they remain stable for a long time, enabling future generations to observe them.

Conservation refers to the process of maintaining and preserving a collection and safeguarding them against deterioration.

Artworks are prone to risks, which may damage their original outlook. The exhibition 10,000 Years of Luxury at the Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2019 is prone to damage due to water, light and heat, fire, and theft, therefore requiring a comprehensive conservation plan.

First, the artworks are prone to water, which may result from poor ventilation. Exposure of water to the painting may damage the collection appearance since it may erode the original colors through a chemical reaction. For instance, in the first exhibition, the dress may rot if exposed to water since they are made of fabrics. Moisture may expose an artwork to short or long-term damage; hence, precaution should be taken to eliminate this risk.

Second, light and heat emerge as a potential risk factor for the exhibition. Notably, heat and light accelerate the process of fading and discoloration. All types of light can cause detrimental effects to an art. However, the one that would cause the most damage is ultraviolet light. In this regard, the blue dress may fade when exposed to the direct source of light.

Moreover, fire emerges as a risk to the identified artwork. It can occur accidentally due to an electric fault or intentionally from humans. Fire burns everything that may be contained in an exhibition. Most of the artworks shown in the collection are made of wood, which can quickly burn. Therefore, they should be placed in a fireproof transparent material to protect them from a fire disaster.

Preventive Conservation Plan for this Exhibition
The first preventive conservation plan is to establish a scenario. This process involves identifying the cause of the degrading factors and eliminating them. For instance, where water and light come from should be identified and sealed. It may be from the rooftop or through the wall. After identifying all the sources of potential harm, the conservator should ensure they are eliminated.

The second strategy would be to put the exhibition in archival housing. This strategy is beneficial for long-term preservation. Archival housing should be made of materials that are chemically stable and cannot harm the object. According to Tétreault, artwork in the museum is prone to airborne pollutants if not protected (174). Therefore, using archival housing will prevent the exhibition from contaminants. Notably, the object structure and condition determine the support needed to protect from potential damage.

Another plan will involve ensuring the room in which the artwork is placed is in the right climatic condition. This plan would entail ensuring that the room has optimum light and humidity, and temperatures. According to Dionisi-Vici et al., museums are currently engaged in a debate about gallery climate conditions, which involve acceptable relative humidity and temperature (273). Very high humidity can lead to mold growth, and high temperatures may cause the expansion of artwork made of wood or ivory. Therefore, maintain an average temperature will prevent damage to the exhibition.

The last aspect of the conservation plan would be to educate the public about protecting the artwork from damages. People may engage in theft or, due to negligence, may cause a fire in the exhibition. Therefore, educating them about the importance of the artwork would protect the collection from damages.

Artwork provides vital messages about the events occurring across the world. However, they are prone to risk from water leaks, fire, and light. In this regard, comprehensive conservation measures should be applied to protect them from any damage. The plan should include establishing the scenario, using archival housing, ensuring a conducive climate, and educating the public. Museums should conserve exhibitions to protect them from damages to enable the future generation observe them.

Works Cited
Dionisi-Vici, P. et al. “The Oseberg ship. Long-Term Physical-Mechanical Monitoring in an Uncontrolled Relative Humidity Exhibition Environment. Analytical Results and Hygromechanical Modeling Publisher: Archetype Publications.” Climate for Collections - Standards and Uncertainties, edited by Jonathan Ashley-Smith et al. Archetype Books, 2013, 273-288.
Tétreault, Jean. Airborne Pollutants in Museums, Galleries, and Archives: Risk Assessment, Control Strategies, and Preservation Management. Canadian Conservation Institute, Ottawa, 2003.