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"Museum seeks protection of brass sculpture without humidity control"


I am an architect working on a museum project. There is a brass sculpture that is placed in a vaulted space, it is a very old sculpture and the museum wants to protect it from deteriorating and wants to seal it with glass so the humidity can be controlled to around 50%. However, by doing that, it will lose the intimacy between the museum visitors and the sculpture and the glass enclosure destroy the wholeness of the space. Any advise how I can protect the sculpture without putting up the glass?

Rick Hsu, Architect

Rick Hsu
Archasia Design Group - Taipei, Taiwan


You can use Incralac (special lacquer for copper and copper alloys) or you can try cathodic protection.

Good luck!

Goran Budija
- Zagreb, Croatia


I think what you need to do is take a page from some of the larger cigar shops I've been in. They operate as walk in humidores with tightly regulated humidity and temperature, this requires that the room be well sealed and the environmental controls and monitors be watched closely.
You could go to www.JRcigars.com and ask them where they contracted their climate control system from.
I wish I could give you some more direction but this is a moderately tricky problem, if you can't find something that is cost effective go ahead and use the glass case.

Marc Banks
Blacksmith - Shiloh, North Carolina


There are further issues besides maintaining "intimacy" between visitors and the sculpture. The museum's aim is to maintain the sculpture in the best condition, AS IT IS, as possible. They do not want to allow further degradation, and absolutely do not want to degrade the piece further by coating it with anything.

I would contact the conservators at the Smithsonian, or Archaeology magazine (or similar) regarding methods of protection that will not compromise the piece. I have a feeling, though, that Lexan (or a similar plastic/acrylic/resin material) or glass really are the best options to prevent degradation of the sculpture.

Marina Harding
- California

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