Bark Frameworks

Environment - Environmental Control

Two instruments for recording temperature and humidity: A PEM2 datalogger from Image Permanence Institute and a recording hygrothermograph.

The frame envelope is only the protective membrane closest to the art work. If conditions in exhibition and storage spaces are not controlled, framing practices will be ineffective and protecting art.

  • In the exhibition space light levels should be monitored and controlled, and UV sources should be filtered.
  •  Sunlight should never fall directly on glazed frames.
  • Ideally, rooms which house art should be designed for constant relative humidity.
  • Air conditioning should not be shut off when people are away in summer, and any seasonal fluctuation of heat and relative humidity should be gradual.
  • The presence of micro-climates within exhibition or storage space should be determined—outside walls may be cooler than interior walls for example, which can raise the RH in the immediate vicinity as much as 10%.
  • Other local conditions should be checked as well. Hanging artworks in the airflow from an air conditioner may cause condensation on the inside of the glazing.

The list could go on. Simply stated, climate control requires attention, and climate control is critical to the long life of works of art.

Interior temperature and humidity can be monitored with traditional recording hygrothermographs or digital monitors available from the Image Permanence Institute, whose data can be computer logged.