For nearly three decades, the J. Paul Getty Museum has played a leading role in the development of seismic mitigation for museum collections. Contributors to this volumeranging from museum conservators, mount makers, and historical archaeologists, to seismologists and structural engineersdiscuss and illustrate a wide variety of earthquake-mitigation efforts for collections, from the simple and inexpensive to the complex and costly.
The book's essays examine the techniques applied to large collections and to small house museums, to exhibition cases containing objects as well as to monumental works of art and historical structures. Approaches range from securing and restraining objects to decoupling them from the ground through a variety of base-isolation mechanisms. These pioneering efforts have been developed in the face of significant challenges since, as any engineer, conservator, or mount maker who has undertaken this work can attest, a small sculpture can often be a far greater challenge to protect than a multistory building.
Jerry Podany is conservator of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum.