conservation image Effective Preservation: From Reaction to Prediction

Details of two painted objects damaged as a consequence of environmental conditions. In the anonymous folk art painting on the left, the severely cracked surface is a result of widely fluctuating levels of relative humidity (RH). The flaking paint on the mid-19th-century wooden trade sign on the right was caused by low RH in a gallery that was heated but not humidified during the winter; all the flaking paint was readhered during conservation treatment in 1984, and the historic inn where the artifact is exhibited was climate controlled in 1993. Photos: Richard Kerschner; © Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, VT.