Lecture tomorrow

Thursday 18 November
12:15 – 1:15 pm, Classroom I, Art Building

For our own comfort, or for our
collections? Towards a history of the
museum environment

Mattias Legnér
Gotland University, Sweden, and OC STINT Fellow in
History (Fall 2010)

The second half of the 20th century saw a rapid expansion of HVAC systems in museums
over the world. Climate technology offered the possibility of controlling the environment but
proved to be costly and to create its own problems. The desire to control indoor climate - heat,
moisture, light - by introducing technology and international standards came to define the
field of preventive conservation in the later part of the century.

By studying how indoor climate issues have been considered and dealt with, we can better
understand imagined and real relationships between people and objects in museums. It is
acknowledged that climate is just one of many important factors when it comes to preserve
collections for the future. The lecture focuses on the history of Nationalmuseum, the national
museum of art in Stockholm, and how climate issues have been handled in the building over a
period of 150 years.

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