MoMA Issues Emergency Guidelines for Saving Artwork

  • November 05, 2012 22:30

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‘Blackout’, United States, New York, New York City, Lower Manhattan, Hurricane Sandy.
WanderingtheWorld ( on Flickr

In the wake of super storm Sandy's devastation, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) offered an informational session on disaster management for artwork on Sunday and has posted online a handy checklist of art-saving measures.

On the museum's website are tips for saving artwork from damage that can be downloaded for easy reference.

Hit hard by tidal floodwaters, New York City's Chelsea art district is rebuilding one week after the hurricane struck. Besides water-logged gallery spaces, dealers are facing immediate conservation issues due to the threat of mildew and water damage to artwork on untreated canvases, photographs, works on paper and other media.

Gallerist David Zwirner, for one, is reopening his Chelsea space on November 9th with the Diana Thater exhibition "Chernobyl." According to his website, "virtually all the galleries in the area sustained flooding," but the rebuilding efforts were immediate.

Among MoMA's guidelines for photographs:

• The drying methods are: air dry, freeze, thaw and air dry, and freeze‐dry. Vacuum drying will make the photographs stick together into a lump. If the photographs have been immersed in dirty water, clean them before air drying or freezing.

Mildew prevention tips, basic cleaning and resources for collections care are also listed.

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