NEH Grant Advances WMA’s Work in Collections Care
Wiregrass Museum of Art holds more than 1,100 objects of art in its care, including over 700 of those within its permanent collections, and is proud to care for, exhibit, and preserve these objects for future generations to enjoy and learn from. WMA recently completed a project within its ongoing collections care priorities with assistance from the National Endowment for the Humanities, an independent federal agency dedicated to the advancement of the humanities.
NEH grants typically go to cultural institutions, such as museums, archives, libraries, colleges, universities, public television, and radio stations, and to individual scholars. These grants strengthen teaching and learning in schools and colleges, facilitate research and original scholarship, provide opportunities for lifelong learning, preserve and provide access to cultural and educational resources, and strengthen the institutional base of the humanities.
Through funding awarded from the NEH’s Preservation Assistance Grants Program, WMA was able to fulfill specific recommendations for care of objects held by the museum, as outlined in the recommended supplies list of the Conservation Assessment of Collections in 2018 during the museum’s participation in the Collections Assessment for Preservation Program (CAP).
WMA purchased needed preservation and environmental monitoring supplies, including HOBO dataloggers and app software for monitoring, a psychrometer, pollutant indicator strips, HEPA filter backpack vacuum, archival flat file storage, UV filtering sleeves, magnetic dusting cloths, dusting brushes, absorbent towels, dry cleaning sponges, footcandle meter, and dehumidifier.
Museum staff installed the new environmental monitoring system, which allows for remote monitoring through a digital app. The primary, significant result of this project is the museum’s increased capacity to care for the objects held in its care and collections through in-house access to preservation supplies, as well as more accurate and timely analytics of environmental conditions in the museum’s art vault and storage spaces. With these tools, museum staff will be able to respond to environmental challenges to the long-term condition and storage of objects, and will have preservation supplies available for routine care of objects.
WMA thanks the National Endowment for the Humanities for their support of the museum’s ongoing work to steward its collections, and preserve objects of art that reflect the cultural tapestry of the Wiregrass region, the Southeast, and beyond.