Sustainable Museums part of team awarded National Endowment for the Humanities Research & Development Grant
National Endowment for the Humanities awards research team with a two-year, $350,000 grant to create tools for museum professionals to protect their health and collections.
Museums around the world purchase, use, and reuse a wide variety of materials every day. There are solvents for cleaning or repairing objects, foam for impact protection in shipping crates, and paint, labels and adhesives in exhibits. There is no single place where curators, preparators, conservators and exhibit designers can find information that helps them make conscious choices about the health and environmental impacts of their choices.
The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works was awarded a grant for the team of Matthew Eckelman, Associate Professor and Associate Research Chair in Civil Engineering and Environment at Northeastern University, private conservator Sarah Nunberg of Brooklyn, NY, and cultural consultant Sarah Sutton of Sustainable Museums, to continue the research they began three years ago with a related planning grant. Now, this implementation grant gives them the support and a broader team to do their work.
Sutton says, "It is an honor to have support from NEH to do work we hope will help the entire field. The materials that curators, conservators, preparators and exhibit designers choose as they do their work to protect and share museum collections matter as much to the people using them as to the objects under care, and to the environment we are all part of."
This grant establishes a life cycle assessment (LCA) Tool and an LCA Library that give cultural heritage professionals access to information concerning the environmental impact and toxicity resulting from actions and materials used to conserve, maintain and exhibit cultural heritage objects.