Protecting Outdoor Sculptures with Tyvek® Covers
The American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works has a network blog for Emerging Conservation Professionals. This AIC blog started in May 2008 is "a forum for professionals entering the field of conservation."
Richard McCoy from the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) has a recent post about using Tyvek® covers to protect outdoor scuptures at the Oldfields-Lilly House & Gardens, a National Historic Landmark and 26-acre estate and historic house museum located at IMA. (Sources: IMA, Wikipedia).
Here are a couple sets of the before and after photos:
Photos courtesy of Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA), taken by Richard McCoy. Click photos to enlarge. Additional photos, videos and slide show about protecting these sculptures available at: AIC: Emerging Conservation Professionals Network Blog
On these grouds there are a number of stone sculptures that are almost 100 years old. During the winter, the museum staff wants to protect the sculptures from the elements. McCoy describes:
Historically, sculptures like these would have been covered during the winter months. The reason? Freeze-thaw-action. [T]he problem is that moisture seeps into the interstices of the stone, stays there and then after the temperature drops the water becomes ice, expands and then the little (or sometimes big) pieces of the stone get pushed apart. In short it's not good for the sculptures and we try to reduce the chances of this happening.
Why use Tyvek® for covering the sculptures? McCoy says, "The thinking was if cars could be live all year long under Tyvek covers, then our sculptures could live a good winter life under them. Of course, Tyvek is clever in that it is water resistant, yet breathable, so moisture doesn't get trapped inside the covers."
The covers were custom made and sewn to cover 9 or 10 of these outdoor sculptures. If you are thinking about doing something like this, or sewing any Tyvek® material, please refer to our Tyvek® sewing instructions.
For more information about related uses of Tyvek®, visit the Tyvek® Archival Art page of our website.
For conservators or museum staff who want to use Tyvek®, you can buy archival quality Tyvek® style 14M rolls or other types of Tyvek® rolls or sheets online from Material Concepts, an authorized Tyvek® distributor, or you can call Material Concepts to place an order: 215-338-6515 or toll free in the US: 1-800-372-3366.