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Subject: Air fresheners and incense

Air fresheners and incense

From: Carol Brynjolfson <carolb>
Date: Wednesday, April 11, 2001
We will be exhibiting a travelling show next month and have just
learned that it uses spray air fresheners (Glade?) to provide clues
to visitors in two separate areas.  The use of the scent is said to
be integral to the exhibit.  The air freshener is lavishly sprayed
onto fabric, at the beginning of each day.  Spraying smaller amounts
at more frequent intervals is apparently difficult without being
caught in the act by visitors.  In addition, they would like to burn
incense, but this may not be considered integral, just mood-setting,
and I may be able to persuade them to desist. I am strongly opposed
to the incense due to the deposition of particulates. Until now,
this exhibit has been mainly shown at science centers and exhibit
halls where other artifacts have not been a problem.

Exhibits in adjacent galleries will include neon signs, natural
history specimens and an ethnographic art exhibit.  Materials in
these adjacent galleries include painted (galvanized) iron (some
rust has been treated with tannic acid, some not), mounted mammal and
bird specimens, skeletal materials, sea shells, wood, polychrome
wood, glass beads and contemporary art including oil paint, acrylic
paint, textiles, polychrome wood, metals, glass and ceramic.  I am
concerned about the effects of depositions of the aerosol on these
materials.  Some of the materials on exhibit are loans and I am
concerned about the liability that the museum may incur.

I have been discussing the HVAC system with our building engineer:
we have 4 units in this wing, one in each corner providing air to
one side gallery of the wing and also providing air to the large
central exhibit room.  This exhibit will be in two of the side
galleries.  There is no way to restrict the air to discrete spaces
as there are open archways between galleries and as mentioned above,
each HVAC unit supplies air to two galleries.  Our engineer usually
runs 5% fresh air, the rest being recirculated with intakes in the
side galleries.  While it is felt that that 5% is sufficient for our
normal visitorship, the proportion of fresh air can be increased if
necessary, but this would cause more load on our chiller to
dehumidify air over the summer, or we may have to have a higher RH.

Am I getting worried about nothing, or is there a problem here?
There certainly seem to be smelly solids and liquids sold in
aromatherapy shops--are volatile materials better than aerosols and
smoke?  At least they can be closed or enclosed overnight.  Any
other alternatives?

Carol Brynjolfson
Vancouver Museum

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:55
                 Distributed: Thursday, April 19, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-14-55-020
Received on Wednesday, 11 April, 2001

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