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Subject: Magnets for exhibition mounting

Magnets for exhibition mounting

From: Neill McManus <<-a>
Date: Friday, October 31, 2008
Metta Humle Jorgensen <mette.humle [at] natmus__dk> writes

>Has anyone used magnets/magnetic for exhibition mounting? If so,
>what is your experience with it?

Between 2002-2004 I was one of the couriers for the Jewish National
and University Library for a large exhibition of "Einstein" designed
and produced by the American Museum of Natural History, which
traveled the United States to four separate locations over a period
of a year and a half. My institution loaned a large proportion of
the material for the exhibition and was involved at the installation
and deinstallation at each location. The display case design sounds
very similar to yours but in our case the back board angle was not
greater than 35 degrees I think. The items mounted in this manner
were almost entirely single sheet archival material encapsulated in
polyester. They were lassoed around each corner with polyester
straps to mount board cut slightly smaller than the encapsulated
item, the straps were adhered with double sided tape to the back of
the board. 2cm square pieces of self adhesive flexible magnets
(fridge magnet type) were adhered at each corner, generally over the
adhered polyester straps.

The back board of the display cases were a sheet of powder coated
metal (black colour) over which a sheet of heavy coloured paper/card
was placed with the display labels applied on it. The magnetic
attraction could easily be felt through the paper but to ensure a
more secure hold apertures were cut in the back sheet slightly
smaller than the mounted items, this also had the additional benefit
of a speedy installation as the location of each item decided well
in advance and was quick to find on the installation days.

In my experience it worked very well for this type of temporary,
travelling exhibition, mounting was quick and the tight schedules
for installation and deinstallation went smoothly for the large
number of items on display. As there was generally as rotation of
the display items between institutions the back sheets for the cases
could be easily changed and reused without damage. The magnetic
attraction held the items firmly to the metal back board, so firmly
that you had to be careful not to bend the mount board or item when
making slight adjustments to their position in the case. Larger
items, like books were mounted in a more traditional manner in
sunken apertures cut into the metal back board. After the
exhibition, at the four different venues, the cases and the material
were in good condition and to my knowledge continued to be used for
future display.

If you wish for a firmer magnetic hold you could use rare earth
magnets which are allot stronger and thinner and slip them into
pockets on the back of your mount board.

Neill McManus
McManus Paper Conservation
25 Haprachim St.
+972 9 950 6905

                  Conservation DistList Instance 22:26
                 Distributed: Sunday, November 2, 2008
                       Message Id: cdl-22-26-006
Received on Friday, 31 October, 2008

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