Guideline 2.5

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Guideline 2.5:
The exhibit designer is versed in the design of conservation features used in exhibitions
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Why is the designer essential to successful exhibit conservation?

As discussed in Guideline 2.3, it is the conservator’s responsibility to describe the conservation requirements: the conditions that will be required to protect exhibit objects from potential hazards. However, the exhibit’s ultimate success in protecting the objects on display depends in large part upon the ability of the designer to translate these requirements into conservation features that will mitigate these hazards. It is therefore essential that the designer is both sensitive to the needs of conservation and also knows how to incorporate conservation features into exhibit design.

How to locate a designer qualified in creating conservation-friendly exhibits

Whether you are selecting a designer from in-house or contracting with a design firm:
• Look for a designer who has previous experience with exhibits that involved a conservator
• Identify firms that have a history of producing preservation–friendly exhibits.
• Contact other museums and conservators who have worked with the designer as references.
• Confirm that the designer is conversant with conservation concerns, including non-hazardous materials, the use of conservation quality exhibit enclosures, exhibit case construction, lighting design, and exhibit mounts.

Note: In each contract with an exhibit firm, outline the firm’s responsibility to address conservation concerns.