IMA relaxes environmental controls

User menu


The Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) relaxed its environmental control in February. The IMA will allow the range of its exhibition gallery’s temperature and relative humidity to fluctuate by a few degrees on either side of the internationally accepted standard. The Director and Chief Executive of IMA, Maxwell Anderson, wrote about the development of the standards and the current questioning of their rigidity in an article in The Art Newspaper in early April.

In this article he noted that environmental fluctuations should not be allowed to occur unchecked but asked whether “given the scientific evidence that works of art made from multiple categories of media have not been shown to sustain damage from the incremental fluctuation of relative humidity to a greater extent than currently prescribed, it is it time to arrive at an international consensus on loosening environmental strictures?”

Clearly IMA feels that it is time and they have communicated with current and future lenders to inform them of these changes. The Director reports that none of the lenders have indicated their intention to withdraw from lending agreements as a result of the relaxation of the conditions.

If accepted internationally these changes will have considerable implications for running costs of museums, galleries and libraries and for the design and renovation of new facilities.

Read more in The Art Newspaper, the transcript of IIC’s 2008 Round Table discussion Climate Change and Museum Collections. You can also attend or follow the blogs from the next Round Table: The Plus/Minus Dilemma: The Way Forward in Environmental Guidelines