JAIC 1997, Volume 36, Number 2, Article 1 (pp. 95 to 107)
AN ECONOMICAL DESIGN FOR A MICROCLIMATE VITRINE FOR PAINTINGS USING THE PICTURE FRAME AS THE PRIMARY HOUSING
LAURENT S. G. SOZZANI
ABSTRACT—This article describes an economically designed microclimate vitrine for panel paintings, which can be easily produced in-house with minimal aesthetic compromise to the paintings. The design uses the picture's frame as the primary housing in combination with museum glazing and a backplate to create a sealed microclimate vitrine. It is also adaptable to other framed artworks (canvas, paper, parchment) in need of microclimate protection. A sum-mary is given of tests carried out at the Central Research Laboratory in Amsterdam using this design and another more costly commonly used design. The latter consisted of a closed box made of inert materials containing the painting, which in turn is set into the picture's frame. Testing showed that the two designs perform with similar efficiency. Further, the use of silica gel in a closed system with minimized air space is reevaluated. A design plan and materials are included.