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Monday, July 30, 2018

Brooklyn Museum: Have you ever taken a close look at the objects in the museum...


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On 07/27/18 08:00, Brooklyn Museum wrote:
Have you ever taken a close look at the objects in the museum...

Have you ever taken a close look at the objects in the museum and wondered about the mounts that hold the artifact securely to the display? Mountmakers work hard to disguise them as it is not our intention to draw your attention away from the artwork. The mounts can be disguised by painting them to match the color, pattern, and tone of the object.  

Mounts serve many crucial purposes. Aside from holding an object at a particular angle that is best to view it, a mount can also serve as a way to secure an object from physical forces. These forces can include someone accidentally bumping into a case or pedestal where the object stands or even the possibility of an earthquake. When an object is being prepared for a traveling exhibition, conservators must research the locations the object will be exhibited to determine whether or not there is a high risk of earthquakes in that region. Another consideration for mounts is to serve as a security device. Sometimes objects are displayed outside of cases, and it is important for a mount to secure the object to the pedestal so that it does not fall or get disturbed.

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Art conservators at the Brooklyn Museum work closely with the mountmakers to ensure that they are aware of the individual vulnerabilities of the object. They must work together to design an effective mount that is sensitive to the individual needs of the object while also being aware of the ultimate settings that the object will be displayed. Many mounts require metalsmithing skills and are finished with the addition of materials that can provide padding. These materials must be physically compatible with the surface of the objects being displayed.

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Another consideration art conservators contend with is the possibility of certain materials in the mount and display cases off-gassing pollutants that could be damaging to the object. This is why every mount and display material is rigorously tested in an accelerated aging test known as an "Oddy test.The Brooklyn Museum tests any material that will be used for display to make sure there is no danger of volatile acids or other pollutants that can cause damage to the object.  

Next time you are walking through the museum, take a closer look at the mounts. You will be amazed at the artistry, creativity, and science that goes into their creation.

Posted by Melissa King



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