An art exhibition is traditionally the space in which art objects (in the most general sense) meet an audience. The exhibit is universally understood to be for some temporary period unless, as is rarely true, it is stated to be a "permanent exhibition". In American English, they may be called "exhibit", "exposition" (the French word) or "show". In UK English, they are always called "exhibitions" or "shows", and an individual item in the show is an "exhibit". Such expositions may present pictures, drawings, video, sound, installation, performance, interactive art, new media art or sculptures by individual artists, groups of artists or collections of a specific form of art. The art works may be presented in museums, art halls, art clubs or private art galleries, or at some place the principal business of which is not the display or sale of art, such as a coffeehouse. An important distinction is noted between those exhibits where some or all of the works are for sale, normally in private art galleries, and those where they are not. Sometimes the event is organized on a specific occasion, like a birthday, anniversary or commemoration.
1 Types of exhibitions 2 History 3 Preservation issues
3.1 Environmental concerns of the exhibition space 3.2 Length of the exhibition 3.3 Individual cases 3.4 Display methods 3.5 Security
4 See also 5 Notes 6 References 7 External links
Types of exhibitions
There are different kinds of art exhibitions, in particular there is a
distinction between commercial and non-commercial exhibitions. A
commercial exhibition or trade fair is often referred to as an art
fair that shows the work of artists or art dealers where participants
generally have to pay a fee. A vanity gallery is an exhibition space
of works in a gallery that charges the artist for use of the space.
Temporary museum exhibitions typically display items from the museum's
own collection on a particular period, theme or topic, supplemented by
loans from other collections, mostly those of other museums. They
normally include no items for sale; they are distinguished from the
museum's permanent displays, and most large museums set aside a space
for temporary exhibitions. Exhibitions in commercial galleries are
often entirely made up of items that are for sale, but may be
supplemented by other items that are not. Typically, the visitor has
to pay (extra on top of the basic museum entrance cost) to enter a
museum exhibition, but not a commercial one in a gallery.
Retrospectives look back over the work of a single artist; other
common types are individual expositions or "solo shows", group
expositions (collective exhibitions or "group shows"), or expositions
on a specific theme or topic ("survey shows"). The
A juried exhibition, such as the
"A Slight Attack of Third Dimentia Brought on by Excessive Study of
the Much Talked of Cubist Pictures in the International
The art exhibition has played a crucial part in the market for new art
since the 18th and 19th centuries. The
Preparation for ''Richard Prince, American Prayer'' exhibition at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris
1 February 2011
25 February 2011
25 February 2011
8 March 2011
26 June 2011
26 June 2011
The main concerns of exhibition environments include light, relative humidity, and temperature.
Light wavelength, intensity, and duration contribute collectively to the rate of material degradation in exhibitions. The intensity of visible light in the display space should be low enough to avoid object deterioration, but bright enough for viewing. A patron’s tolerance of low level illumination can be aided by reducing ambient light levels to a level lower than that falling on the exhibit. Visible light levels should be maintained at between 50 lux and 100 lux depending on the light sensitivity of objects. An items level of toleration will depend on the inks or pigments being exposed and the duration of the exhibition time. A maximum exhibition length should initially be determined for each exhibited item based on its light sensitivity, anticipated light level, and its cumulative past and projected exhibition exposure. Light levels need to be measured when the exhibition is prepared. UV light meters will check radiation levels in an exhibit space, and data event loggers help determine visible light levels over an extended period of time. Blue wool standards cards can also be utilized to predict the extent to which materials will be damaged during exhibits. UV radiation must be eliminated to the extent it is physically possible; it is recommended that light with a wavelength below 400 nm (ultraviolet radiation) be limited to no more than 75 microwatts per lumen at 10 to 100 lux. Furthermore, exposure to natural light is undesirable because of its intensity and high UV content. When such exposure is unavoidable, preventative measures must be taken to control UV radiation, including the use of blinds, shades, curtains, UV filtering films, and UV-filtering panels in windows or cases. Artificial light sources are safer options for exhibition. Among these sources, incandescent lamps are most suitable because they emit little or no UV radiation. Fluorescent lamps, common in most institutions, may be used only when they produce a low UV output and when covered with plastic sleeves before exhibition. Though tungsten-halogen lamps are currently a favorite artificial lighting source, they still give off significant amounts of UV radiation; use these only with special UV filters and dimmers. Lights should be lowered or turned off completely when visitors are not in the exhibition space.
The exhibition space's relative humidity (RH) should be set to a value between 35% and 50%. The maximum acceptable variation should be 5% on either side of this range. Seasonal changes of 5% are also allowed. The control of relative humidity is especially critical for vellum and parchment materials, which are extremely sensitive to changes in relative humidity and may contract violently and unevenly if displayed in too dry an environment.
For preservation purposes, cooler temperatures are always recommended. The temperature of the display space should not exceed 72 °F. A lower temperature of down to 50 °F can be considered safe for a majority of objects. The maximum acceptable variation in this range is 5 °F, meaning that the temperature should not go above 77 °F and below 45 °F. As temperature and relative humidity are interdependent, temperature should be reasonably constant so that relative humidity can be maintained as well. Controlling the environment with 24-hour air conditioning and dehumidification is the most effective way of protecting an exhibition from serious fluctuations. Length of the exhibition
Poster, Bruges, 1902
One factor that influences how well materials will fare in an exhibition is the length of the show. The longer an item is exposed to harmful environmental conditions, the more likely that it will experience deterioration. Many museums and libraries have permanent exhibitions, and installed exhibitions have the potential to be on the view without any changes for years. Damage from a long exhibition is usually caused by light. The degree of deterioration is different for each respective object. For paper-based items, the suggested maximum length of time that they should be on display is three months per year, or 42 kilolux hours of light per year – whichever comes first. An exhibition log report, including records of the length of the exhibition time and the light level of the display, may prevent objects from being exhibited too frequently. Displayed items need to be inspected regularly for evidence of damage or change. It is recommended that high-quality facsimiles of especially delicate or fragile materials be displayed in lieu of originals for longer exhibitions. Individual cases Library or archival materials are usually displayed in display cases or frames. Cases provide a physically and chemically secure environment. Vertical cases are acceptable for small or single-sheet items, and horizontal cases can be used for a variety of objects, including three-dimensional items such as opened or closed books, and flat paper items. All these objects can be arranged simultaneously in one horizontal case under a unified theme. Materials used for case construction should be chosen carefully because component materials can easily become a significant source of pollutants or harmful fumes for displayed objects. Outgassing from materials used in the construction of the exhibition case and/or fabrics used for lining the case can be destructive. Pollutants may cause visible deterioration, including discoloration of surfaces and corrosion. Examples of evaluative criteria to be used in deeming materials suitable for use in exhibit display could be the potential of contact-transfer of harmful substances, water solubility or dry-transfer of dyes, the dry-texture of paints, pH, and abrasiveness. New cases may be preferred, constructed of safe materials such as metal, plexiglass, or some sealed woods. Separating certain materials from the display section of an exhibition case by lining relevant surfaces with an impermeable barrier film will help protect items from damage. Any fabrics that line or decorate the case (e.g. polyester blend fabric), and any adhesives used in the process, should also be tested to determine any risk. Using internal buffers and pollutant absorbers, such as silica gel, activated carbon, or zeolite, is a good way to control relative humidity and pollutants. Buffers and absorbers should be placed out of sight, in the base or behind the backboard of a case. If the case is to be painted, it is recommended oil paints be avoided; acrylic or latex paint is preferable. Display methods
A photography exhibition in Moscow, 2010
There are two kinds of objects displayed at the library and archival exhibition – bound materials and unbound materials. Bound materials include books and pamphlets, and unbound materials include manuscripts, cards, drawings, and other two-dimensional items. The observance of proper display conditions will help minimize any potential physical damage. All items displayed must be adequately supported and secured.
Unbound materials, usually single-sheet items, need to be attached securely to the mounts, unless matted or encapsulated. Metal fasteners, pins, screws, and thumbtacks should not come in direct contact with any exhibit items. Instead, photo corners, polyethylene, or polyester film straps may hold the object to the support. Objects may also be encapsulated in polyester film, though old and untreated acidic papers should be professionally deacidified before encapsulation. Avoid potential slippage during encapsulation – when possible, use ultrasonic or heat seals. For objects that need to be hung (and that may require more protection than lightweight polyester film), matting would be an effective alternative. Objects in frames should be separated from harmful materials through matting, glazing, and backing layers. Matting, which consists of two pH-neutral or alkaline boards with a window cut in the top board to enable the object to be seen, can be used to support and enhance the display of single sheet or folded items. Backing layers of archival cardboard should be thick enough to protect objects. Moreover, any protective glazing used should never come in direct contact with objects. Frames should be well-sealed and hung securely, allowing a space for air circulation between the frame and the wall.
The most common way to display bound materials is closed and lying
horizontally. If a volume is shown open, the object should be open
only as much as its binding allows. Common practice is to open volumes
at an angle no greater than 135°. There are some types of
equipment that help support volumes as they displayed openly: blocks
or wedges, which hold a book cover to reduce stain at the book hinge;
cradles, which support bound volumes as they lay open without stress
to the binding structure; and polyester film strips, which help to
secure open leaves. Textblock supports are best used in conjunction
with book cradles where the textblock is greater than 1/2 inch,
or where the textblock noticeably sags. Regardless of its method
of support, however, it is worth noting that any book that is kept
open for long periods can cause damage. One should turn an exhibited
book's pages every few days in order to protect pages from
overexposure to light and spread any strain on the binding structure.
Because exhibited items are often of special interest, they demand a
high level of security to reduce the risk of loss from theft or
^ Kyoto Triennial
^ Mary Todd Glaser, "Protecting Paper and
O'Doherty, Brian and McEvilley, Thomas (1999). Inside the White Cube:
The Ideology of the Gallery Space. University of California Press,
Expanded edition. ISBN 0-520-22040-4.
New York School Abstract Expressionists Artists Choice by Artists, New
York School Press, 2000. ISBN 0-9677994-0-6.
National Information Standards Organization. Environmental Conditions
for Exhibiting Library and Archival Materials. Bethesda, MD: NISO
National Preservation Office. Guidance for Exhibiting Library and
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