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Anchorage Loan Conservation Project


The Anchorage Museum's unique exhibit case design of displaying objects within massive floor-to-ceiling glass exhibit cases suspended from a tensioned vertical rod system, rather than the more traditional approach of securing bracketed objects off exhibit case walls or decks, proved challenging for project conservators. Because of the complexity of the exhibit design and the untried access component of the loan, a full-scale wooden mockup of the exhibit case was built in the ACL at the Museum Support Center in Maryland. The mockup allowed mount makers to test mount fabrication on the unconventional rod system, and allowed conservators to evaluate object placement for safe access and removal and to address the problem of vibration introduced by accessing objects. Each exhibit case assemblage was installed in the mockup case and evaluated by a team of conservators, curators, exhibit planners, mount makers and installers. Adjustments were common, and compromises many. Once an arrangement was agreed upon, exact placement criteria for each object in every case was recorded to be used later by the installation team, in order to streamline their work and reduce handling of objects. The images below document the utility of the exhibit case mockup.

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National Museum of Natural History | Department of Anthropology | Collections and Archives Program