Improved UV Light Filtration for Whitehall’s Historic Collections
Replacement of deteriorating ultraviolet light filtering window film for 742 oversized panes of glass in five rooms of Whitehall, the winter home of industrialist Henry Flagler (1830-1913). Designed in 1902 by the architects Carrère and Hastings, Whitehall draws upon multiple historical styles in these five rooms including neo-Classical, Italian Renaissance, French Second Empire, Louis XVI, and Gothic Revival. The UV film would protect collections including paintings, busts, bronze sculptures, clocks, furniture, and textiles. Notable items include dome paintings depicting Greek gods and goddesses; a Louis XV-style case clock made by 19th-century French cabinetmaker François Linke; mid-19th century Louis XV-style upholstered and wood seating; plaster ornamentation; game tables for billiards, skittles, and pocket billiards; and multiple portraits of the Flagler family. The museum is used for research and education about the Gilded Age, the development of Florida through tourism and agriculture, and Palm Beach’s growth as America’s first destination resort.
This grant will support the removal of deteriorating window film and the purchase of upgraded Vista 28 window film for installation on 742 oversized panes of glass in five of Whitehall’s historic first floor rooms: the Grand Hall, Library, Music Room, Drawing Room, and Billiard Room. Whitehall, a National Historic Landmark, was the winter home of Henry Flagler, founding partner of Standard Oil, builder of the Florida East Coast Railway, and the inventor of Modern Florida. This project helps to fulfill preventive conservation recommendations made by the Furniture Conservator who completed the Museum’s 2011-12 Detailed Furniture Survey. The goal is to greatly improve UV light filtration and preserve extensive conservation and restoration already completed during decades of facilities and collections projects, ensuring that the Museum’s historic interiors and collections of artwork, documents, and furniture will be protected from South Florida’s intense sunlight.