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Grant number: PG-52535-15

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Florida International University (Miami, FL 33199-2516)
Laura Phillips (Project Director: May 2014 to December 2014)
Kim Bergen (Project Director: December 2014 to present)

Improving the Storage Environment of The Wolfsonian–FIU Collection

Hiring a consultant to conduct an environmental assessment of The Wolfsonian’s two collection storage areas, one on the fourth floor of the main museum building, and the other in the museum’s Research Annex.  The collection comprises objects from 1885 to 1945 in a variety of media including furniture; industrial-design objects; works in glass, ceramics, and metal; rare books; periodicals; ephemera; works on paper; paintings; textiles; and medals.  The museum is well known for this collection of modern material culture, and its multi-disciplinary exhibits attract large audiences.  A research fellowship program supports scholars who use the collections for their publications.  Evaluating the existing environmental control systems inside the historic buildings would help the museum’s staff better care for this unique collection.

The hot-humid climate of Miami Beach and the early-twentieth century building envelopes of The Wolfsonian’s two principal collection storage spaces challenge our ability to maintain interior environments suitable for collections. We propose to hire experts to conduct an environmental assessment of these facilities; evaluate existing environmental control systems; recommend new datalogging devices; and suggest potential strategies for resolving issues identified. The project is a critical step in the development of long-term planning for improvements to our collections environment. Our goal is to safeguard a unique collection of over 180,000 objects and print media that illuminates key themes in the humanities relating to the modern era, such as the formation of national and political identities; aesthetic responses to the development of urban, industrial society; the conduct of political life under democratic and totalitarian regimes; and the role of design in shaping modern life.

Project fields:
Arts, General; Cultural History; Interdisciplinary Studies, General

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2015 – 6/30/2016