Generous grant allows the Museum to preserve collection and reduce energy costs

February 9, 2015

IMG_6968This winter, the Delaware Art Museum received a Crystal Trust grant to assist with the costs of installing new LED light bulbs in the Museum’s galleries.

This grant allows us to significantly enhance the Museum’s ability to sustain and preserve its art collection for future generations. The major goals of this project are to reduce the environmental impact of the Museum’s facilities, implement cost-saving measures, improve the preservation of the collection, and create an optimal aesthetic experience of the collection.

Lighting a painting or object is an important part of the installation and can become very time consuming. LED lighting creates a superior viewing experience in both color rendering and illuminating qualities. Our previous halogen lamps were warm, but cast a yellowish hue on objects. LED illumination provides a clarity that has not been previously available to museum lighting designers.

We were able to test the new LED lights by experimenting in our Pyle galleries and re-lamping our contemporary art gallery in fall 2013 during its renovation process. It was clear to all of us after we re-lit the large Pyle gallery containing our famous paintings Marooned and The Mermaid that we were on the right track. Colors and details not seen before became more apparent and beautiful against the frames.
There are many advantages to LED besides the aesthetic experience. Once the bulbs are in place, we will not have to change them, especially in our high spaces where we need to use our driving lift to reach the ceiling. They are effective, efficient, and create less waste and the amount of energy used is minimal. In our renovated contemporary art gallery, we were able to reduce the amount of light fixtures used even though we doubled the artwork on display.

As we go through the Museum and upgrade to LEDs, we will be able to acquire fixtures to use in our changing exhibit galleries, making our installation process even more efficient. Finally, according to our research, LEDs give off no UV light, which is safer for the art and will preserve them for years to come.

We would like to thank Crystal Trust for their generous award to help complete our much needed LED upgrades.

Jonathan F. Schoff
Chief Preparator

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