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Knowing more about art exhibition

The space where art objects are maintained and meet an audience is termed to be an art exhibition. It could be both a permanent exhibition as well as for a temporary period. It might be known as ‘exposition (French word), ‘show’ or ‘exhibit’ in American English. They are called ‘shows’ or ‘exhibitions’ in UK English, while the term ‘exhibit’ is used for individual items present in such shows.

Drawings, sound, video, pictures, performance, installation, news media art, sculptures or interactive art could be present in expositions by group of artists, individual artists or specific art form collections.

Exhibition types

Art exhibitions of different times tend to exist and there does exist a difference between non-commercial and commercial exhibitions. The latter or trade fair often is referred as art fair, where art dealers and artists showcase their work, requiring participants to pay fee. Artists are charged for using space for exhibiting their work at a vanity gallery. Typically, temporary museum exhibitions might display items from own collection on specific topic, theme or period of the museum or which is loaned from other museum collections. These are normally not for sale. Many big museums tend to have little space set aside for hosting temporary exhibitions. Items both that are for sale and just for display can be noticed in commercial galleries. There is an entry ticket to be paid by visitors to enjoy the museum exhibition, however, not that of a gallery that is of commercial type. ‘Solo shows’ or individual expositions, group expositions (‘group shows’ or collective exhibitions’) or expositions specific topic or theme (‘survey shows’) are common types present. A large exhibition which takes place every two years is called the Biennale gathering international art at its best. Another category is travelling exhibition.

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The History

Since 18th & 19th centuries, art exhibition is said to have played vital role. From 1737 Paris Salon was open to public, becoming the chief factor towards determining price and reputation of the then French artists. In 1769, Royal Academy of London established similar reputation. It was in 1805 that saw an inclusion of the British Institution, holding two major annual exhibitions, receiving detailed and lengthy reviews from the press, also attracted art criticism. John Ruskin and Denis Diderot were distinguished critics then. Among older paintings that were displayed at one-off loan exhibitions was National Portraits Exhibition in London that was held between 1866-68 in three stages and Art Treasures Exhibition at Manchester in 1857.

Modern museum exhibition that witnessed large illustrated catalogues and long queues, considered to be a blockbuster was introduced in 1970’s with exhibitions of artifacts, exclusively from Tomb of Tutankhamen. Early Netherlandish painting study was impacted crucially by the exhibition in 1902 in Bruges.

In Europe, art fairs become popular in 1968 with the introduction of Cologne Art Fair, which took place in fall months. Publishers, publishers and galleries found the fairs to be extremely important, since it offered possibility to distribute worldwide.

Preservation issues

While carrying out the process of exhibition, other priorities are taken into consideration, while preservation issues are disregarded. Maintaining preservation can help to keep in check and even avoid possible damage. Since every object kept is vulnerable and unique, they need to be taken great care of. Every piece has to be carefully assessed for determining withstanding abilities. There is a need to emphasize preservation considerations especially on exhibited items like paper based objects and archival artifacts, since change and damage noticed would be irreversible and cumulative.

Indispensable criteria has been established by two trusted sources for helping avoid deleterious effects on archival materials and exhibitions and are divided into five major categories based on preservation.

Environmental concerns relating exhibition space

Main concerns include relative humidity, light and temperature.

  • Wavelength, duration and intensity of light collectively contribute to material degradation. While exhibition is being prepared, light levels are to be measured.
  • Parchment and Vellum materials require relative humidity to be controlled, since it might contract unevenly and violently, in case, it gets displayed in dry environment.
  • Cooler temperatures have been recommended for preservation purposes. Dehumidification and 24 hour air conditioning is an effective way to protect from serious fluctuations.

Exhibition length

Show length is likely to determine faring of the materials in the exhibition. Long exposure is likely to experience deterioration, when in harmful environmental conditions. Every object has different degree of deterioration. Exhibition log report is to be maintained, recording exhibition duration, display light level, etc. to provide adequate information.

Individual cases

Frames or display cases are used for displaying archival materials. Cases offer chemically and physically secure environment. There should be careful selection of materials for its construction to keep out harmful fumes and pollutants, like plexiglass, sealed woods and metal. Pollutant absorbers and buffers like zeolite, activated carbon and silica gel is to be used for controlling pollutants and relative humidity.

Display procedures

Both unbound and bound materials are generally displayed at archival and library exhibition, which includes pamphlets and books, drawings, cards, manuscripts, etc. Every item is to be secured and supported adequately.

Security

Exhibited items do demand very high security level, since they are mainly of special interest. This is to prevent vandalism, theft and other related risks. It is necessary lock securely all exhibition cases. Apart from this, material is to be used for glazing cases which hinders penetration. At the same time, adequate security in the form of patrolling is to be given in the exhibition area. Having security presence round the clock is of great importance for those exhibitions boasting of having precious treasures. The whole area needs to have intruder alarms fitted at the building’s entry points as well as internal regions