By: Daniel Roman
The specific program of an actual art museum is relatively new, only about 200 years old. It first started as a private observation pass time; eventually it became public. A very important aspect of this building type is the effects of direct lighting on the pieces of art. Obviously lighting takes a very important roll on displaying art work at a gallery. There are many different of lighting types today that we have in our disposal. But does it really matter what light we use, better yet, what type of damage is being done to the art work, by improperly displaying them.
It is said that direct light will fade and affect the pigment of an art piece, but under what circumstances are these true, and is some art work better off displayed in natural light. The key word is direct sun exposure. Many architects have used skylights to illuminate an interior. Louis Khan is well known for his Skylight design in the Kimball Art Museum. In his design he was able to incorporate skylights that allowed indirect natural light in; the skylights redirect the light so that the light be casted along the walls, never directly to an art piece. Kenneth Frampton makes the argument that it is important that one allows natural light into a space for the light will change depending on time, season, and even humidity. This means at different times of a day, or season, an art piece will look and feel different. This allows an interaction with natural and allowing it to supplement our art work. For a lot of the materials and utensils that are used come from a natural state.
N . Herascu, M. Simileanu, and R Radvan, discus the ageing of material by UV radiation. A reason why such thing occurs is the usage of natural material to create the art work. It is seen that when other media that is not mostly natural, the UV rays does not have much eff ect on to it. Even with in just one painting there are many ways in which it can be effected such as, physical-mechanical, biological damage, and physical-chemical damage. It is understandable as to why older artist from older times, your Monet, Picasso, or Georgia O’Keefe’s paintings are delicate, not only have they been through a lot of sense of physical treatments. But if exposed to sun light they would be a lot more effect do to that they were created in a time where natural material where used more.
Even though museums carefully take-care the importance of masterpieces, there are some that are displayed in direct light, most of the time it is with the permission of the artist. Which may bring in the question if possibly other artist whom created the masterpiece that are sought out to be protected, would they possibly wanted to display their art in natural light? Modern day artist can make those decisions of lighting because they have the resources to know what effect what light has on their pieces. One can make the argument that 100 years ago, the same sun light was probably not as strong as it is today, in other words with light pollution and the destroying of the ozone layer. UV lights are much stronger now in days than back then. Perhaps it was not as big deal back then, let alone a huge effect. Many of these painting where kept away since many artists did not become truly famous or recognized until after their deaths. One thing is for sure, and that is the effect of the UV light on natural materials is a factual event.
N . Herascu, M. Simileanu, and R Radvan. “Romanian
Reports in Physics” Color change in artwork materials aged by UV radiation. National insistute
of research and development for optoelectronics, 2006
Frampton, Kenneth. “Towards a Critical Regionalism
Six Points for an Architecture of Resistance” Culture
Versus Nature: Topographyl, context, climate, light and tectonic Form.