Hanwell technology helps museum host top collection

Reliable environmental monitoring data gathered by wireless monitoring solutions from Hanwell Solutions proved invaluable for a charity museum looking to secure the Government Indemnity Scheme to insure an art collection borrowed from the Ben Uri Gallery.

Paintings, from an exhibition on emigrants, selected by the curators at volunteer-run Bushey Museum & Art Gallery in Hertfordshire included some by well-known artists – including Victor Hageman, Marc Chagall, Jacob Kramer and Camille Pissarro among many others – which would have been prohibitive to insure commercially. The museum needed to make use of the government scheme, which provides cost-free cover to borrowing institutions for loss or damage to art or cultural items on loan.

Stable environmental conditions are vital for art collections to prevent damage to paintings. Bushey, which has been using Hanwell products since 2006, was required to submit temperature and humidity readings for the period preceding as well as the duration of the loan exhibition. Bushey installed Hanwell’s Radiolog system to not only assist with insurance applications but also to assure Trustees that collections were being properly stored.

Following the success of the exhibition – the museum recorded a very large increase in visitor numbers as a direct result – Bushey upgraded to Hanwell’s EMS system, a state-of-the-art software platform for access to real-time data and reporting capabilities from anywhere in the world.

Museum spokesperson Patrick Forsyth explained: “We had no problems with the performance of the Radiolog-based system but upgrading with Hanwell meant we could continue to use our existing sensors and was the best and most cost-effective option. The Hanwell system is robust, has a great range and can be programmed to avoid interference. We would certainly recommend it.”

At the Bushey Museum Hanwell has installed one datalogger – the ML4106, part of the Hanwell Pro ML4000RHT Series – and seven temperature and humidity sensors in four art galleries and three picture stores. These sensors can be easily moved to examine conditions in other areas of the museum, for example to see whether a room is suitable for use as a store.

Hanwell’s highly innovative EMS platform provides maximum flexibility and enhanced control of data and events from anywhere in the world via cloud or server-based configuration. Interactive graphs, tables and plan views enable users to easily analyse data in multiple ways, and user access levels can be managed through customisable groups.

EMS is a scalable platform ideal for environmental monitoring of heritage sites, from smaller applications, such as the Bushey, right through to national iconic institutions like the National Trust and the V&A – it can be adapted as required to meet all customer requirements.

Centralised environmental monitoring can help prevent damage to items such as paintings, drawings, prints, mosaics, sculptures and buildings. The accuracy and flexibility of environmental management provided by Hanwell potentially protects heritage sites from not just monetary loss but potential damage to irreplaceable historical and cultural items by instantly warning of compromised conditions, as well as assisting with applications for Government Indemnity Schemes.

Multi-award-winning Hanwell is the UK’s leading manufacturer of wireless environmental monitoring equipment, suitable for tracking conditions in the heritage, pharmaceutical, healthcare and food industries and related sectors.

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