Presented at the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works 45th Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL
May 30, 2017
It has been over ten years since Shin Maekawa and Kerstin Elert published The Use of Oxygen-Free Environments in the Control of Museum Insect Pests (Getty Conservation Institute, 2003), which detailed the assembly and use of a nitrogen-based system for anoxia. Although conservators and scientists continued to develop new methods, materials, and technologies for anoxic treatments in the past decade, little of this information has been published. Each of the five panel speakers has been involved with the development and/or use of a different type of anoxic treatment setup at their institution or private practice. Variables for each of these systems range in the inert gas used, technical details of gas delivery, treatment time involved, materials associated with setup, and costs associated with assembly and maintenance.
After a short introduction by the moderator, each panelist briefly presented his or her anoxic system. Presentations focused on the practical details, pros, and cons associated with each system’s assembly, use, and cost. A moderated discussion followed, where systems were compared, potential future research needs discussed, and possible avenues for publication and dissemination of the information presented was examined.
Speakers and Presentations:
- Rachael Perkins Arenstein (Conservator, A.M. Art Conservation, LLC) on the use of oxygen scavengers.
- William Donnelly (Conservation Assistant, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library) on the use of a CO2-based system.
- Julie Wolfe (The J. Paul Getty Museum) on the history of anoxic treatment at the Getty and recent modifications to a nitrogen-based system.
- Bret Headley (Owner and Principal Conservator, Headley Conservation Services, LLC) on the development and use of a nitrogen-based system.
- Eric Breitung (Research Scientist, The Metropolitan Museum of Art) on the development and use of an argon-based system.