Early Warning System Measures Artworks’ Overexposure to Light
International art insurance specialist AXA ART in collaboration with Centre de Recherche sur la Conservation des Collections (CRCC) at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris has developed LightControl. The LightControl device is designed to serve as early-warning system to monitor the lighting conditions under which sensitive artworks are exhibited and to alert collectors when the integrity of works are at risk. Professor Bertrand Lavedrine, Director at the CRCC, led the research study and development of the dosimeter.
It has peen proved that, with extended exposure to light, sensitive art works such as photography, works on paper, and textiles will undergo drastic deterioration – discoloration, fading, yellowing and brittleness. As a protection measure, collectors must closely observe the conditions under which these objects are displayed and stored, in order to protect the works from known hazardous lighting conditions.
AXA ART will launch the improved dosimeter under its worldwide artprotect program as LightControl. Samples of LightControl were distributed at the AXA ART Lounge during Art Basel 43 in June 2012.
“We are pleased to play a part in launching this new device,” said Ulrich Guntram, Global CEO of AXA ART. “Our decision to collaborate with the CRCC to support the research and development of the improved dosimeter was fueled in large part by the expansive growth and interest in fine art photography and works on paper, compounded with the work and reputation of the CRCC on this topic,” he noted. “Our goal is to provide clients with the kind of resources to help guide them in making the best possible choices to preserve their collections.”
Bertrand Lavedrine, Director at the CRCC, said, “Although it is difficult to predict the light sensitivity of artwork, it is essential to monitor its exposure to light as a preservation measure. LightControl was developed as a practical tool introduced as an alert system to assist collectors. The LightControl patch will exhibit a shift in color from blue to pink when the yearly ‘display capital’ is exhausted,” he said.
AXA ART will use its presence at Art Basel to continue its global conversation on the care and preservation of fine art photography. An installation at the company’s lounge by renowned light artist Claus Föttinger will serve to bring focus to the impact of light on photography over time.
About AXA Art
International reach, unrivaled competence and a high-quality network of expert partners distinguish AXA Art, the only art insurance specialist in the world, from its generalist property insurance competitors. Over the past 50 years, AXA Art has redefined the manner in which it serves and services its museum, gallery, collector and artist clients, across North America, Asia and Europe, with a sincere consideration of the way valuable objects are insured and cultural patrimony is protected.