By Amy Dee Stephens, Museum Exhibit Coordinator
I’ll be keeping a box of tissue handy this fall and winter—because this museum is about to get dusty!
Normally, museums strive to achieve a dust-free environment, which prevents damage to artifacts. This is no easy feat in a historic building made of sandstone, and one of the reasons our interior walls are painted (that, and the white color keeps the place looking brighter).
This fall and winter, however, the museum is undergoing a necessary phase of construction. We will get a new heat & air system, plus fresh ceiling tiles. The duct work and ceiling tile removal is going to create that dreaded dust.
In order to prepare, the museum staff has spent this week putting plastic coverings on every gallery surface possible. Since some of our exhibits are as tall as 10 feet–this was no easy feat. Ladders were involved. Math skills and creativity were needed to maneuver over and around walls and buildings. Let me tell you, there is no manual about how to get plastic sheeting over a 9.5 ft. gas pump, a street signal light or a scale model of the statue of liberty—but we were up to the task.
In my imagination, once the debris starts to fall from the ceiling, this museum will resemble the inside of a haunted house filled with oddly shaped objects covered by dusty sheets. Ultimately, though, we know that under all the plastic, our artifacts will be nice and safe. Their care is our priority.
So here’s to manual labor and ladders. Bring on the dust. We’re ready!
An Ode to Plastic Sheeting
D-damaging dust falls, but
U-underneath, all is safe
T-Takes creativity. And plastic.