In the spring of 2012, all of us at the museum were excited about the addition of Major Jonathan Letterman’s desk to our exhibits out at the Pry House Field Hospital Museum. (You can see my post about the desk’s arrival here: http://guardianoftheartifacts.blogspot.com/2012/05/newartifacts-at-pry-house-ive-been.html )
Do you see any issues for the desk in this photo? Note that the desk is positioned directly under a large window which is letting in a lot of sunlight. Exposure to light can be very damaging to many materials, including the leather, cloth, and wood components of this desk. The Pry House did have UV filtering films installed on the windows though, which were supposed to filter out 99% of the ultraviolet light coming through the glass.
So, I needed to find a quick and inexpensive method of protecting all the artifacts in the house from too much light. I researched new window films, but the cost was over our budget. Screwing brackets into the woodwork to install window blinds was also not an option in this historic house. I started looking at curtains next. I knew I could put them on spring tension rods which wouldn’t damage the windows, plus they were more affordable than window films or blinds. I didn’t find much that seemed appropriate for our use in ready-made curtains though. So, I took a trip to our local fabric store and found a heavyweight, insulated drapery fabric which suited the museum’s purposes. I thought I would have to take the time to make the curtains, but Susan Yano, a staff member at the Pry House, very graciously volunteered to make them. Thank you Susan! The curtains seem to be functioning well, though I am looking into obtaining some blue wool standards to better monitor the displays.
I’m declaring the curtains a success!