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Joseph Padfield, Steve Vandyke and Dawson Carr

March 2013


The National Gallery's main purpose is to display and care for the nation's collection of Western European paintings. Showing the works in the best light and controlling the environment within an institution visited by around five million people a year is a complicated and expensive operation. Over the last few decades the cost of the energy needed to achieve an appropriate level of environmental control has been increasing rapidly, as has the requirement to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the Gallery.

This paper will examine how the National Gallery has been investigating and implementing new methods of controlling, and making use of, the Gallery’s environment. Maintaining the conditions required to preserve the most fragile objects, while decreasing the use of energy and improving our levels of control and flexibility, continues to be one of the greatest challenges of the museum community and we hope that the examples provided in this paper will aid and stimulate discussion.

To cite this article we suggest using

J. Padfield, S. Vandyke and D. Carr, 'Improving our Environment', published March 2013.

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