As a museum, one of the most fundamental things we do is conservation: to protect and preserve valuable artifacts and objects for future generations. For this reason, environmental conservation is part of the process. This year, some significant sustainability projects were completed at the museum, and in observation of Earth Day tomorrow, here’s a brief recap of some new milestones. To reduce our energy and water consumption, the museum transitioned nearly 1,600 lighting fixtures to LED lighting, installed eight new occupancy sensors and retrofitted 28 existing faucets. The University of Georgia, who spearheaded these projects, has informed us that these changes will result in approximately 270,000 fewer gallons of water used by the museum every year and cut our annual carbon emissions by about 200 metric tons, or the equivalent of 43 cars!
LEDs illuminating Vantage Point (Sky Swap) by Erin Mazzei '16
In addition to these achievements, the other benefit of switching to LED bulbs is more control over gallery and exhibition lighting to highlight works, as seen above in the current annual MFA exit show, “Master of Fine Arts Degree Candidates Exhibition” (showing now through May 1). Traditional lighting systems did not allow for purposeful illumination of our collections and the new LEDs do not disappoint. Staff members and repeat visitors have noticed that colors are more vibrant, paintings exhibit more depth and the frames themselves have a greater vitality to them. It is with great anticipation that we begin the reinstallation of our permanent collection this summer with new lighting configurations, so stay tuned.
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