August 16, 2018, Blue Mountain Lake, NY
Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake (ADKX), has received a prestigious $350,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections program. The funds will help support a $1,100,000 project to replace the aging climate control systems in the largest structure on the institution’s campus, the Life in the Adirondacks building. The 45,000-square-foot building, dating to 1969, houses ADKX’s popular new interactive exhibition, Life in the Adirondacks.
The grant was secured following a highly competitive application and review process. Awards were made this year to only 14 applicants from across the nation. ADKX’s fellow awardees include important institutions such as the Winterthur Museum, Amherst College, and the Detroit Institute of Art. Only two grants were awarded at the $350,000 level, the maximum amount available from NEH’s Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections program. This underscores the importance of ADKX’s collections and the project outlined in the ADKX proposal. NEH funding will enable ADKX to provide the strict temperature and humidity controls required for the long-term preservation of the irreplaceable artifacts in Life in the Adirondacks and other exhibitions. The existing chillers, air handlers, boilers, generators, control systems, and other equipment currently protecting them are between 49 and 29 years old and require replacement.
“Our success with NEH was a direct result of the top-notch team working on the climate control project. That includes our in-house conservator, Doreen Alessi, and two outside consultants: the Williamstown Art Conservation Center and Landmark Facilities Group,” said David Kahn, ADKX’s Executive Director. The Williamstown Art Conservation Center is currently restoring ADKX’s extensive painting and works of art on paper collections and also provides advice on collection care in general. Landmark Facilities Group is an engineering firm that specializes in working for museums. Its clients have included the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Frick Collection, and the Pierpont Morgan Library.
The total cost of the climate control upgrade project will be $1,100,000. In addition to the NEH grant, in December 2017 ADKX received a $500,000 grant from the New York State Council on the Arts. Efforts are now underway to secure the remaining $250,000 required to fully fund the project. Additional contributions from the public are welcome. Construction will begin in the fall of 2018 and be completed by the end of 2019.