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A Partnership with Warren Lasch Conservation Center

Conservation, Development/Fundraising, Donors, Press, Press Releases, Sarah Stroud Clarke
June 1st marked the beginning of hurricane season in the Lowcountry and with that marker in mind, the Drayton Hall curatorial team was busy making a big change. In January, the Drayton Hall Preservation Trust Board of Trustees passed a resolution for “the staff take appropriate action to secure temporary off-site storage for the collections and to eliminate pest infestation as necessary.”

The Gates Gallery houses a portion of our conserved decorative arts collection, but the collection extends beyond what is currently on display and includes textiles, furniture, paintings, and metal objects.  With the increasing number and strength of hurricanes we experience each year, the decision was made to move the collections in storage to a safer, temporary home.  We are so grateful for our friends nearby at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center and have entered into an agreement to store the Drayton Hall collections at their facility.  While there, the 118 collections objects are also undergoing various pest management treatments to ensure that when the time comes for their return, no tiny friends will travel with them.

Warren Lasch Conservator, Kate Dieringer, explains the anoxic treatment the collections are undergoing:

Anoxic treatments are used as a non-invasive treatment for pests and molds to safely eliminate any issues. By using this method, the conservator is not introducing cleaning chemicals or pesticides into the initial treatment which can have an effect on the physical properties of the artifact, such as fading, staining, deterioration, shrinkage or swelling. This method does take longer than most, and can be more expensive, but it does ensure that the pests or mold are killed, if used properly. Since pests and molds are living organisms needing oxygen to survive, by exposing them to an environment with no oxygen,they will suffocate. Some pest species have been known to reanimate after being in an anoxic atmosphere for hours or even days. That is why it is important that these treatments need to be done over many weeks or months.

We use a vapor impermeable material called Marvelseal to create soft-wall enclosures with valves. Once the objects are placed inside (oxygen scavengers are also used to ensure any oxygen left is eliminated), we seal the bags completely and nitrogen is pumped into the bag using the valves. This is done over time to ensure all of the oxygen is expelled from the bag. The objects are then left in the anoxic environment for a determined amount of time. Different species of pests and mold/bacteria/fungi have different hibernation periods, so it is important to know what you are dealing with. Anoxic treatments do not hurt the objects. So if you are unsure what has infested your object, it is okay to keep it in the enclosed bubble longer than necessary.


We hope that you will enjoy following this exciting collections journey along with us! Be sure to follow us on Instagram!