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When Galleries Shake: Earthquake Damage Mitigation for Museum Collections

  • Jerry Podany 

    Earthquakes pose myriad dangers to heritage collections worldwide. This book provides an accessible introduction to these dangers and to the methodologies developed at the Getty and other museums internationally for mitigating seismic vulnerability. 

    Conceived as a primer and reference, this abundantly illustrated volume begins with an engaging overview of explanations for earthquakes from antiquity to the nineteenth century. A series of chapters then addresses our modern understanding of seismic events and approaches for mitigating the damage they cause to heritage collections, covering such subjects as earthquake measurement, hazard analysis, the response of buildings and collections to seismic events, mount making, and risk assessment; short sections by specialists in seismic engineering complement the main text throughout. Readers will find a range of effective seismic mitigation measures, from simple low-cost approaches to complex base-isolation techniques. 

    In bridging the gap between seismologists and seismic engineers, on the one hand, and collections care professionals, on the other, this volume will be of interest to conservators, registrars, designers, mount makers, and others involved in the management and care of collections in museums and other cultural institutions. 

    Until his retirement in 2016, Jerry Podany was head of antiquities conservation at the J. Paul Getty Museum. He is the editor of Advances in the Protection of Museum Collections from Earthquake Damage (Getty Publications, 2008). 

    “A significant contribution.”
    Journal of the Canadian Association for Conservation

    “With this volume, Podany makes an important contribution to museums of all sizes, whether or not they are located in areas where earthquakes are a daily concern.”
    Journal of the American Institute for Conservation

    248 pages
    8 x 10 inches
    131 color and 37 b/w illustrations
    33 line drawings
    ISBN 978-1-60606-522-8

    Getty Publications
    Imprint: J. Paul Getty Museum