The Richard F. Brush Art Gallery at St. Lawrence University received a planning grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in the amount of $42,182 to support a facilities optimization study of its art storage facility and three adjacent exhibition galleries. Catherine Tedford, Director, will lead the project team, which includes Bob Hance, Associate Vice-President & Chief Facilities Officer, St. Lawrence University, and Jeremy Linden, Principal, Linden Preservation Services, Brockport, NY. The study will focus on environmental, mechanical, and structural systems that have been largely in place for over 40 years, in order to determine design capabilities and optimal operating conditions for improved performance in preservation and energy.
According to the NEH, the Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections program “helps cultural institutions meet the complex challenge of preserving large and diverse holdings of humanities materials for future generations by supporting sustainable conservation measures that mitigate deterioration, prolong the useful life of collections, and support institutional resilience: the ability to anticipate and respond to disasters resulting from natural or human activity.” Tedford added that “climate hazards relevant to the North Country pose a serious risk to our facilities in terms of maintaining sustainable preservation measures, such as temperature and humidity controls, as well as proper roofing and insulation to withstand weather extremes.” The NEH Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections planning grant follows an NEH Preservation Assistance for Smaller Institutions Grant awarded to the Brush Art Gallery in 2020.
St. Lawrence University's permanent collection provides students, faculty, scholars, and a broad regional community the opportunity to study and enjoy original works of art. The collection includes nearly 7,000 art objects and artifacts, with particular strengths in twentieth-century American and European works on paper, including photographs, prints, portfolios, drawings, and artists’ books. Recent acquisitions include works by Akwesasne Mohawk artists Iakonikonriiosta, Katsitsionni Fox, and Natasha Smoke Santiago, and mokuhanga prints by Lucy May Schofield, Andy Farkas, Mariko Jesse, Katsutoshi Yuasa, Yoonmi Nam, Mia O, Katie Baldwin, and Patty Hudak.