The Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, TN is a 77,000-sq-ft facility perched on an 80-ft bluff overlooking the beautiful Tennessee River. Established in 1952, the museum features an extensive collection of American art from the Colonial period to the present. The museum complex comprises three unique yet interconnected structures built in 1905, 1973, and 2005, representing 100 years of architecture.
Like most museums, the Hunter Museum’s purpose is to make important works of art available to the public — and to preserve those items for future generations. To preserve its assets, the museum needs to maintain a stable interior climate and prevent unfavorable environmental conditions that can harm objects and cause deterioration. Temperature and relative humidity, in particular, must be closely controlled and kept at suitable levels (temperature of 68°F to 72°F, and rh of 50% with +/- 5% fluctuation). These parameters are significant because warmer temperatures can cause heat damage to certain objects, and high rh levels can bring about mold formation and cause objects to corrode, warp, and crack.