Crown Fine Art’s Smart/Tech technology was installed with a proximity sensor set in accordance with the client’s wishes, using a high-frequency radio signal to send alert signals over a long distance across the campus.

Brasenose College, University of Oxford

The Lightbox is a public gallery and museum space owned by the art collector, Chris Ingram who is best known for the Ingram Collection.They had never loaned works to an institution before, so looked to Crown Fine Art for expert advice on a secure installation.

The origin of this exciting project was a desire by our client, The Lightbox, Woking to loan out works from their collection to Brasenose College at the University of Oxford.

The Lightbox is a public gallery and museum space owned by the art collector, Chris Ingram who is best known for the Ingram Collection.

The Lightbox had never loaned works to an institution before, so looked to Crown Fine Art for expert advice on a secure installation of the sculptural works as well as other works on paper.  

The loan included an Eduardo Paolozzi, installed in the courtyard, and an Elizabeth Frink bust – two exceptional artists in the Modern British movement.

Security experts at Brasenose were particularly concerned that the works might be susceptible to student pranks and wanted a solution which would alert security should anyone get within a certain proximity of the sculptures.

Existing technology, which only sensed movement of the object, was not suitable in this instance as someone could still get close enough to, for example, spray the sculpture and cause damage.

Crown Fine Art’s Smart/Tech technology was installed with a proximity sensor set in accordance with the client’s wishes, using a high frequency radio signal to send alert signals over a long distance across the campus.

Additionally, because it is a Bluetooth fitting, putting it in place and linking it to the existing security system was a simple, non-invasive installation. No further holes were made in the walls.

Paul Beatson, Senior Client Advisor & Projects Manager at Crown Fine Art, said: “By using nodes placed strategically behind or below the sculptures we could ensure that nothing had to be attached directly to the artworks.

“In this particular example the node is designed to sense close-proximity movement - and art lights illuminating the sculpture will flash if certain pre-programmed security parameters are broken.

“If the sculpture is moved, the option is for an alarm to sound and the art lights to flash red. Security guards can be automatically alerted during daylight hours or police at other times, depending on the client’s wishes.

“Similar nodes were also placed behind each painting in the loan collection, each with its own set up.”

Dr Ian Kiaer, Tutorial Fellow in Fine Art, Brasenose College and Associate Professor of Fine Art at the Ruskin, University of Oxford, was impressed with the results.

He said: “We were delighted with the system installed by Crown Fine Art, which works unilaterally and helps to reduce the need for invigilation staff.

“More importantly it provides the College, and those loaning these important collections, with confidence that artworks will be safe and secure whilst on display here. We were delighted with the system installed by Crown Fine Art, which works unilaterally and helps to reduce the need for invigilation staff. 

“The system was installed professionally and sympathetically by Crown Fine Art’s technicians, who understood the importance of conservation and the need for care when handling such important works of art in a heritage setting.”

For more information about SmART/tech and how it connects, protects and preserves your collection click here.

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