The famous artwork The Evolution (1911) by Piet Mondrian which is part of the art collection of Kunstmuseum The Hague, is so vulnerable that it could not be lent for years. Still, the famous triptych travelled to Musée d’Orsay in Paris this year, where it was on view during the exhibition ‘Origins of the World’ until this spring. What is unique about this partnership project is the revolutionary packaging of the work.
That Piet Mondrian’s The Evolution could be exhibited in Paris is thanks to the innovative method of art packing and art transport especially developed for this. For this, the Kunstmuseum collaborated with Hizkia Van Kralingen and Turtle, specialised in the innovative, sustainable, and safe art transport solutions. The Kunstmuseum then brought in Prof. Dr Ing. Kerstin Kracht, an expert in the field of vibration technology and continuum mechanics, who developed a technique that enabled her to expose the weak spots of a painting through various scans of the work. Based on these scans it could be determined what measures had to be taken to reduce harmful vibrations and shocks so the painting could be transported safely.
The advanced corner blocks ‘T+’, developed especially for this transport, fixate the work in the case and are an unmatched innovation in the field of vibration and shock reduction. The key to the success of this solution is the use of Wire Rope Isolators. The WRI have the property of reducing vibrational energy and thus the impact on the painting. Moreover, WRI are insensitive to aging and continue providing a highly stable protection even after 30 years – a great difference with traditional foam. Finally, the specially climatised packaging of the work is extra stiff and has VIP panels (vacuum insulated panels) for an optimal climate inside the case.
Test results show that thanks to this combination – the hard outer shell with the functioning of the WRI – optimal vibration reduction is possible. The transport of The Evolution is a collaboration between the Kunstmuseum in The Hague, Smart Vibrations/Kerstin Kracht, Hizkia Van Kralingen and Turtle.
Piet Mondrian (Amersfoort, 1872 – New York, 1944) is one of the founders of abstract art. In 1911 Mondrian was in Paris, but he made The Evolution in the Netherlands. The central panel measures 183x87.5cm, the ide panels 178x85cm, making The Evolution his largest work. The painting has been returned and can be viewed in its familiar place in the Kunstmuseum.