Security Levels

Everything you need to know about securing artworks in ExhibitsUSA exhibitions

To ensure a successful hosting experience and the safety of the artwork, ExhibitsUSA outlines venue requirements for each exhibition through the six levels of security listed below. Hosting venues must submit a facility report for the appropriate security level: Limited, Standard, Intermediate, and High (Formerly Limited, Moderate A, Moderate B and Moderate C, Moderate D, and High).

Please note: exhibitions that begin touring in 2023 or later have updated security tiers. The previous security levels that correspond with their new, similar tiers are listed accordingly.

For more information, contact Registrar Kelly Clark at (800) 473-EUSA (3872) x217 or Kelly@maaa.org.

Limited

For exhibitions with few environmental or security restrictions.

  • No food or drink in gallery or around artworks at any time
  • Fire protection according to local ordinance
  • Limited-access gallery or display area; hallways, lobbies, other traffic-ways not acceptable
  • Exhibition locked after hours
  • No temperature extremes (65 – 75 degrees); HVAC must be running 24/7 for entire run of exhibition period
  • No direct sunlight; light sources must have UV filters, and windows will be blocked by shades or blinds at all times
  • Responsible supervision of artwork (patrolling personnel or monitored camera)
  • Careful handling

Standard (Formerly Moderate A/B)

For exhibitions which do not require rigid environmental controls, may have multiple display modes (floor, wall, pedestal, ceiling), and may require display furniture and trained installation staff.

  • Minimum 3 personnel for receiving shipping, installation, de-installation, outgoing shipping
  • Handling by volunteers is acceptable only in the presence of trained museum staff
  • All activity related to the unpacking, staging, installation, and re-packing of exhibit must take place indoors
  • Exhibition contents must not be divided among separate buildings
  • Gallery temperature maintained at constant 65-75 degrees
  • Relative gallery humidity constant at 40-55% (with no greater than 10% fluctuation in a 24-hour period)
  • No direct sunlight; artificial light sources have UV filters and are not aimed directly at objects
  • Light levels should meet specifications listed in exhibit registrar’s packet
  • No flash photography
  • No food or drink in gallery or around artworks at any time
  • Fire protection according to local ordinance
  • Limited-access gallery (no exterior unalarmed doors)
  • Responsible supervision of artwork (patrolling personnel or monitored camera)
  • Exhibition locked after hours, alarms may be required
  • When warranted, exhibitor must have or be able to produce display furniture including cases or secured vitrines on pedestals for small objects

Intermediate (Formerly Moderate C/D)

For exhibitions that require control of environmental factors and which are fragile, cumbersome, or technically difficult, requiring trained personnel for handling and display supervision. These exhibitions are inherently vulnerable, due to artistic media.

  • Minimum 3 trained personnel for receiving shipping, installation, de-installation, outgoing shipping
  • Loading area capable of receiving tractor-trailers up to 53 feet in length and high-cube trailers (trailers with inside height of 117 – 124 inches)
  • All activity related to the unpacking, staging, installation, and re-packing of exhibit must take place indoors d. Exhibition contents must not be divided among separate buildings
  • Temperature and humidity-controlled crate storage
  • Must have HVAC and environmental monitoring systems in place
  • Gallery temperature maintained at constant 65-75 degrees
  • Relative gallery humidity constant at 40-55% (with no greater than 10% fluctuation in a 24-hour period)
  • No direct sunlight; artificial light sources have UV filters and are not aimed directly at objects
  • Light levels should meet specifications listed in exhibit registrar’s packet
  • No flash photography
  • No food or drink in gallery or around artworks at any time
  • Fire protection according to local ordinance
  • Limited-access gallery (no exterior unalarmed doors)
  • Staff trained specifically for secure supervision of the exhibition remain in the display area at all times while exhibition is open to the public
  • Exhibition locked and alarmed after hours
  • When warranted, exhibitor must have or be able to produce display furniture including:
    • Secured cases or secured vitrines on pedestals for small objects
    • Objects on the floor or on very large pedestals must have ropes or other barriers to keep public at least 40 inches from the exhibition object at all times

High

This level is reserved for exhibitions with extremely high aggregate insurance values, extreme fragility, great historical value, any combination of these, and/or other undeniable reasons for its assignment.

  • Minimum 3 professional staff for receiving shipping, installation, de-installation, outgoing shipping
  • Loading area capable of receiving tractor-trailers up to 53 feet in length and high-cube trailers (trailers with inside height of 117 – 124 inches)
  • All activity related to the unpacking, staging, installation, and re-packing of exhibit must take place indoors
  • Exhibition contents must not be divided among separate buildings
  • Temperature and humidity-controlled crate storage (temperature maintained at constant 68-72 degrees; relative humidity constant at 45-55%)
  • Must have HVAC and environmental monitoring systems in place
  • Gallery temperature maintained at constant 68-72 degrees
  • Relative gallery humidity constant at 45-55% (with no greater than 10% fluctuation in a 24-hour period)
  • No direct sunlight; artificial light sources have UV filters and are not aimed directly at objects
  • Light levels should meet specifications listed in exhibit registrar’s packet
  • No flash photography
  • No food or drink in gallery or around artworks at any time
  • Fire protection according to local ordinance
  • Limited-access gallery (no exterior unalarmed doors)
  • Trained, professional guards in sufficient number to adequately protect exhibition
  • Exhibition locked after hours; alarms or night guards must be in place
  • When warranted, exhibitor must have or be able to produce display furniture including:
    • Secured cases or secured vitrines on pedestals for small objects
    • Objects on the floor or on very large pedestals must have ropes or other barriers to keep public at least 40 inches from the exhibition object at all times
  • Other restrictions as required which may include, but are not limited to:
    • Additional staff requirements for installing and monitoring artwork
    • Facility reports reviewed by lending institutions