Protecting Artwork at the Wexner Center

The Wexner Center

The Wexner Center for the Arts is the Ohio State Unversity’s multidisciplinary, international laboratory for the exploration and advancement of contemporary art. In celebration of the centre’s 25th anniversary, Leslie H. Wexner, the centre’s namesake and a major donor, lent key items from the Wexner Family Collection. As the first-ever public exhibition of this famed collection, and with so many timeless treasures by Giacometti, Picasso and others, the centre needed to re-think its security.

Business Challenge

  • Wirelessly and invisibly protect paintings & sculptures on open display.
  • Infrastructure flexibility to protect future shows.
  • Must retrofit receivers into a completed environment.
  • System to work over University LAN and integrate with the Video Management System.
  • Must satisfy curators, security personnel, technical services and exhibition fabricators.
  • Cost critical.
  • Offering optimal 24/7 local support.

The Solution

We worked with all departments to devise an art security solution that optimized security, without ruining the show’s aesthetics.

  • For the sculptures, we created 18 bespoke wireless pressure sensor kits – each designed for a sculpture of a particular weight/ size.
  • Pressure kits built invisibly into each plinth. Sensitivity was set high enough that they alarm on touch alone.
  • Each plinth is set back from the edge of a larger, low-lying pedestal to dissuade visitors from touching them. High sensitivity wireless motion-sensing tags attached to paintings.
  • Harnessed the centre’s existing network infrastructure to support the RFID receiver network. Receivers arranged in ceiling and wall cavities to provide maximum coverage across all galleries to assist with future shows.
  • Software interface is written for the Genetec VMS system.
  • Trained and worked closely with the local security installer.


Customer Comments

We couldn’t have been more satisfied with the Fortecho product during the Transfigurations show. The system worked flawlessly.