Surveillance Opens at Art Institute

World-renowned Chicago museum revamps security


“Working closely with the Art Institute, we chose Axis IP cameras over an analog/encoder solution,” said Morrisett. “One of the reasons was the MPEG-4 cameras take less bandwidth than previous encoders. These cameras reduce stress on the entire network and require less storage. This results in more cameras and retention time per server.”

Facing challenges
Despite the positive aspects of the newly updated security surveillance system at the Art Institute, the museum still faced a number of challenges throughout the expansion. With a yearly schedule that allows the museum doors to be closed to the public only three times, behind-the-scenes activity such as installing new surveillance equipment had to be accomplished quickly, efficiently and on schedule.

“Having the museum closed only three times a year is the biggest challenge for us,” said Lehrman Jenness. “We can’t be in there [the museum] with ladders above an artwork installing a surveillance camera when we have patrons viewing art in the galleries.”

The features of the Axis network cameras proved a welcome alternative to the process of stringing coaxial cable to analog cameras.

“With our older analog system, we used to run thousands of miles of coaxial cable through the complex,” explained Lehrman Jenness.“With the network cameras, now we just have to run Category 6 cable to the nearest IT closet and we’re good to go.”

Another challenge for the museum was maintaining that surveillance after visiting hours ended.
“To preserve certain types of artwork-particularly works on paper-they require low light levels. However, we still need to maintain camera coverage,” continued Lehrman Jenness.

The Axis line of network cameras deployed at the Art Institute and the VMS provided by HBS offered just that solution.

“We wanted to be able to provide a migration path that would allow the museum to use as much of the legacy equipment as possible, bringing in the new technology without having to rip all the old systems out. This was especially important with a facility like theirs,” said Kapica. “We were very excited they [Art Institute] wanted to continue partnering with Honeywell on this project. For us, it’s about bringing new solutions to the customer and showing them the different expansion capabilities for the future.”

According to Nilsson, the whole security market is driving towards a best-of-breeds solution. “A multi-vendor solution,” said Nilsson. “It is interesting for the integrators to see that if a large integrator like Honeywell is doing just that, then the time probably has come for a system to be applicable to many additional users as well.”