NOVEMBER 20, 2020
Timken Museum of Art to Become the First Museum Worldwide to Adopt Revolutionary Anti-Viral Technology


The Museum is Installing Advanced Air Filtration Technologies to Ensure the Health of Visitors 

The Timken Museum of Art—the Jewel Box of San Diego’s Balboa Park—announced today that it will install state-of-the-art, patented, anti-viral technologies, originally engineered in conjunction with the United States Department of Defense, to ensure the health of visitors. This  innovative system will maximize the “capture and kill” rate of airborne pathogens at a level considerably higher than that of hospital operating rooms.


“The Timken and Putnam families, innovators themselves, created our free museum in 1965 as a result of their successes in technology and engineering,” stated Chairman of the Board Jessie J. Knight, Jr.  “In fact, their work revolutionized the transportation and beverage industries.  We are honored to carry on that tradition by being the first museum in the world to bring cutting-edge, military grade technology into practical, everyday use.  We look forward to sharing this technology with San Diego, the nation and the world as we work toward a healthier, and more sustainable future for all of us.”


The Timken was originally searching for a high-energy, ultraviolet technology that could be incorporated into its existing HVAC system.  However, a retrofit would have only eliminated

10 to 20 percent of the airborne pathogens compared to an unheard-of kill rate as high as 99.97 percent with a completely new system.  As a result, it was clear that a bold investment was necessary.  With the support of an anonymous donor, the Timken’s board of directors and executive management developed a comprehensive, ambitious plan to demonstrate that this innovative technology had the ability to be successfully applied to the museum world while directly addressing the pandemic.


The Timken’s doors are currently closed while the anti-viral system is installed and tested.  When the Timken reopens in 2021, the public can expect to see a restored Museum with additional enhancements and improvements that will add to the overall enjoyment and visitor experience. 


“We take our mission of making fine art accessible to everyone very seriously, particularly on the heels of a pandemic when arts and culture are needed more than ever,” stated Executive Director, Megan Pogue.  “When our visitors return to the Timken, they can feel confident knowing we have made this significant, groundbreaking investment that provides a safe, welcoming and enriched environment for all.”


During the closure, the Timken will continue to offer its variety of free online classes and lectures providing art education and art-making opportunities for isolated seniors, military veterans and incarcerated youth.  The Timken invites the public to take advantage of its online tutorial art classes and extensive lecture series, Curator’s Corner, along with Work of the Week highlighting the Museum’s priceless collection of American and European artworks and Russian icons.  For more information, visit the Timken’s website at


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Click here to read the full press release.