About The Museum

The Butler Institute of American Art opened in 1919 and was established by industrialist Joseph G.
Butler Jr. as the first in the U.S. devoted solely to American art. The museum’s mission is to preserve
and collect works of art in all media created by citizens of our country. The Institute’s holdings now
exceed 20,000 individual works, and the Butler is known worldwide as “America’s Museum.”

The museum’s mission is to preserve and
collect works of art in all media created by
citizens of our country.

Butler financed the museum’s building, designed by the famous architecture firm of McKim, Mead
& White, and helped start a collection that now includes important paintings by Winslow Homer,
John Singer Sargent, Edward Hopper, Charles Sheeler, William Gropper and many others. Each
year, the museum draws 130,000 visitors to more than two dozen exhibitions. It operates annually
on a budget of $2 million, an exceedingly modest amount given the museum’s productivity.

The Problem

Dr. Louis Zona, Executive Director of the Museum, believed for years that a more efficient way to protect the museum’s collections existed. Traditionally, the security staff used video surveillance to monitor visitor movements, insuring that theft or damage did not occur. Though this method works for the vast majority of guests, there was always the potential weaknesses in this strategy that could be costly.

The Solution

Dr. Zona had investigated many security solutions, but found that all potential options to fill this void were either impractical, incomplete, unproven, or extremely costly.

“When I received the Acuity-vct brochure, which showed they had deployed a system in a museum setting that could conintually watch our entire collection; automatically alerting the staff of a potential security breach, I was intrigued.” – Dr. Louis Zona

The VCS and CBMAS systems were installed and use surveillance cameras to place invisible protective barriers around all art collections. These unobtrusive boundaries are effective and do not distract guest’s views of the exhibits.

“An innovative new security solution and excellent customer support.


I’d recommend your system to any museum or gallery that is interested in providing enhanced protection for their collections.”


-Dr. Louis Zona, Executive Director, Butler Institute of American Art

Custom Development and

We offer the ability to customize our VCS and CBMAS surveillance products to fit any specific need you may have. “Shortly after the implementation, we discovered that reflections from our lighting effects, or even the paint on some canvases, could cause false motion alarms when our guests closely inspected the paintings,” says Dr. Zona. Our team was able to quickly develop new software that filtered these reflections and eliminated false alarms.

We’ve also expanded our capabilities by developing a paging feature that alerts security guards on patrol of a breach. The system sends a signal to a paging device that sounds an alert when guards are away from their posts.
“It’s great to know, as I think of new features that can help the Butler Institute, Acuity-vct will bring them to life.”