What is a Museum Conservator? The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco explain.
So we went on a UCLA labs tour yesterday. Pictured here is their big lab, forensic light source (A magical light source box that gives you really specific wavelengths anywhere from IR to UV) that hangs out in their documentation room, and finally, their reading room. I was busy being all fascinated by equipment, and then i remembered how we sit in the stairway to have our coffee in Melbourne and felt mildly depressed.
A website dedicated to Joe Colombo’s “Boby Trolley”, which has been a friend to art conservators for many years. Learn more than you need to about this little gem all in one place.
This is a pretty great introduction to what looks like an engaging conservation project at the Legion of Honor (@LegionofHonor):
The Salon Doré period room is one of the jewels of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. This year, it will undergo a complete conservation and restoration project designed to return the the room to its original 18th-century glory.
Experience conservation in action! Conservators will conduct their work in Gallery 13 in full view of the public. For a comprehensive timeline detailing the long and storied history of the Salon Doré, visit the website.
Lasers & GIFS! Oh, my.
Science and art have more in common than you might think. Here, lasers (!) are used to study pigment particles in illuminated manuscripts.
After a long hiatus it seems like Art Watch sprung back to life last month. With newly designed web page, and a Twitter account Art Watch is back to looking at the field of conservation & preservation. This is really a good thing, as there aren’t many (if anyone) looking at our field with a critical eye.
There’s a short piece critiquing the in-gallery display of conservation treatments up now, “Transparency and Neglect: Conservation on Display" with a rather provocative quote:
While it would seem that a certain degree of transparency is implicit in such demonstrations, thereby creating a sense of accountability, the effect is rather to heroicize art conservation and its practitioners.
Here’s hoping they continue with a productive and engaging dialogue.
A blast from the past: Heritage Preservation (@HeritagePresDC) has uploaded the six original videos made in the 1990s for the Save Outdoor Sculpture! (SOS!) program.
Above is “The Preservation of Outdoor Sculpture - Part 1”. You can check out all six in the HP playlist here.
I haven’t watched these through in a long time, but wonder if folks still find them relevant?
Modern Art Notes has a smart take on the damage caused to artworks from Hurricane Sandy. While cultural institutions do a good job with documentation, this underscores the need for all of us to do better, and to work together to preserve artworks today.
For my #MCN2012 #IgniteTalk I’m trying to take a page out of Anne Radice’s Keynote script at 2012 at the American Institute for Conservation’s Annual Meeting.
Two good quotes:
"It’s time to demand that every exhibition, every project has a component that deals with conservation."
"Care for objects must be made an intrinsic component of the entire collecting ethos."
Such a great weekend in Louisville participating in the INCCA-NA, COPA, and The Speed Art Museum symposium on public art. Info about the symposium here.
Of course, the perfect hotel to stay at was 21c Museum Hotel who also sponsored the event; it’ll be interesting to see them expand to Cincinnati & Arkansas.
I’m sure she pre-heated to 400 first.
SFMOMA conservator Michelle is cooking up a big tasty batch of… DIRT!
She’s baking 1/4 of a cubic yard of dirt at 350 degrees for 2 hours so that our installation crew can safely use it as a material in a Futurefarmers installation for our newest exhibition, Six Lines of Flight. See more photos of Michelle preparing dirt (and rescuing a bug) here!
Sure, people have found all sorts of rare things in Google Maps, but I think I have found the first example of a conservation treatment of an artwork in progress. The image above is of a conservation crew working on the Tony Smith sculpture, The Elevens Are Up from 1963 — this version being the first in an edition of three and owned by the Menil Collection. It looks like the conservators just took a break for lunch and left their stuff hanging on the scaffold.
Pretty nerdy, I know, but still cool.
Above is a version of the sculpture (either number two or three) when it was on view at Matthew Marks Gallery