conservation

The Latest

Dec 3, 2013 / 12 notes

What is a Museum Conservator?  The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco explain.

Nov 10, 2013 / 114 notes

cemeteryconservation:

Antientest Burial Place, New London, Connecticut. Organized a workshop there back in 2008. What a great town! and awesome comic books store downtown. Beautiful cemetery, unfortunately with a school on one side and housing projects flanking the back.

May 27, 2013 / 34 notes

Wish I could have seen these program!

momatalks:

At the conclusion of our Contemporary Art Forum: Art at Large: Art Making in the Long View, we are sharing some reflections on Tumblr. This is the fourth and last post in the series.

In “The Hypothetical Audience,” artist Trevor Paglen and art conservator Glenn Wharton explored how the meaning of an artwork evolves over time. Wharton spoke about his work with artists to document their intentions, since effectively preserving a piece’s meaning over time might actually require actions that seem incongruous with conservation, such as altering the physical work to preserve its desired effect in a given context. Along these lines, Paglen revealed that his intention in The Last Pictures is “deeply paradoxical,” since he aims to both foster dialogue on the included images as representations of society and also reflect on the reality that images are only legible based on  context—an intention that raises questions about what components conservators should preserve.

A number of takeaways emerged, but one stood out in particular: as artists think increasingly broadly about artworks responding to their surroundings in the long term, the field of conservation is becoming more engaged in the process of treating works to avoid simply freezing them in a pristine state. 

May 9, 2013 / 3 notes

I love this video from the @MuseumModernArt Conservation Studio.  Educational, smart, fun, and, well cool.  

May 8, 2013 / 5 notes

The 2013 AIC Great Debate

** This is reposted from AIC’s Blog, “Conservators Converse”

At the 2012 AIC Annual Meeting we hosted the first ever AIC Great Debate. By all accounts, it was a rousing success. While last year’s debate was good, this year we’re hoping to make it better.

The 2013 Great Debate will take place on Saturday, June 1 from 4:00 to 5:00 pm as the final session in the General Session.  Now not only will  everyone have the opportunity to attend, but you’ll have a good reason to stay to the very end of the Annual Meeting!  And, as the ultimate way to promote dialogue, camaraderie, and, well, fun, we will have a cash bar in the room. Finally, I’m working on walk up music for the teams: hint all of the musicians were born in Indiana.

But, before I list this year’s debate topics and participants, I want to make a very important disclaimer: I created the AIC Great Debate as an intellectual exercise to demonstrate that conservators are clever enough to see a tough topic from both sides and discuss it openly.

With this in mind, in many cases I have personally invited participants to debate from a position that is contrary to their personal beliefs. This not only adds a fun twist it proves the point that the Debate is not meant to provide a forum so we can prove one side is right, but rather to engage in a public dialogue to surface all of this issues around difficult topics. And though I’m listing participant’s institutional affiliations (so you’ll get a chance to know them better), in no way am I suggesting that the participants are representing an institutional position in the Debate.

TOPIC 1:

The greatest act of preservation for inherently fragile or fugitive cultural property is exhibition, even if the duration goes far beyond what is currently recommended.

Affirmative Team

  • Rosa Lowinger (Rosa Lowinger & Associates)
  • Patty Miller (2 Arts Conservation)
  • Jodie Utter (Amon Carter Museum of American Art)

Negative Team

  • John Campbell (Campbell Contemporary Sculpture Conservation)
  • Fletcher Durant (New York Public Library)
  • Jessica Ford (University of Delaware Art Conservation Graduate School)

TOPIC 2:

While volunteers used on preservation projects often allow us to accomplish more work, they undermine our capacity to regularly employ conservation and collections care professionals.

Affirmative Team

  • Rose Cull (Kress Fellow in Sculpture Conservation at Tate)
  • Kelly Keegan (Art Institute of Chicago)
  • Dawn Walus (Boston Athenaeum)

Negative Team

  • Will Hoffman (Mariners Museum)
  • Michele Marincola (Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts/Metropolitan Museum)
  • Beverly Perkins (Buffalo Bill Center of the West)

Like last year, I’d like to ask you for help to make the AIC Great Debate successful.  We need you!  We need you in the audience to be lively, interested, engaged, and fun.  And I don’t mean just to cheer on your favorite conservator or team; we need you to participate in the Great Debate at AIC!

There will be a significant amount of time in which the audience will get to ask each team questions to which they have to respond.

And, finally, we need you to decide who wins the debate.  The winning team for each topic will be the one who sways the most opinions in the audience.

If you’re interested in reading about how the AIC Great Debate went last year, there are reviews on this blog of each debate topic.

2012 TOPIC #1:  Publishing accurate and complete “how-to guides” for conservation and restoration treatments online is the best way for us to care for cultural heritage in the 21st century. Read the review here.

2012 TOPIC #2: Having conservators perform treatments in the gallery is the most successful way to generate funding for museums and raise awareness about the profession. Read the review here.

Jan 15, 2013 / 30 notes

Help document Tony Smith artworks with Wikipedia and get a limited edition Tony Smith t-shirt!

Hey amigos, do you want a limited edition Tony Smith t-shirt (cute boy not included)? Read the article I just posted on Art21 about it. Let me know if you have any questions. 

Please help share this project … I’d really like to have all of Tony Smith’s artworks documented by the end of 2013!

Jan 8, 2013 / 13 notes

This is a pretty great introduction to what looks like an engaging conservation project at the Legion of Honor (@LegionofHonor):

legionofhonormuseum:

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

Nov 14, 2012 / 1 note

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?

Nov 6, 2012 / 1 note

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." 

Nov 5, 2012 / 16 notes
Oct 30, 2012 / 2 notes
I love the work that is being done with the IMA’s archives to digitize the MH&G Collection; gems like this one point to how we can help care for the artworks and property. 
It’s very cool to see how directly and personally involved Alexander Girard was in the process in every aspect of the property. 
digitizingmillerhouseandgarden:

In this letter Girard describes how the iron gates for the pool enclosure should be weathered to achieve the desired rusted finish. He also provides instructions for their installation. To see view the gates in the IMA’s collection database, click MH2010.440 and MH2010.441.
Alexander H. Girard to Xenia S. Miller, 17 September 1963, 6/53, Miller House and Garden Collection, IMA Archives, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana. (MHG_Ib_B006_f053_047)
Oct 18, 2012 / 5 notes

I love the work that is being done with the IMA’s archives to digitize the MH&G Collection; gems like this one point to how we can help care for the artworks and property. 

It’s very cool to see how directly and personally involved Alexander Girard was in the process in every aspect of the property. 

digitizingmillerhouseandgarden:

In this letter Girard describes how the iron gates for the pool enclosure should be weathered to achieve the desired rusted finish. He also provides instructions for their installation. To see view the gates in the IMA’s collection database, click MH2010.440 and MH2010.441.

Alexander H. Girard to Xenia S. Miller, 17 September 1963, 6/53, Miller House and Garden Collection, IMA Archives, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana. (MHG_Ib_B006_f053_047)

Fortunate to be able to visit one of the Nation’s finest conservation labs today at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. I couldn’t help but key up the drama with an Instagram filter. #conservation (Taken with Instagram at Lunder Conservation Center)
Sep 12, 2012 / 7 notes

Fortunate to be able to visit one of the Nation’s finest conservation labs today at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. I couldn’t help but key up the drama with an Instagram filter. #conservation (Taken with Instagram at Lunder Conservation Center)

Aug 16, 2012 / 1 note
Jul 25, 2012 / 2 notes

A Conservator’s Journey to Skagway, Alaska

Check out Nicole Peters’ blog about her conservation journey to Alaska (pictured at right with conservators Scott and Ellen Carrlee).  I’m looking forward reading the next in this series.