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Pfan jablonski2012

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An introduction to the field of Art Conservation, courtesy of the American Institute for Conservation: http://www.conservation-us.org/ and presented by Elizabeth Jablonski: ...

An introduction to the field of Art Conservation, courtesy of the American Institute for Conservation: http://www.conservation-us.org/ and presented by Elizabeth Jablonski: http://conservepaintings.com, to the Professional Fine Art Network: http://www.professionalfineartnetwork.com.

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  • Thank you very much. Thank you, Joanie , for allowing me to speak here today and thank you to everyone for attending. I wanted to start out by saying that the field of Art Conservation is not very well known. So, if you feel you are in the dark about conservation, you are not alone. I’m hoping that everyone will feel free to ask questions.
  • The first part of my talk will be a general introduction to the field of art conservation. Then, I will talk about basic ways in which conservators preserve art, followed by ways in which you can do the same with your own artwork and collections, for the future. Your artwork is the physical manifestation of your legacy. Not to get too morbid with this, but, as a conservator, I am primarily working with art by artists who are no longer with us and, therefore, can’t tell me in their own words how they wish their art to be preserved. It is of the utmost importance to conservators to preserve the spirit and creative intent in each artist’s work. If there is one thing that you take away from this lecture, it is that preserving the intent of the artist in its physical form is the guiding principle for conservators. We don’t want to tell you how to create or what to create, rather we want to help you preserve what you create in the best way possible so that future generations can enjoy your work.
  • Before I begin, I want to introduce the national art conservation organization in the US. Many other countries also have their own national conservation organizations. There are also smaller, regional groups, as well. These organizations are all great resources of information about conservation and preserving your art and treasures. The American Institute for Conservation—or “AIC”--has provided the majority of the slides that are in this powerpoint presentation as part of their outreach effort. That’s why their logo’s up in the corner. And, this is the home page of their website.
  • Another type of conservation resource is the research center. Here is an example: The Canadian Conservation Institute. Their primary goal is to is research conservation methods, materials and techniques. Much of their findings are available right on their website and are routinely used by museums, archives, libraries and other collectors world-wide.
  • So, to begin…What is art conservation?
  • Conservation is defined by AIC as the profession devoted to the preservation of cultural property for the future. The term, “cultural property”, describes a wide variety of material culture that has significance to society. Cultural materials includes objects, collections, specimens, structures, and sites. The significance of these materials may be artistic, historic, scientific, religious, or social. (1) (1) AIC Definitions of Conservation Terminology
  • The world’s museums, libraries, archives, other cultural institutions, and individual collectors rely on trained conservators to document, analyze, treat, and care for their collections. This work ensures that these cultural resources are given the finest possible care and are available for the education, scholarship, advancement, and enrichment of future generations. (2) Because cultural property is so diverse in materials the conservation field is made up of conservators specializing in specific types of cultural property. For example… (2) University of Delaware, Department of Art Conservation web site, www.artcons.udel.edu
  • There are painting conservators who specialize in easel paintings…
  • And there are conservators who specialize in painted surfaces – that is, architectural surfaces, historic interiors, polychrome sculpture, painted furniture and murals.
  • There are also conservators who specialize in preserving 3-dimensional objects.
  • Examples of materials that Objects Conservators work on are baskets and ceramics. Objects tend to be grouped under either Organic and Inorganic materials. Under Organic materials we have plant and animal-based substances, such as wood and leather and under Inorganics, we have materials like metals and glass.
  • Objects conservators can also specialize in the preservation of archaeological artifacts. Artifacts that have just come out of the ground or from underwater ship wrecks often have immediate needs that are different from object that have always been on dry land.
  • Paper is another specialty – paper conservators care for works of art on paper as well as historic documents in libraries and archives.
  • Conservators may also specialize in textiles,…
  • …Photographs,…
  • …Furniture,…
  • …Natural history collections…
  • …And large-scale outdoor sculpture…
  • In addition, there are Conservation Scientists . Instead of performing hands-on treatments on cultural property, conservation scientists conduct analysis of the materials that make up that property. They also study and develop materials that conservators can safely apply to cultural property to repair and preserve it.
  • So, what do conservators do?
  • A conservator is trained to physically save cultural property. Conservators are knowledgeable in material science and in the history of material culture and must also have fine hand skills in order to carry out conservation treatment techniques. I’d say the majority of conservators come from backgrounds in fine arts, though more and more are starting to come from science backgrounds, such as chemistry, materials science and biology.
  • The primary goal of conservators is the preservation of cultural property. In striving to achieve this goal, conservators assume certain obligations to the cultural property, itself, to the artists and artisans who created it, its owners and custodians, to the conservation profession, and to society as a whole. Like many professional fields, conservation has established guidelines for professional practice…. (3) (3) AIC website, http://aic.stanford.edu/about/coredocs/coe/index.html
  • … These guidelines have been formally written by the national organizations I mentioned earlier and are referred to as the Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice. These set forth the principles that guide conservators who are involved in the care of cultural property. There is a common misconception about art conservators that I will quickly dispel here. Conservators are often confused with appraisers, but we actually do not appraise art or offer any kind of valuation. The conservation process is very different from an appraisal process and conservators do not base their fees on the appraised value of the object. Instead, our fees are based on the work needed to stabilize and conserve the object. This is because tastes change and what is perceived as unimportant today may have great value in the future, so it is important that we treat everything with the same high degree of care. There are also different types of value—mainly monetary (market, insurance, for instance) and sentimental. Though an object may not have high monetary value, it can still have very high sentimental value for its owners or as documentary information and evidence as to the artist or creator’s process.
  • Conservators perform six primary activities.
  • Examination is the first activity. Prior to starting a treatment, a conservator carefully examines the object that will be treated. Examination is usually visual, but in some cases sampling and testing for scientific analysis is necessary. A conservator needs to understand three things before treating an object: 1) the chemical make-up of the art object, 2) the chemical make-up of any materials that are to be applied to object as part of its conservation and 3) any chemical reactions that might occur between the two.
  • Documentation is an important aspect of the Code of Ethics and is a conservation activity that may distinguish a professional conservator from an amateur. AIC’s Code of Ethics states , “The conservation professional has an obligation to produce and maintain accurate, complete, and permanent records of examination, sampling, scientific investigation, and treatment. When appropriate, the records should be both written and pictorial.” You can see the conservator here photographing this painting in raking light.
  • This is an example of pictorial conservation documentation. Digital images were taken of the object before, during and after treatment. We have photo of the ceramic plate before treatment and during treatment. You can see there were stains in plate before the treatment and that during the process of treatment, they were removed.
  • Based on the examination of an object, a conservator offers a treatment plan to the owner of the object in question. The conservator's objective is to undertake a treatment that is suitable to the preservation of the aesthetic, conceptual, and physical characteristics of the cultural property. This treatment plan , which is preferably in writing , describes the course of treatment, states the objective(s) for the treatment, justifies the course of action, and lists alternative approaches and potential risks involved.(4) The plan may need to be adjusted as the treatment progresses, but any deviations would be communicated to the owner before they are carried out. (4) AIC Guidelines for Practice Section 26, p.26
  • Actions and materials applied to the object during the course of treatment should be reversible , or, in other words, removable . This includes any adhesives, paints or varnishes applied and any joinery or mechanical connections made. There are some cases where this is not possible. For instance, surface cleaning is a common form of conservation treatment, but is an action that can not be reversed. Surface cleaning involves removing grime and dust that was accumulated by an object after it left the hands of the artist and is clearly not a part of the artist’s intent. So, once a conservator cleans a surface, he or she cannot reapply the dirt. So, prior to cleaning an artifact, a conservator will consider its historical context: We ask questions like, Does the dirt or staining offer evidence of use and does this use hold historical value? As an example, think of a military flag used in a battle. It may have acquired blood stains during that battle. A conservator would be justified in deciding not to remove the stains if they were evidence of the flag’s use and history.
  • Sometimes, it is not possible to find out about the history or meaning of any acquired staining or grime. Or, even it is deemed appropriate to remove it, it my not be physically possible to do so . It may not be safe for the object to undergo the cleaning process. In these cases, alternatives to removing the grime or stains may be considered, such as: --placing or lighting the object in a certain way when on display in order to downplay the non-original material --or, if appropriate, making a reproduction for display and storing the original, instead.
  • In addition to surface cleaning, there are other types of treatment, such as the mending of tears or holes and reduction of any creases or folds. These types of treatments are sometimes performed on works of art on paper, paintings and textiles.
  • Consolidation is an another important treatment technique that involves the introduction of an adhesive to an object to ensure that unstable surface material is not lost. We saw this slide earlier, but I wanted to talk a little bit more about it. Here, on this object, it is the paint of the painted design that is fragile and flaking. She is applying a clear, archival adhesive with a very fine brush. By just touching the wet brush to the edge of the loss in the paint, the adhesive is wicked underneath of the paint to adhere it to the surface.
  • This is a detail of consolidation of flaking paint on another object. You can see the brush at the center of the screen with clear adhesive. The brush is a very fine one.
  • Another treatment issue often confronting conservators is compensating for losses of original material. Not only should compensations be reversible, but they should also be detectable by eye or other common examination methods. In this way, the conservator's intervention is not confused with the original material. This is a critical difference between the traditionally accepted practice of “ restoration ”, and the practice of Conservation . In restoration the object may be made to look like new, with old damage covered up. But, conservators do the utmost to provide the viewer with a visually cohesive result while still maintaining the historical information offered by the vestiges of time. By clearly indicating the difference between the compensation and the original, further study and analysis of the object will not be mis-lead. In the image at the lower right, you can see the pieces that were added by the conservator, shown in the red boxes. They are painted white like the rest of the object, and visually blend with the object, as a whole, but you can see them upon closer inspection. For all we know, the missing original pieces might have had a painted design.—there’s no way for us to tell that, for sure. So, our job is to bridge the gap in way that is still visible.
  • Conservators are also involved in preparing objects for display. They build mounts and work closely with other mount-makers to ensure that the objects will be displayed in the safest manner possible. There are wide-ranging techniques for mounting artifacts, so it is always good to ask for advice on any specific project.
  • As I mentioned earlier, it is sometimes necessary to sample and test the material components of cultural property. Testing can irreversibly damage material, permanently alter the object. Therefore, these actions are not taken lightly and the conservator must establish the necessity for such procedures. Only the minimum amount required is removed, and any material removed is retained whenever possible. Understanding the chemical make up of the cultural property in question is essential when developing a treatment plan.
  • This slide depicts the cross section of a sample of paint taken from the interior of an historic building. This sample was taken by a conservator in order to explore the layers of paint using scientific analysis. The actual size of the sample is that of a pin head, believe it or not. However, you can see that under high magnification that tiny sample can provide a great deal of information. This cross section shows at least 15 layers of paint. This can tell the conservator what colors were applied and whether there were varnishes and glazes applied on top of various layers, now sandwiched in between the paint layers. A conservator can also study the cross section under different lighting conditions and can use chemical tests to learn more about the types of paints that were used. Ultimately, this can help the conservator date the layers and match color. Though , this is always done in coordination with other professionals in historic preservation, such as architects, historians, archivists and curators.
  • Education: Conservators are interested in spreading the word about conservation and, indeed, many people come to us with questions about preserving there precious objects. We love to talk about what we do. Some institutions offer “clinics”, where members of the public bring their objects and speak to conservators about how to best care for them. The image is of such a clinic that is held annually at the University of Delaware’s graduate program in conservation. Not only is it extremely informative to the public, but it is also great practice for the students, in terms of looking at objects, examining them and speaking about their findings.
  • This is the Lunder Conservation Center at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC…
  • …The conservation labs were recently renovated, with glass walls…
  • …so that the public can see in and see the conservators at work. In this image we have an opportunity to see the workstations that are typical for paintings conservators. Not a lot of high tech. equipment here: There is also this fume trunk, known as an elephant trunk. We take health and safety very seriously in conservation and are careful to use the least harmful materials not only to the objects, of course, but to our own health and safety. This elephant trunk is mobile and can be placed over our work areas to extract fumes from solvents, away from the air that we breath. We also wear respirators, gloves and safety glasses, whenever appropriate.
  • Preventive care, is the last, but not the least of the primary activities. It covers all aspects related to warding off anticipated causes of deterioration and damage. Preventive care is, in some ways, the most important thing we can all do to preserve cultural property. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
  • So, returning to our main outline here, we’re at “Basic Preventive Care”
  • Preventive conservation includes proper handling, packing and transport, housing/storage, monitoring the environment, conducting surveys and assessments of collections, preparing for emergencies, and establishing guidelines for the continuing use and care of a collection. These are things that artists may want to consider doing when it comes caring for their own collections of their own work. Keep in mind that a conservator rarely owns or has created the work he or she is conserving, so we don’t have nearly the same freedoms that artists have when handling their own work. So, these procedures that I’m sharing with you may seem extreme, removed or even “clinical”. But, you can learn about them knowing that if your artwork ends up in the hands of a conservator, these are the guidelines that will be followed, with the aim of preserving your work in the best condition possible.
  • Conservators monitor the environment in which the cultural property is displayed and/or stored. They measure and monitor relative humidity, temperature, and light levels, set up pest management programs, and help reduce exposure to pollutants. Exposure to light can have a severely adverse effect on cultural properties. This is particularly true for textiles, works on paper and photographs. And you can see the damage that light can do, in this image and its detail: [Picasso explanation] Maintaining low light levels while objects are on display and storing objects in the dark can have a high impact on the longevity of the object. Conservators work to establish guidelines for appropriate light levels for artifacts on display. We have to find a balance between allowing enough light for viewers to appreciate the object without severely jeopardizing the object's safety. It is a good idea to display such vulnerable objects for shorter periods of time, and keep them in the dark, when not on view. You can substitute other works for in their place, for display. This is sometimes called a Rotating Program of Display.
  • Insects, pests and mold can cause damage to various types of objects. Conservators no longer use pesticides to eradicate these elements because they remain on the object for evermore and they are poisonous to the people who will be handling the object in the future. And, these pesticides can also harm the objects , themselves, in the long run (5). So, the types of objects that may have received pesticides in the past tent to be taxidermined animals, furs, old carpets and rugs. If you are dealing with these in your art, consider wearing gloves and a properly fitted respirator with appropriate filters. If you can smell mold or chemicals, avoid dealing with material altogether. 5) Pinniger, D. 2001. Pest Management in Museums, Archives, and Historic Houses. London: Archetype Publications. p.80 Hatchfield, P.B. 2002. Pollutants in the Museum Environment:Practical Strategies for Problem Solving in Design, Exhibition and Storage. London: Archetype Publications. p.34 (6) Ibid. p.1, p.51
  • Conservators also help make plans in preparation for emergencies and disasters. Conservators do this for museums and archives, as well as other public and private collectors, including artists and their storage of their own art. We can recommend appropriate salvage and/or recovery procedures for collections and records and can demonstrate these to the owners. We can also advise on assembling a local team of experts and volunteers, as well as identify suppliers of special materials and equipment needed. Obtaining these resources quickly following a disaster is key , so pre-planning and identifying these resources ahead of time is a must . Having an emergency plan in place prior to any disasters occurring can make a big difference in how well the objects are salvaged. (7) (7) Ball, C., Yardley-Jones, A., and Eckert, T. eds. 2001. Help! A Survivors Guide to Emergency Preparedness. Edmonton: Museums Alberta
  • Conservators also conduct surveys of collections , assessing the condition of the individual objects and their environment. These assessments help owners devise a course of action for the care of the objects and can aid in planning for budgeting and grant-seeking to implement these actions. Surveys help the owner identify any issues, creating a pro-active approach to care of the collection, rather than a re-active approach, where your running from emergency to emergency. For example, in these photos, my helper and I were conducting a condition survey of the contemporary paintings in the collection of a major museum. The collection was to be moved to a new location and we wanted to assess the paintings to see if they were stable enough to withstand the move, or whether there were any condition issues for us to take care of beforehand. This information helped the conservation department plan a work schedule and budget for the move. Equally importantly, it also helped determine how much space was going to be needed in the new storage site, as well as the design and layout of that space, for ease of access to the paintings. Conservators also advise on the packing and shipping of art. Brian Dupont talked at length about this in his two recent teleconference for PFAN. I would highly recommend that you go back and listen to these if you are planning to ship or move your art. If you feel like you need help with these issues, consider asking a conservator to visit your studio. For the cost of a few hours of the conservator’s time, you can glean a lot of information quickly, by having an expert lay eyes on your project or situation.
  • So, How can artists and art owners preserve their art collections?
  • Over time, all objects change or deteriorate as a result of environmental conditions, use, accidents, and natural forces of decay. How an object is handled, displayed, and stored can mean the difference between preserving it for many years or for only a short time. You can take an active role in preserving the physical aspects of your legacy for your own enjoyment and for future generations to appreciate. *Note: Slides 39-47 cite the AIC website’s Basic Guidelines for the Care of Special Collections
  • Conservators recommend these seven steps for individuals wanting to preserve their collections.
  • 1. Minimize the effects of light.
  • Avoid displaying objects like paper, paintings and textiles in direct sunlight, even for short periods. Instead, display these objects in rooms away from windows and bright lights and change them out with other object frequently, putting them away in storage. Also, don’t exhibit works of art close to incandescent light bulbs, which give off heat. This also applies to the lights that are sometimes positioned above paintings: These lights are frequently attached to the frames to shine down on the paintings, but they are too close to the paintings and can heat the surfaces too much, causing distortion in the canvas and cracking and disruption in the paint layers.
  • 2. Provide stable, moderate relative humidity and temperature.
  • Extremes in temperature and relative humidity probably occur most often in basements, attics, and garages. So, instead, store important objects elsewhere, such as in a room located centrally in your home, studio or gallery. Do not place sensitive objects over active fireplaces, next to heating or cooling vents or in kitchens. Keep them away from exterior doors and windows that may be opened. Pictured here is an example of a device that monitors and records temperature and relative humidity. It is frequently used by museums.
  • Here is something you can install in your home and studio. It is a programable thermostat. While it doesn’t record the temperature and relative humidity, it gives you a quick view of current conditions. And, you can control when your furnace or air-conditioning kicks in, which might save you money.
  • 3. Minimize the effects of air pollution.
  • Reduce the amount of dust in the home or building housing the collection by upgrading and cleaning the filters in heating and air conditioning units regularly. Framing works of art on paper and small textiles behind glass or acrylic will protect them from the acidic, abrasive effects of dust. What we are seeing here in the top half of this image is the yellow grimy film produced by tobacco smoke. This is a common type of surface grime found on works of art. The conservator is using a cotton swab to remove the grime. I have done this, myself, many times in conserving paintings.
  • Minimize pest activity.
  • Good housekeeping and proper storage can help keep collections free of pests. Inspect objects on display and in storage at least once a year for signs of insect activity—this is something that conservators do while conducting collection surveys. If evidence is found, quarantine the object and immediately call a conservator for advice. Conservators can help set up Integrated Pest Management systems or IPM’s. IPM’s aim to utilize chemical-free methods of pest control.
  • Know how to handle your objects.
  • Chances are, if you have made an art object, you will understand its weak points and know how to support it properly. However, when handling objects made by others, consider that many objects are much more fragile than they appear. Observe carefully the condition and size of the object before you attempt to move it. Handle objects from the base, or where they are the most sturdy. Be sure that you can carry the object by yourself, or arrange for help. Before you begin, clear space to set the object down where you wish to move it to. Move small or light objects in a padded tray or basket. Conservators always handle objects with clean, dry, lotion-free hands or preferably with clean cotton or plastic gloves. The acids, oils, and salts in human skin will tarnish and corrode metals and may damage lacquer and other materials such as porous ceramics and ivory.
  • Know how to display your objects.
  • Be sure that the hanging devices on paintings and other framed pieces are strong and secure. Use wall hangers appropriate to the weight of the work of art and the nature of the wall on which it will hang. Try to hang paintings and other two-dimensional objects from two hooks each, rather than a single hook. Display fragile and breakable objects away from areas of activity where they may be bumped or knocked over. Protect objects in vitrines or under glass or acrylic. Avoid the use of sticky substances to secure objects on shelves or other surfaces. Ask a conservator to help prepare mounts for objects.
  • Finally, Know how to store your objects.
  • Choose the materials you use for display and storage carefully to ensure that they are archival and compatible with the objects. There are many suppliers of archival materials and the websites of many conservation organizations provide guidelines for selecting appropriate materials, along with additional references.
  • As you can tell from what I have said so far, there are many different types of art and cultural/heritage objects and materials. To go over the display and storage methods for all of them here would simply take too much time. But, for more information on other types of objects, you can take fun virtual tour on this website set up by CCI, called, “Preserving My Heritage”… … You can look up the types of objects/materials that you are dealing with in any particular case and find out about the specific display and storage information that type of object. But, the best way to find out about caring for your collections is by asking a conservator, directly about your specific project or situation. Don’t hesitate to ask anything. We are used to talking about conservation and are constantly evaluating current methods and materials in order to make sure we are preserving cultural objects in the best ways possible.
  • This is on the AIC website, listing brochures on caring for different types of materials. Only six are visible here but there are many more.
  • Just to clarify, the times that you DEFINITELY want to consult a conservator are: when you notice instability or changes in an object, such as a flaking surface or fading colors AND if you notice pest or mold damage. We can help arrest the issue and make recommendations for resolving it. We can also repair the damage or, at least reduce the impact.
  • Finally, here is a list of websites of conservation organizations and resources. Also, don’t forget to do a search for regional art conservation organizations and other national organizations if you do not live in North America.
  • , acknowledging the hard work put into the presentation by the staff at AIC.

Pfan jablonski2012 Pfan jablonski2012 Presentation Transcript

  • An Introduction to Art Conservation by Elizabeth Jablonski, M.A.C., CAPC, PA AIC Paintings Conservator and Owner Fine Art Paintings Conservation http://conservepaintings.com Tuesday, February 28 th , 2012 Professional Fine Art Network
  • I. Introduction to Art Conservation A. What is Art Conservation? B. What Do Conservators Do? II. Physical Care of Your Legacy A. Basic Preventive Care B. How Can You Preserve Your Art?
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  • I. Introduction to Art Conservation A. What is Art Conservation? B. What Do Conservators Do? II. Physical Care of Your Legacy A. Basic Preventive Care B. How Can You Preserve Your Art?
  • What is Art Conservation? Image courtesy of Julie Heath & Ann Creager, Lunder Conservation Center.
  • Photos courtesy of Samantha Springer (top left), the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (lower right), and the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation.
  • Inpainting an oil painting on canvas Photo courtesy of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation, by Lazlo Bodo.
  • Consolidating paint on an architectural interior at Shangri La Photo courtesy of Natasha Loeblich.
  • Consolidating paint on a mask from Papua, New Guinea Photo courtesy of Megan McFarlane.
  • Basket composed of organic materials Ceramics and glass are inorganic materials Photos courtesy of Winterthur Museum & Country Estate (right) & Julie Heath, Lunder Conservation Center (left).
  • Archaeological exploration of Sardis, Turkey Byzantine shop Photo by Dylan Smith, courtesy of Kate Cuffari.
  • Bathing a work of art on paper Photo courtesy of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation, by Lazlo Bodo.
  • Stabilization of a tapestry Photo courtesy of Christina Ritschel.
    • Before and after treatment images of a gelatin silver print
    Eugene Smith, “Three Generations of Welsh Miners,” 1950, gelatin silver print. Photos courtesy of Christina Finlayson and Paul Messier.
  • Furniture conservation treatment Photo courtesy of Brian Considine, The J. Paul Getty Museum.
  • Monitoring a natural history collection exhibit Photo courtesy of Tania Collas and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
  • Conservators assembling a Louise Nevelson outdoor sculpture Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, taken by Joe Mikuliak.
  • Photo courtesy of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation. Conservation Scientists
  • I. Introduction to Art Conservation A. What is Art Conservation? B. What Do Conservators Do? II. Physical Care of Your Legacy A. Basic Preventive Care B. How Can You Preserve Your Art?
  • Photos courtesy of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation. Lower left and right photos by Lazlo Bodo. What do conservators do?
    • Code of Ethics
    Photo courtesy of Corine Norman. Surface cleaning an Andy Warhol print
  • Code of Ethics of the Canadian Association of Professional Conservators
  • Six Primary Activities of Conservation:
    • Examination
    • Documentation
    • Treatment
    • Research
    • Education
    • Preventive Care
    Photo courtesy of Stephanie Oman.
    • Examination
    • Documentation
    • Treatment
    • Research
    • Education
    • Preventive Care
    Six Primary Activities of Conservation: Photo courtesy of the Art Conservation Department, Buffalo State College.
    • Examination
    • Documentation
    • Treatment
    • Research
    • Education
    • Preventive Care
    Photo courtesy of Julie Heath & Ann Creager, Lunder Conservation Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery. Six Primary Activities of Conservation:
  • Treatment images of a ceramic plate Photo courtesy of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation. Treated by Kate Cuffari.
    • Examination
    • Documentation
    • Treatment
    • Research
    • Education
    • Preventive Care
    Photo courtesy of Anya Shutov. Six Primary Activities of Conservation:
  • Surface cleaning a Pablo Picasso drawing Photo courtesy of Adam Novak.
  • Bathing two works of art on paper Photo courtesy of the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts.
  • Treatment of an engraved print from 1553 made up of 17 sheets of paper for a total of 15 feet in length Photo courtesy of the Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington.
  • Photo courtesy of Megan McFarlane. Consolidating paint on a mask from Papua, New Guinea
  • Photo courtesy of The Canadian Military Engineers Museum Consolidating paint on a painting on canvas
  • Reconstruction and compensation for loss of a ceramic pitcher Photo courtesy of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation, treated by Samantha Springer.
  • Sculptures by John Rogers, during treatment (above) and on display at the Luce Foundation Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum (below) Photo courtesy of Julie Heath, Lunder Conservation Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery.
    • Examination
    • Documentation
    • Treatment
    • Research
    • Education
    • Preventive Care
    Photo courtesy of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation. Six Primary Activities of Conservation:
  • Cross section of a paint sample from a historic dining room at Eppington, Chesterfield County, VA seen at 200x magnification in reflected visible light --How many layers do you see? Photo courtesy of Susan Buck.
    • Examination
    • Documentation
    • Treatment
    • Research
    • Education
    • Preventive Care
    Photo courtesy of Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation. Photo by Joyce Hill Stoner. Six Primary Activities of Conservation:
  • Teaching the public about art conservation at the Lunder Conservation Center, Smithsonian Institution Photo courtesy of Julie Heath, Lunder Conservation Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery.
  • Teaching the public about art conservation at the Lunder Conservation Center, Smithsonian Institution Photo courtesy of Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery.
  • Teaching the public about art conservation at the Lunder Conservation Center, Smithsonian Institution Photo courtesy of Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery.
    • Examination
    • Documentation
    • Treatment
    • Research
    • Education
    • Preventive Care
    Photo courtesy of Anya McDavis-Conway. Conservator measuring light levels Six Primary Activities of Conservation:
  • I. Introduction to Art Conservation A. What is Art Conservation? B. What Do Conservators Do? II. Physical Care of Your Legacy A. Basic Preventive Care B. How Can You Preserve Your Art?
  • Preventive Conservation Includes:
    • Proper handling
    • Packing and transport
    • Housing/storage
    • Monitoring the environment
    • Conducting surveys and assessments
    • Preparing for emergencies
    • Guidelines for use of artifact or collection
  • Photos courtesy of Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, The Joseph H. Hirshhorn Bequest, 1981. Photo by Chris Smith. Pablo Picasso’s Head of a Woman , a work on paper, damaged by light exposure
  • Insect damage on an historic carpet Photo courtesy of Lauren Cox.
  • Paper documents and American Civil War era swords damaged by Hurricane Katrina at Beauvoir, the Jefferson Davis residential library and home Photo courtesy of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation. Photo Debra Hess Norris.
  • Conducting condition survey of contemporary paintings in a museum collection Photo by Elizabeth Jablonski
  • I. Introduction to Art Conservation A. What is Art Conservation? B. What Do Conservators Do? II. Physical Care of Your Legacy A. Basic Preventive Care B. How Can You Preserve Your Art?
  • What can you do to care for your collections? Photo courtesy of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation. Photo by Lazlo Bodo.
  • Seven Steps To Preservation:
    • Minimize the effects of light.
    • 2. Provide stable, moderate relative humidity and temperature.
    • 3. Minimize the effects of air pollution.
    • 4. Minimize pest activity.
    • 5. Know how to handle your objects.
    • 6. Know how to display your objects.
    • 7. Know how to store your objects.
  • Seven Steps To Preservation:
    • Minimize the effects of light.
    • 2. Provide stable, moderate relative humidity and temperature.
    • 3. Minimize the effects of air pollution.
    • 4. Minimize pest activity.
    • 5. Know how to handle your objects.
    • 6. Know how to display your objects.
    • 7. Know how to store your objects.
  • Minimize the effects of light
    • The moccasin on
    • the left was light damaged while on display; the moccasin on the right has always been kept in storage
    Photo courtesy of the National Museum of American Indian, Smithsonian Institution. Photo by Kelly McHugh.
  • Seven Steps To Preservation:
    • Minimize the effects of light.
    • 2. Provide stable, moderate relative humidity and temperature.
    • 3. Minimize the effects of air pollution.
    • 4. Minimize pest activity.
    • 5. Know how to handle your objects.
    • 6. Know how to display your objects.
    • 7. Know how to store your objects.
  • Provide stable, moderate relative humidity and temperature Photo provided by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
  • … this can help monitor climate
  • Seven Steps To Preservation:
    • Minimize the effects of light.
    • 2. Provide stable, moderate relative humidity and temperature.
    • 3. Minimize the effects of air pollution.
    • 4. Minimize pest activity.
    • 5. Know how to handle your objects.
    • 6. Know how to display your objects.
    • 7. Know how to store your objects.
  • Minimize the effects of air pollution Photo courtesy of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation.
  • Seven Steps To Preservation:
    • Minimize the effects of light.
    • 2. Provide stable, moderate relative humidity and temperature.
    • 3. Minimize the effects of air pollution.
    • 4. Minimize pest activity.
    • 5. Know how to handle your objects.
    • 6. Know how to display your objects.
    • 7. Know how to store your objects.
  • Minimize pest activity Photo courtesy Paul Messier. Insect damage to a 19 th century photograph, anonymous photographer.
  • Seven Steps To Preservation:
    • Minimize the effects of light.
    • 2. Provide stable, moderate relative humidity and temperature.
    • 3. Minimize the effects of air pollution.
    • 4. Minimize pest activity.
    • 5. Know how to handle your objects.
    • 6. Know how to display your objects.
    • 7. Know how to store your objects.
  • Know how to handle your objects Photo courtesy of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation. Photo by Lazlo Bodo.
  • Seven Steps To Preservation:
    • Minimize the effects of light.
    • 2. Provide stable, moderate relative humidity and temperature.
    • 3. Minimize the effects of air pollution.
    • 4. Minimize pest activity.
    • 5. Know how to handle your objects.
    • 6. Know how to display your objects.
    • 7. Know how to store your objects.
  • Know how to display your objects Photo courtesy of Winterthur Museum & Country Estate.
  • Seven Steps To Preservation:
    • Minimize the effects of light.
    • 2. Provide stable, moderate relative humidity and temperature.
    • 3. Minimize the effects of air pollution.
    • 4. Minimize pest activity.
    • 5. Know how to handle your objects.
    • 6. Know how to display your objects.
    • 7. Know how to store your objects.
  • Know how to store your objects Photo courtesy of Jae Gutierrez.
  • How to care for your treasures… http://www.preservation.gc.ca/index-eng.asp
  • http://www.conservation-us.org/
  • Contact a Conservation Immediately If You Notice:
    • Mold or pest damage.
    • 2. Changes such as flaking, fading.
  • Conservation Resources Online
    • American Institute for Conservation: http://www.conservation-us.org/
    • 2. Canadian Conservation Institute: http://www.cci-icc.gc.ca/index-eng.aspx
    • 3. Preserving My Heritage: http://www.preservation.gc.ca/howto-comment/index-eng.asp
    • 4. Smithsonian Lunder Conservation Center: http://americanart.si.edu/lunder/
    • 5. Canadian Association of Professional Conservators: http://capc-acrp.ca/index.asp
    • Getty Conservation Institute: http://www.getty.edu/conservation/
    • Art Care: http://art-care.com
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    • All the individual and institutional members of AIC that contributed images to make this presentation possible.
    • Thanks to AIC 2008/2009 Public Outreach Lecture Task Force members Jae Gutierrez, Yadin Larochette, and Julie Heath for their work on this presentation.
    • Sincere thanks to Brett Rodgers of AIC for his contributions to the presentation.
  • Copyright © 2008 American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works 1156 15th Street NW, Suite 320 Washington, DC 20005 http://www.conservation-us.org/