An Introduction To Art Conservation

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A presentation created by the American Institute for Conservation on the conservation of art. http://www.conservation-us.org/

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An Introduction To Art Conservation

  1. 1. An Introduction to Art Conservation Prepared by the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works
  2. 2. Copyright © 2008 American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works 1156 15th Street NW, Suite 320 Washington, DC 20005
  3. 3. What is Art Conservation? Image courtesy of Julie Heath & Ann Creager, Lunder Conservation Center.
  4. 4. 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.
  5. 5. Inpainting an oil painting on canvas Photo courtesy of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation, by Lazlo Bodo.
  6. 6. Consolidating paint on an architectural interior at Shangri La Photo courtesy of Natasha Loeblich.
  7. 7. Consolidating paint on a mask from Papua, New Guinea Photo courtesy of Megan McFarlane.
  8. 8. 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).
  9. 9. Archaeological exploration of Sardis, Turkey Byzantine shop Photo by Dylan Smith, courtesy of Kate Cuffari.
  10. 10. Bathing a work of art on paper Photo courtesy of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation, by Lazlo Bodo.
  11. 11. Stabilization of a tapestry Photo courtesy of Christina Ritschel.
  12. 12. <ul><li>Before and after treatment images of a gelatin silver print </li></ul>Eugene Smith, “Three Generations of Welsh Miners,” 1950, gelatin silver print. Photos courtesy of Christina Finlayson and Paul Messier.
  13. 13. Furniture conservation treatment Photo courtesy of Brian Considine, The J. Paul Getty Museum.
  14. 14. Monitoring a natural history collection exhibit Photo courtesy of Tania Collas and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
  15. 15. Conservators assembling a Louise Nevelson outdoor sculpture Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, taken by Joe Mikuliak.
  16. 16. Photos courtesy of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation. Lower left and right photos by Lazlo Bodo. What do conservators do?
  17. 17. <ul><li>AIC’s Code of Ethics </li></ul>Photo courtesy of Corine Norman. Surface cleaning an Andy Warhol print
  18. 18. Six Primary Activities of Conservation: <ul><li>Examination </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Treatment </li></ul><ul><li>Preventive Care </li></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul>Photo courtesy of Stephanie Oman.
  19. 19. <ul><li>Examination </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Treatment </li></ul><ul><li>Preventive Care </li></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul>Six Primary Activities of Conservation: Photo courtesy of the Art Conservation Department, Buffalo State College.
  20. 20. Photos courtesy of Joyce Hill Stoner. An x-radiograph of N. C. Wyeth’s sketch for a family portrait revealed his 1919 illustration “The Mildest Mannered Man” in Everybody’s Magazine
  21. 21. <ul><li>Examination </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Treatment </li></ul><ul><li>Preventive Care </li></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul>Photo courtesy of Julie Heath & Ann Creager, Lunder Conservation Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery. Six Primary Activities of Conservation:
  22. 22. Treatment images of a ceramic plate Photo courtesy of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation. Treated by Kate Cuffari.
  23. 23. <ul><li>Examination </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Treatment </li></ul><ul><li>Preventive Care </li></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul>Photo courtesy of Anya Shutov. Six Primary Activities of Conservation:
  24. 24. Surface cleaning a Pablo Picasso drawing Photo courtesy of Adam Novak.
  25. 25. Bathing two works of art on paper Photo courtesy of the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts.
  26. 26. 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.
  27. 27. Photo courtesy of Megan McFarlane. Consolidating paint on a mask from Papua, New Guinea
  28. 28. 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.
  29. 29. 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.
  30. 30. <ul><li>Examination </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Treatment </li></ul><ul><li>Preventive Care </li></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul>Photo courtesy of Anya McDavis-Conway. Conservator measuring light levels Six Primary Activities of Conservation:
  31. 31. Preventive Conservation Includes: <ul><li>Proper handling </li></ul><ul><li>Packing and transport </li></ul><ul><li>Housing/storage </li></ul><ul><li>Monitoring the environment </li></ul><ul><li>Conducting surveys and assessments </li></ul><ul><li>Preparing for emergencies </li></ul><ul><li>Guidelines for use of artifact or collection </li></ul>
  32. 32. 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 damaged by light exposure
  33. 33. Insect damage on an historic carpet Photo courtesy of Lauren Cox.
  34. 34. 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.
  35. 35. <ul><li>Examination </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Treatment </li></ul><ul><li>Preventive Care </li></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul>Photo courtesy of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation. Six Primary Activities of Conservation:
  36. 36. Cross section of a paint sample from a historic dining room at Eppington, Chesterfield County, VA seen at 200x magnification in reflected visible light Photo courtesy of Susan Buck.
  37. 37. <ul><li>Examination </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Treatment </li></ul><ul><li>Preventive Care </li></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul>Photo courtesy of Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation. Photo by Joyce Hill Stoner. Six Primary Activities of Conservation:
  38. 38. 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.
  39. 39. 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.
  40. 40. Seven Steps To Preservation: <ul><li>Minimize the effects of light. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Provide stable, moderate relative humidity and temperature. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Minimize the effects of air pollution. </li></ul><ul><li>4. Minimize pest activity. </li></ul><ul><li>5. Know how to handle your objects. </li></ul><ul><li>6. Know how to display your objects. </li></ul><ul><li>7. Know how to store your objects. </li></ul>
  41. 41. Minimize the effects of light <ul><li>The moccasin on </li></ul><ul><li>the left was light damaged while on display; the moccasin on the right has always been kept in storage </li></ul>Photo courtesy of the National Museum of American Indian, Smithsonian Institution. Photo by Kelly McHugh.
  42. 42. Provide stable, moderate relative humidity and temperature Photo provided by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
  43. 43. Minimize the effects of air pollution Photo courtesy of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation.
  44. 44. Minimize pest activity Photo courtesy Paul Messier. Insect damage to a 19 th century photograph, anonymous photographer.
  45. 45. Know how to handle your objects Photo courtesy of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation. Photo by Lazlo Bodo.
  46. 46. Know how to display your objects Photo courtesy of Winterthur Museum & Country Estate.
  47. 47. Know how to store your objects Photo courtesy of Jae Gutierrez.
  48. 48. <ul><li>www.conservation-us.org </li></ul><ul><li>(202) 452.9545 • info@conservation-us.org </li></ul>How to find a conservator…
  49. 49. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS <ul><li>Many thanks to all the individual and institutional members of AIC that contributed images to make this presentation possible. </li></ul><ul><li>Thanks to AIC 2008/2009 Public Outreach Lecture Task Force members Jae Gutierrez, Yadin Larochette, and Julie Heath for their work on this presentation. </li></ul><ul><li>Sincere thanks to Brett Rodgers of AIC for his contributions to the project. </li></ul>

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