2020 AIC Virtual Annual Meeting: May and June Sessions

Recorded On: 05/21/2020

Join us for AIC's 48th Annual Meeting, now held virtually online. 


Register today to engage with over a hundred hours of professional presentations on conservation issues, techniques, and advances.

  • Student members need to use a special discount code to register at the student rate.
  • If you cannot register using the link above, use our printable, fillable registration form below. Please email, if possible, as we are still under work-from-home orders. You can use this form for group registrations as well. 

image AIC Virtual Meeting Registration Form


  • They are planned by topic or specialty and will include posters with individual presentations and discussion.
  • They are scheduled from May through August.
  • The schedule of individual presentations are in two-hour blocks and take place from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
  • They will include two to four talks or panels. Individual presentations are not each two hours long. They will just each take place within that block of time.
  • They are listed in the Content tab above.
  • They are not visible through a mobile device or tablet in either live or recorded format. You must use a desktop or laptop to access. 
  • They will be available for viewing by registrants until the end of the calendar year. 

Meeting Theme

This meeting's theme is “Conservation: Reactive and Proactive.” We work in a rapidly changing world. Globally, the economy is volatile, the marketplace demanding, and the negative impact of climate change looms large in conservation. Many collecting institutions have shifted their priorities to preventive conservation for collections and interactive learning in exhibitions, which can decrease emphasis on traditional conservation treatment and the supremacy of original display materials. Conservation professionals are drawing from a wide skill set to respond to these challenges in creative and productive ways. From offering conservation services that go beyond treatment, to focusing on sustainability, to utilizing materials science and technical art history in public education, our field is adapting and evolving. In 2020, we’ll explore ways we can anticipate and embrace change. How are you meeting your biggest challenges? Please join us to share your triumphs and reflect on areas for growth.



Bruker Corporation

Virtual Meet & Greet: June 17, 22, 30; July 13; August 27
5465 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711 USA
Contact: Kodi Morton
Ph: 608-276-3017 Fx: 608-276-3006
Email: kodi.morton@bruker.com
Website: www.bruker.com

Bruker is one of the world’s leading analytical instrumentation companies. We cover a broad spectrum of advanced solutions in all fields of research and development. Bruker’s innovative methods and non-destructive analytical techniques help to protect and preserve artifacts and historical monuments all over the world.


205 Mount Auburn St., Watertown, MA 02472 USA
Contact: Bruno Goppion, Ted Paschkis
Ph: 617-297-2546 Fx: 617-848-2641
Email: bgoppion@goppion-us.com, tpaschkis@goppion-us.com
Website: www.goppion.com 

Goppion designs, develops, builds, and installs state-of-the-art display cases and museum installations. We work with curators, designers, and conservators to resolve all exhibition display-related issues with engineering solutions. Our tradition of innovation is sustained by our collaborations with our clients, including some of the most highly regarded architects, designers, and cultural institutions throughout the world.


Tru Vue, Inc.

Virtual Meet & Greet: August 20
9400 West 55th St., Countryside, IL 60525 USA
Contact: Yadin Larochette
Ph: 312-758-3737 Fx: 708-854-2660
Email: ylarochette@tru-vue.com
Website: tru-vue.com/museums-collections 

“Take 5” with Tru Vue and Discover a Thing or Two
An overview of “Take 5”, an on demand webinar, where Tru Vue aspires to give you a short break from your day and provide you with five minutes of what we hope is educational, or at least interesting, information! Covering a variety of different topics, some of these five minutes are on subjects directly related to glazing and Tru Vue manufacturing; others are more broadly situated in the arts and heritage world.

With nearly 50 years of proven protection and preservation, Tru Vue fine art acrylic and glass solutions, including Optium Museum Acrylic and UltraVue Laminated Glass, are trusted by conservation and fine art professionals to protect and display the most celebrated artworks in the world. We work closely with the museum community to develop products that meet superior aesthetic and conservation standards. For more information visit our website: www.tru-vue.com/museums-collections


Atlas Preservation Inc.

122 Spring St., Ste. B1, Southington, CT 06489 USA
Contact: Jonathan W. Appell
Ph: 806-558-2785
Email: sales@atlaspreservation.com
Website: atlaspreservation.com 

Atlas Preservation, Inc. was conceived based on the need for a one stop source for all monument restoration supplies. Our mission quickly expanded to include many other fields relating to conservation & historic preservation. such as products for metal conservation, historic window repair, modern stone working, and more. Jonathan Appell is the founder of Atlas Preservation Inc., with over 30 years of experience he has personally conserved some of the oldest dated stones in America. He also performs the majority of historic gravestone preservation workshops throughout America.

Foster + Freeman USA, Inc.

Virtual Meet & Greet: June 29; July 14
46030 Manekin Plaza, Ste. 170, Sterling, VA 20166 USA
Contact: David Tobin
Ph: 888-445-5048 Fx: 888-445-5049
Email:  usoffice@fosterfreeman.com
Website: www.fosterfreeman.com 

Manufacturer of the Video Spectral Comparator (or “VSC”) range of instruments for examining documents, paintings, and similar items. Sophisticated optics and specialized lighting allow viewing at various magnifications, throughout the UV, visible and infrared wavebands. Images are easily captured, analyzed and compared via the user-friendly software. Now with 3D-imaging to help reveal the topography of a surface. Sponsoring: BPG Session.

G.C. Laser Systems, Inc.

Virtual Meet & Greet: June 8, 23; August 31
900 S. Des Plaines Ave., Forest Park, IL 60130 USA
Contact: Magdalena Dajnowski
Ph: 844-532-10641 Fx: 773-353-8699
Email: magdalena@gclasers.com
Website: www.gclasers.com 

G.C. Laser Systems, Inc. designs and builds unique laser systems specifically for art and architecture conservation. Our compact and portable systems, such as the GC-1, offer unmatched precision and control over the level of cleaning. We also offer custom built laser cleaning solutions and laser cleaning training. 

Hollinger Metal Edge, Inc.

9401 Northeast Drive, Fredericksburg, VA 22408 USA
Contact: Bob Henderson
Ph: 800-634-0491 Fx: 800-947-8814
Email: info@hollingermetaledge.com
Website: www.hollingermetaledge.com 

Hollinger Metal Edge, Inc. has been the leading supplier of archival storage products for Conservators, Museums, Government and Institutional Archives, Historical Societies, Libraries, Universities, Galleries and Private Collectors for over 65 years. Famous for The Hollinger Box – the metal edged gray document cases that fill the shelves of thousands of organizations, we offer a wide variety of box styles made with various appropriate materials to store any collectible. We also supply conservation materials, inert polyester, polypropylene and Tyvek products, archival folders, buffered and unbuffered envelopes, Permalife bond papers, and buffered and unbuffered tissue paper. Hollinger Metal Edge manufactures custom orders on a daily basis and is committed to educational support for preservation workshops. Please contact us regarding your workshop, and we will provide free catalogs and samples as required.

Kremer Pigments, Inc.

247-C West 29th St., Frnt. 1, New York, NY 10001 USA
Contact: Roger Carmona
Ph: 212-219-2394 Fx: 212-219-2395
Email: roger@kremerpigments.com
Website: www.kremerpigments.com 

For over 40 years, Kremer Pigments continues to research, produce, and procure the highest quality pigments and raw materials for all types of historical fine arts recipes. Dr. Georg Kremer began making pigments in 1977 by producing Smalt--a 19th century cobalt-based synthetic blue. His inventory of pigments has grown steadily year by year and continues to grow with the most recent mineral pigment, Thulit. Conservators, gilders, decorative painters, luthiers, dyers, and all manner of artists rely on Kremer Pigments to supply hard-to-find ingredients for their specific needs. Today, Kremer Pigments NYC is the only store outside of Germany to carry the full inventory of over 1,000 historical raw materials. 


7F, No. 91, Xinhu 1st Rd., Neihu District, Taipei 114 Taiwan
Contact: Ranganath Varma
Tel: +886 2-2796-8909       
Fax: +886 2-2796-8910
Email: varma@nanoray.com
Website: www.artxray.net; www.nanoray.com 

NanoRay, headquartered in Taiwan, has pioneered the design and development of Transmission X-Ray technology for its application in Non-Destructive Testing – Automated Art Inspection. NanoRay has successfully developed a portfolio of intelligent Automated Art X-Ray Inspection solutions, with patented Transmission X-Ray Technology, to help in preventive maintenance, restoration and research of art objects like Paintings, Sculptures, Relics, artifacts, etc., and ensure the safe keep of priceless heritage of mankind.

TandD US, LLC.

534 N. Guadalupe St., Unit 32886, Santa Fe, NM 87501 USA
Contact: Steve Knuth
Ph: 518-669-9227
Email: sbknuth@tandd.com
Website: www.tandd.com 

T&D Corporation manufactures a complete line of network connected and stand-alone Data Loggers that are optimized for automated, error free data collection, remote monitoring and warning notification. T&D’s products offer an extensive array of connectivity options including loggers with built-in network interfaces, wireless handheld data shuttles, network and cellular gateways, and even BlueTooth interfaces for direct connection to smart phones and tablets. Developed specifically for Museum and Archive applications, T&D produces 4 in 1 loggers that record Temperature, Humidity, Illuminance, and Ultra Violet light, that also maintain internal running exposure totals. T&D offers an exceptional value proposition to its customers through its completely free WebStorage Service. T&D Corporation, the world’s leading supplier of wireless data loggers, is headquartered in Matsumoto Japan, and has been engaged in the design, development and manufacture of high reliability, high quality electronic measurement systems since 1986.

University Products, Inc.

PO Box 101, Holyoke, MA 01041 USA
Contact: John A. Dunphy
Ph: 413-532-3372 Fx: 800-532-9281
Email: jadunphy@universityproducts.com
Website: www.universityproducts.com 

University Products, the leading supplier of conservation tools, equipment and archival storage enclosures, provides a variety of new tools and equipment for conservation.  Working with our international partners, Preservation Equipment (PEL) in Europe and Marco Polo in Mexico, University Products selection of tools and equipment is the most complete selection of products specifically designed for AIC members.



5718 Airport Freeway, Haltom City, TX 76117 USA
Contact: Matt Jaroma
Ph: 313-320-1877
Email: mjaroma@bmscat.com
Website: www.bmscat.com 

BMS CAT offers restoration and reconstruction services to customers all over the world. Over the years, we have helped thousands of clients recover from disasters – both big and small. By providing recovery services to mitigate fire, water and storm damage, we help reestablish businesses and restore communities. When Mother Nature or man-made accidents strike, we are there for you with a full range of disaster recovery and restoration services. Founded in 1948, our company has the experience, equipment and people to handle any size restoration job.

Conservation by Design

2 Wolseley Rd., Kempston, Bedford, MK42 7AD United Kingdom
Contact: Lesley Jones
Ph: 011-44-(0)1234-846333
Email: lesley.jones@cxdinternational.com
Website: www.cxdinternational.com 

Conservation by Design is a part of an international group of complimentary companies dedicated to working with conservators from museums, galleries, libraries and archives around the world, in the protection of our cultural heritage. We believe in a holistic approach to conservation, understanding the essential value of “joined-up” thinking, in the development of innovative solutions that enable the long-term display, storage and survival of valuable materials.

Crystalizations Systems, Inc.

1401 Lincoln Ave., Holbrook, NY 11741 USA
Contact: Patricia Ellenwood
Ph: 631-467-0090 Fx: 631-467-0061
Email: info@csistorage.com
Website: www.csistorage.com 

CSI’s newest innovations, the secure and eminently maneuverable Transporter 101 and 201, arrive fully assembled and are changing how conservators move collections and exhibitions, room to room, gallery to gallery and location to location. CSI has manufactured storage solutions for leading museums, galleries, and private collections since 1976. All CSI storage systems, including Moving Painting, Rolled Textile and PerfectFit Kits, incorporate the masterful application of superior design, quality aluminum materials and aerospace engineering manufacturing techniques.

Gaylord Archival

PO Box 4901, Syracuse, NY 13212 USA
Contact: Ronda Buck
Ph: 800-448-6160 Fx: 800-272-3412
Email: sales@gaylord.com
Website: www.gaylord.com 

Visit Gaylord Archival to see our new and innovative Frank Showcase System! It’s the first patented, fully demountable acrylic showcase system in the world—it ships flat! Let us help you bring your exhibit to life with our unparalleled selection of cases, as well as everything you need to prepare, install, display and protect your collections. If you are looking for something specific, we offer unlimited options for customization. We also carry a comprehensive selection of preservation products and conservation materials, many of which are handcrafted at our headquarters, so we can respond quickly to your custom requirements. Our wide array of museum-quality cabinets, art storage systems and flat files address your long-term storage needs. To maintain your storage environment, look to Gaylord Archival for environmental controls and monitoring devices that will suit any need or budget. Learn more about our products by visiting our website.

Onset HOBO Data Loggers

470 McArthur Blvd., Bourne, MA 05232 USA
Contact: Sean Kelly
Ph: 508-743-3155
Email: sean_kelly@onsetcomp.com
Website: www.onsetcomp.com 

Used in museums, archives, and exhibit spaces worldwide, Onset’s award-winning Bluetooth-enabled HOBO temperature and humidity data loggers protect irreplaceable objects, including the best-surviving copy of the Magna Carta, which was on display to commemorate the document’s 800-year anniversary. And with the new MX Gateway, users can remotely manage data, receive alarm notifications via email or text, and create custom dashboards in HOBOlink, Onset’s cloud software. Based on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Onset has been designing and manufacturing its products on site since the company’s founding in 1981.

Opus Instruments (Atik Cameras)

Virtual Meet & Greet: June 15; July 23
Unit 8 Lodge Farm Barns, New Rd., Norwich, Norfolk NR9 3LZ United Kingdom
Contact: Catherine Wilkinson
Ph: 011-44-(0)1603-740397
Email: hello@opusinstruments.com
Website: www.opusinstruments.com 

Opus Instruments are the team behind the world’s leading cameras for Infrared Reflectography. The renowned Apollo camera has been used to examine hundreds of artworks at leading institutions, galleries and auction houses around the globe, making notable contributions within the fields of both art conservation and art history.  Apollo allows you to capture and explore infrared reflectographs in more depth and detail than ever before.

Prairie Paper, University of Illinois, Library

1408 West Gregory Dr., Rm 425, Urbana, IL 61801 USA
Contact: Jennifer Hain Teper
Ph: 217-244-5689
Email: jhain@illinois.edu
Website: freshpress.studio/prairiepaper 

Prairie Paper is a sustainable option for conservation and the fine arts, ideal for case bindings, printable, and available in multiple weights. All papers have a relatively stable pH and minimal color change after artificial aging. Our carbon footprint is significantly lower than traditional paper-making studios from using locally sourced ingredients, solar powered studios, and high-efficiency stoves for cooking fibers.

REL, Inc.

57640 North Eleventh St., Calumet, MI 49913 USA
Contact: Robert Sturos
Ph: 906-337-3018 Fx: 906-337-2930
Email: robert.sturos@relinc.net
Website: www.relinc.com 

REL is an Original Equipment Manufacturer located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. REL has inherent knowledge of material deformation, energy absorption and machining. This understanding allows REL to design, develop, and manufacture the most severely tested, inspection products on the market. REL’s product line consists of the most space efficient FPI systems and highly engineered LED lighting solutions for Non-Destructive Evaluation.


Virtual Meet & Greet: July 9; August 3
19 Butternut St., Greenfield, MA 01301 USA
Contact: Michael Dunphy
Ph: 413-772-0889 Fx: 413-773-7386
Email: mdunphy@smallcorp.com
Website: www.smallcorp.com 

SmallCorp manufactures products for the display, conservation and storage of works of art, textiles and objects. Our frames and display cases figure prominently in museum and corporate collections. SmallCorp customers include picture framers, galleries, art conservators and related institutions, and professionals.

Studio Arts College International

454 W. 19th St., New York, NY 10011 USA
Contact: Racini Aranda
Ph: 212-248-7225  Fx: 212-248-7222
Email: raranda@saci-florence.edu
Website: saci-florence.edu 

Studio Arts College International (SACI) is more than an opportunity to study abroad in Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), SACI offers a wide range of innovative, hands-on graduate and undergraduate programs in traditional and contemporary studio arts, design, conservation, art history, and Italian language and culture. Programs integrate diverse disciplines and emphasize the essential role of art and design in how we shape and sustain our planet both socially and environmentally.


Applied Surface Technologies

15 Hawthorne Drive, New Providence, NJ 07974 USA
Contact: Robert Sherman
Ph: 908-464-6675
Email: roberts@co2clean.com
Website: www.co2clean.com 

Applied Surface Technologies will demonstrate CO2 Snow Cleaning as applied to cleaning and restoring art. We will demonstrate the CO2 Snow Cleaning units, with and without heated compressed air about the CO2 snow stream, for cleaning different materials and items. CO2 snow can remove soot, hydrocarbon oils, fingerprints, dust, particles of all sizes, polishing residues and more. Examples shown include fingerprints on a polymer structure, polishing and wax residues, soot and, more.

Barnett Technical Services

Virtual Meet & Greet: July 9; August 19
5050 Laguna Blvd., Ste. 112-620, Elk Grove, CA 95758 USA
Contact: Steve Barnett
Ph: 916-549-4423
Email: info@barnett-technical.com
Website: barnett-technical.com 

Supplier of Micro Support bench top micromanipulators for precise micro-sampling on a scale that is invisible to the naked eye.  We also supply larger systems to assist with restoration.  Our systems include probes, knives, and scrapers to facilitate chemical analysis or cleaning. Systems can be full micromanipulators with arms or individual arms for sampling on larger works.

Carestream Non-Destructive Testing

Virtual Meet & Greet: June 15, 17; July 2
150 Verona St., Rochester, NY 14608 USA
Contact: Stephen Pflanz
Ph: 585-627-6705; Cell: 585-230-0972
Email: stephen.pflanz@carestream.com
Website: www.carestream.com/nondestructivetesting.html 

Carestream NDT is a worldwide provider of X-ray imaging systems used by Art Conservatories around the world. Products include digital computed radiography (CR) systems, digital radiography (DR) systems, imaging plates, cassettes, DICONDE archiving, conventional film & chemicals, automatic film processing equipment and accessories. Our innovative solutions enable our customers’ success and reveal critical information on priceless works of art and artifacts. Our award-winning products keep conservators at the forefront of technological advancements in art imaging.

CoLibrì System

8616 La Tijera Blvd., Ste. 512, Los Angeles, CA 90045 USA
Contact: Tommaso Garavaglia
Ph: 415-746-0867
Email: garavaglia@colibrisystem.com
Website: www.colibriusa.com 

The CoLibrì Cover System offers the most advanced, highest quality book covering system available worldwide. Our easy and innovative system allows any type and size of book to be covered with the touch of a button. The system consists of a simple desktop machine and polyethylene covers. This carefully designed system is the simplest and most practical book covering system available.

Dorfman Museum Figures, Inc.

6224 Holabird Ave., Baltimore, MD 21224 USA
Contact: Chad Grob
Ph: 410-284-3248 Fx: 410-284-3249
Email: chad@museumfigures.com
Website: www.museumfigures.com 

Dorfman Museum Figures, Inc. is the leader in creating three-dimensional Ethafoam Conservation Forms for archival display and storage of your artifact garments. Choose between our full Economy Ethafoam Man and Woman, Dress and Suit Forms, Classic Forms, Storage Hat Mounts, Conservation Hangers, and more. In addition to our standard product line, we can create custom Ethafoam forms to fit specific needs.

Getty Conservation Institute

1200 Getty Center Dr., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90049 USA
Contact: Anna Zagorski
Ph: 310-440-7325
Email: azagorski@getty.edu
Website: www.getty.edu/conservation 

Getty - On Canvas: Preserving the Structure of Paintings by Stephen Hackney https://www.getty.edu/conserva...

The Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) works internationally to advance conservation practice in the visual arts—broadly interpreted to include objects, collections, architecture, and sites. The Institute serves the conservation community through scientific research, education and training, field projects, and the dissemination of information. In all its endeavors, the GCI creates and delivers knowledge that contributes to the conservation of the world's cultural heritage.

Getty Publications

Virtual Meet & Greet: July 2, 23, 28; August 10
1200 Getty Center Dr., Ste. 500, Los Angeles, CA 90049 USA
Contact: Kimberley Westad
Ph: 310-440-7506 Fx: 310-440-7758
Email: kwestad@getty.edu
Website: www.getty.edu/publications 

Exhibitor Meet & GreetTopic: GCI/Getty Publication

Museum Lighting: A Guide for Conservators and Curators by David Saunders


Getty Publications produces award-winning titles that result from or complement the work of the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Research Institute. This wide variety of books covers the fields of art, photography, archaeology, architecture, conservation, and the humanities for both the general public and specialists.

Hiromi Paper, Inc.

9469 Jefferson Blvd., Ste. 117, Culver City, CA 90232 USA
Contact: Yuki & Hiromi Katayama
Ph: 310-998-0098 Fx: 310-998-0028
Email: yuki@hiromipaper.com
Website: www.hiromipaper.com 

Specializing in papers from Japan and around the World since 1988, Hiromi Paper, Inc. has been devoted to the creation of a greater rapport between Japanese papermakers, conservators, printers, artists, and bookmakers, while developing new directions and a deeper understanding of Japanese papers or WASHI. We not only strive to support papermakers and the traditions, but to also grow with the present and future needs of the people that use the papers.

Hirox-USA, Inc.

100 Commerce Way, Ste. 4, Hackensack, NJ 07601 USA
Contact: Edvina Bassano
Ph: 201-342-2600 Ext 205 Fx: 201-342-7322
Email: info@hirox-usa.com
Website: www.hirox-usa.com 

Hirox is the pioneer of 3D Digital Microscope System. Our digital microscope system is a versatile tool for measurement, recording, and see things “as they truly are.” Hirox’s high-quality optical and lighting designs allow a magnification range of 0x-10,000x, live focus, and real-time 2D/3D tiling with an automated XY stage.

Huntington T. Block Insurance Agency, Inc.

Virtual Meet & Greet: July 16, 27; August 17
1120 20th St. NW, Ste. 600, Washington, DC 20036 USA
Contact: Ever Song
Ph: 202-429-8506 Fx: 312-381-0698
Email: ever_song@aon.com
Website: www.huntingtontblock.com 

The American Institute for Conservation (AIC) and Huntington T. Block Insurance Agency, Inc. (HTB) have partnered to provide AIC’s members with the Conservator’s Insurance Program – an insurance solution customized to your unique exposures.

Jack Richeson & Co.

557 Marcella St., Kimberly, WI 54136 USA
Contact: Chrissy Stuczynski
Ph: 920-738-0744 Fx: 920-738-9156
Email: chrissys@richesonart.com
Website: richesonart.com 

Jack Richeson & Co. is a manufacturer of fine art materials and BEST stretcher bars. We are dedicated to ensuring that you receive a quality product that is always in stock with on-time shipments and superior customer service. BEST museum quality stretcher bars are available in six profiles from 8" to 144". Every bar is selected from the finest raw materials and must be free of knots and completely straight.

Middleton Spectral Vision

8505 University Green, Middleton, WI 53562 USA
Contact: Chris Draves
Ph: 608-831-2141  Fx: 608 831 3076
Email: chris.draves@middletonspectral.com
Website: www.middletonspectral.com 

Middleton Spectral Vision is an innovative company specializing in hyperspectral imaging and spectroscopy. Art and cultural heritage are an important area of interest to us. Hyperspectral imaging is a proven technique for looking at underdrawings in paintings, color analysis, and chemical composition. We seek to develop easy to use systems that deliver high-quality images along with powerful analysis software to assist in the understanding of valuable works of art.

MuseuM Services Corporation

385 Bridgepoint Way, South St. Paul, MN 55075 USA
Contact: Linda Butler
Ph: 651-450-8954 Fx: 651-554-9217
Email: info@museumservicescorporation.com
Website: www.museumservicescorporation.com 

MuseuM Services Corporation would like to thank the art conservation community for its support in this, our 40th anniversary year. MuseuM Services Corporation remains committed to safely and efficiently serving you with equipment, supplies and services.  Please check out our newly launched website and call or email us with your conservation equipment and supply needs.

National Center for Preservation Technology & Training (NCPTT)

645 University Parkway, Natchitoches, LA 71457 USA
Contact: Jason Church
Ph: 318-356-7444 Fx: 318-356-9119
Email: jason_church@contractor.nps.gov
Website: www.ncptt.nps.gov 

The National Park Service’s National Center for Preservation Technology and Training protects America’s historic legacy by equipping professionals in the field of historic preservation with progressive technology-based research and training. Since its founding in 1994, NCPTT has awarded over $7 million in grants for research that fulfills its mission of advancing the use of science and technology in the fields of archaeology, architecture, landscape architecture and materials conservation.

NEDCC | Northeast Document Conservation Center

100 Brickstone Square., Andover, MA 01810 USA
Contact: Bill Veillette
Ph: 978-470-1010 Fx: 978-470-6021
Email: info@nedcc.org
Website: www.nedcc.org 

Founded in 1973, NEDCC | Northeast Document Conservation Center specializes in the preservation of paper-based materials for cultural institutions, government agencies, and private collections. NEDCC serves clients nationwide, providing conservation treatment for book, photograph, and paper collections, including works of art on paper, Asian art, and oversize works. NEDCC provides digital imaging, audio preservation, assessments, consultations, training, and disaster assistance, and is a trusted resource for preservation information worldwide.

Print File, Inc.

1846 S. Orange Blossom Trl., Apopka, FL 32703 USA
Contact: Gene Amoroso
Ph: 407-886-3100 Fx: 407-886-0008
Email: gene@printfile.com
Website: www.printfile.com 

Print File Archival Storage at www.printfile.com, is your complete source for innovative product solutions that include traditional or digital photographic presentation and storage needs as well as the lowest prices on all document and paper-borne storage materials. With Print File’s expertise, spanning more than 50 years, institutions have been using Print File products in housing their valuable collections and archives. Print File’s commitment to deliver only the highest quality products throughout the world has established our reputation as the world leader in museum quality storage. Print File Archival Storage will continue to be your partner in preserving the memories of yesterday, for the appreciation of tomorrow’s generations.

RH Conservation Engineering

“Meakins Rise” 16 Meakins Rd., Flinders, Victoria 3929, Australia
Contact: Robin Hodgson
Ph: 011-61-419-892919
Email: rhe@rhconservationeng.com
Website: www.rhconservationeng.com 

Established in 1991 by conservator Robin Hodgson, RH Conservation Engineering is a research driven supplier of the most innovative, technically advanced and aesthetically pleasing equipment available, providing consistent quality results in the conservation of human artistic and cultural heritage. Many of the materials and manufacturing techniques used in our equipment come from the aerospace, electronics, and advanced manufacturing industries.


Virtual Meet & Greet: June 16; August 17
1450 Janesville Ave., Fort Atkinson, WI 53538 USA
Contacts: Ben Adamitus
Ph: 920-563-0782
Email: badamitus@spacesaver.com
Website: www.spacesaver.com 

Protect the past and prepare for the future with reconfigurable museum cabinets, shelving, art screens, compactors, and more. Spacesaver's engineers and project managers team up with your local distributor to provide design assistance, installation, and maintenance for any collections care space, large or small. Call 800-255-8170 to arrange a free on-site consultation or visit us at Spacesaver.com.


330 Morgan Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11211 USA
Contacts: Jacob Salik
Ph: 212-219-0770
Email: jake@talasonline.com
Website: www.talasonline.com 

Bookbinding, Conservation and Archival supplies. Visit our website to see our most recent catalogs and featured new products.

Zarbeco, LLC

Virtual Meet & Greet: July 7; August 6
52 Main St., Ste. 1, Succassunna, NJ 07876 USA
Contact: Meryl Zweig
Ph: 973-933-2043 Fx: 973-933-2336
Email: mzweig@zarbeco.com
Website: www.zarbeco.com 

We will be presenting our MiScope Megapixel MP3 and our new “premium plus” MiScope Megapixel MP4K. These USB 3 powered devices are portable, lightweight, have a small footprint, and are available for every budget. Their micron level resolution, excellent color accuracy and included precision measurement software with patented calibration tools will improve your process and documentation to image and record the finest details and color pigments for your own purposes or to share with colleagues, or customers. We will demonstrate how the MiScope can be used for art conservation and restoration to image book and paper, photographs, fabric, paintings, objects, historic buildings, sculptures, and anywhere you want to image for damages, to compare and match pigments, or to look to see if something is an original or a copy. Proudly designed and built in New Jersey since 2001.


Thursday, May 21st: Keynote Address and Opening General Session
Opening General Session Slides - Combined
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Select the Download button to download slides from the following talks presented in the Opening General Session: No More "Behind the Scenes": How Word Choice Matters in Presenting Collection Stewardship / Rebecca Fifield Navigating Change Through the Practices of Care / Pip Laurenson Considerations for the Future of African Collections / Dana Moffett Something Has to Give: Reworking Science Curriculum in Conservation Training / Chris McGlinchey Delivering Values: Always in All Ways / Robert Waller and Catharine Hawks
Keynote Address: NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede
05/21/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  25 minutes
05/21/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  25 minutes
No More "Behind the Scenes": How Word Choice Matters in Presenting Collection Stewardship / Rebecca Fifield
05/21/2020 at 1:40 PM (EDT)   |  10 minutes
05/21/2020 at 1:40 PM (EDT)   |  10 minutes Behind-the-scenes” is often used to describe conservation and collections work that takes place in labs and storerooms. Websites and public programs that highlight conservation work often pair “behind-the-scenes” with the words “exclusive,” “VIP”, “special access,” and “Members Only”. Development colleagues may use behind-the-scenes to instill excitement and higher levels of patronage, but this concept runs counter to missions focused on public outreach. Does “behind-the-scenes” open doors, or does it just draw attention to the fact we often work behind locked doors? We may unwittingly deter support for conservation by creating an air of exclusivity and gatekeeperism around the less visible work we do. Strengthening our engagement strategies is possible by avoiding words that create roadblocks to inclusion. Gatekeeping terminology can foil connections we need to establish relevance, diversity, and inclusion as conservation prepares to meet the future. This can hamper conservation’s role in capital planning, community outreach, funding, and the ability to attract conservation and preservation-focused donors. Proactive conservation is built on engagement with greater social goals, including climate change, sustainability, and emergency preparedness. Conservator outreach has reached thrilling levels; avoiding “behind-the-scenes” language invites the public to deeper engagement with our challenges, successes, and meaningful stewardship stories.
Navigating Change Through the Practices of Care / Pip Laurenson
05/21/2020 at 1:50 PM (EDT)   |  10 minutes
05/21/2020 at 1:50 PM (EDT)   |  10 minutes In a room at Tate Liverpool sits a circle of people with one thing in common. Through their different forms of practice, they are all actively engaged in the care of an artwork, an experimental sound and film installation, Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain by Tony Conrad (1940 –2016). In the center are the ‘transmitters’ of the work that was first performed in 1972 and with them the group of musicians who had just played the work live for the first time. Gathered around are conservators, curators, registrars, technicians and a couple of academic observers. The work had just been performed working only from a ‘dossier’ of information that drew on the knowledge of the work’s ‘transmitters’ that, in their different ways, continue to support Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain and the artist’s legacy. Gently the conversation examined what had been conveyed and what had been lost in the transmission of this work, with the exchange focusing on the ‘embedded know how’ of those assembled. One of the ‘transmitters’ read from her diary about her experience of playing of the piece: ‘My arm hurt, I wanted to stop but I was so worried that if I did I just wouldn’t be able to start again’. After all the preparation: (the readying of equipment and prints; the assembling of spaces, people; the testing; the shipping; the building; the unpacking; the tuning of instruments; the checking; the documenting) the performing all of these practices demonstrated the close attention to the specificity of the human and non-human material that makes up this work. Whilst the week culminated in a second public performance of the work, what had also been performed was conservation as a social activity involving people and things which extend far beyond the museum, and also conservation and its associated practices as practices of care. To witness this care was deeply moving. This story has resonance in the programs of museums all over the globe and making it visible connects our practices to a growing literature from Science and Technology Studies and Anthropology, about the meaning and politics of care. Care is as much about what we neglect as what we care for. Caring builds value, and not caring signals what we consider worthless. Our practices shape the object of our care as well as produce knowledge that is uniquely rooted in that object’s specificity. Framing our work as care encourages us to present the work we do differently; challenging the neutral voice of the institution to assert the individual contributions to the care of a work. Conservation, as a license to care, connects us to central ethical considerations about representation and collecting. Care not only connects conservation to the politics of visibility and invisibility, but also to the politics of knowledge and what as conservators we have license and want to care about. This research is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as part of Reshaping the Collectible: When Artworks Live in the Museum. Referenced links: Tony Conrad video: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/tony-conrad-25422/conserving-tony-conrad
Considerations for the Future of African Collections / Dana Moffett
05/21/2020 at 2:00 PM (EDT)   |  10 minutes
05/21/2020 at 2:00 PM (EDT)   |  10 minutes Material culture provides tangible connections to the past, the present and the future. Some estimates suggest that as much as 95% of African cultural heritage resides beyond the boundaries of the continent. As a consequence Africa has been robbed of these valuable social connections. The 2018 Savoy-Sarr Report on the Restitution of African Cultural Heritage, commissioned by French President Emmanuel Macrone, is a well-publicized effort to address the damage caused by the historical removal of material culture from the Continent. But this report is just one of many events that indicate that change is in the air. In a nine-month period during 2019 there were no fewer than five international symposia addressing issues of ownership, restitution, and repatriation, or exploring the possibilities of engagement, collaboration and partnerships. This is an emerging effort; parties all over the world are starting to consider how we might begin to correct the imbalance in access to the cultural resources that represent Africa’s heritage. What are the obstacles: geographic, political, cultural and financial? What are the possibilities for moving forward? And how might our field contribute to this effort? Referenced links: Sarr-Savoy Report: http://restitutionreport2018.com/sarr_savoy_en.pdf CCI Technical Bulletin 32: https://www.canada.ca/en/conservation-institute/services/conservation-preservation-publications/technical-bulletins/products-used-preventive-conservation.html Trevor Noah video clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOlmXQihow8&t=122s James Acaster video clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x73PkUvArJY National Museum of African Art Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/six_degrees_of_restoration/
Something Has to Give: Reworking Science Curriculum in Conservation Training / Chris McGlinchey
05/21/2020 at 2:10 PM (EDT)   |  10 minutes
05/21/2020 at 2:10 PM (EDT)   |  10 minutes Recent graduates of American conservation training programs have been imbued with a broad knowledge base but at a cost: reduced time training and developing bench skills. The science component of the curricula is a significant contribution to this pull away from the bench. While the development of a scientific understanding of artworks and their conservation is integral to conservation training, this paper argues that the current approach to teaching science contains an acute flaw that must be addressed in order to develop a conservator with critical thought capacity and handskills that are better attune to their work. Finding the proper balance and form of science to teach emerging conservators has always been, and will continue to be, a moving target. Today, training in analytical methods is common despite the fact not all treatments require such tools and not all graduates work where these resources exist. When students and graduates are in conservation studios that have access to such equipment, how they go about utilizing it varies; on occasion they might hope to utilize equipment because, as one student was told by their science professor, ‘you can’t have too much data.’ The empirical ‘ground-truth’ that scientific analysis provides can be invaluable and it is understandably tempting to gather as much of it as possible. Yet, I argue that it is best explored with a full knowledge of the most current tools available and with a high degree of confidence that the data can be interpreted accurately and within limits. While learning how to use analytical equipment is not too difficult, learning how to integrate it into one’s treatment and examination is more challenging. In focusing on the former, students may not fully appreciate which analytical tool can be most helpful, nor which tool might not be helpful enough. Occasional users of specific analytical equipment, scientists included, might have difficulty interpreting data or might not optimize experimental conditions sufficiently. Consultation and collaboration aid restraint and better target resources. I propose that science curricula focus on characterization rather than identification to understand the materiality of the works they treat and the conservation materials they handle. In making this shift to characterization, the student would obtain a deeper appreciation of how an object ages or the finesse by which a conservation material can, or may need to, be handled. This knowledge would apply to all objects that conservators come across - not just those that require analysis. While this teaching approach may sound like yet more coursework, it should supplant the existing science module. The professionalization of conservation is young, and the discipline of conservation science is younger. Focusing on material characteristics promotes fruitful collaboration and steers scientific research in new and important directions. Most important, a recalibrated science module that emphasizes characterization will better enable tomorrow’s conservator to more efficiently grasp intellectually the physical properties of materials they are using and better understand why something may have changed the way it did.
Delivering Values: Always in All Ways / Robert Waller and Catharine Hawks
05/21/2020 at 2:20 PM (EDT)   |  10 minutes
05/21/2020 at 2:20 PM (EDT)   |  10 minutes Conservation is governed by the Second Law of Thermodynamics, that there is a natural tendency for systems to degenerate into more disordered states. If this was not a law, there would be no need for our field: time’s arrow could reverse, and everything return to original states with no effort on our part. We live amid generations that have espoused, per George Harrison’s “I me mine” and John Lennon’s, “living for today” mantra, that often fail to recognize social diversity and intergenerational equity. Museums are frequently mired in rectifying wrongs of the past, without proactively addressing diverse social interests and future societies’ needs. As aspiration, conservation is geared to protecting the values, inherent or acquired, in cultural heritage, for all humankind, for as long as possible. In operation, conservation needs clear rational frameworks, which inform, without dictating, decisions. In economics, social discount rates are used to assign a present value on costs and benefits that will occur at a later date. Is it possible for the conservation field to formulate rational and optimal social discount rates for future preservation? Can it, at the same time, recognize the importance of multiple, and at times, seemingly irreconcilable differences in perceptions of value (e.g., living objects must change through their life, versus materials and form must not be allowed to change)? Our field has struggled with even considering, let alone agreeing upon acceptable preservation horizons. Can the more nominally proper, yet harder to conceptualize, social discount rate model facilitate a better understanding of our responsibility to future generations? Can we use rational models to overcome biases based on today’s perceptions of best practices to ensure the future of pasts and presents? Social discount rates are formulaic. Even when adapted to sustainability of cultural heritage, these provide limited range for understanding the implications of decisions regarding long-term preservation. Still more complicated are rights in the decision-making processes, whether these are related to individual artists, source communities, or special interest groups. Rules and regulations in these arenas may force discussion, but resolution vests in collaboration. Efforts in grappling with these issues are essential if we claim adherence to professional codes that recognize the importance of preventive conservation. Adapting our mindsets to encompass a pluralistic and distinctly intergenerational view of values should guide our work in everything from treatment to collection environments and storage designs. This presentation explores alternative perspectives that may prove helpful in wrapping our individual and collective minds around the topics that will frame conservation in the decades to come.
Thursday, May 28th: Plastic Challenges in Cultural and Ecological Preservation
Plastic Challenges in Cultural and Ecological Preservation Slides combined
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Select the Download button to download slides from the following talks presented in the Plastic Challenges in Cultural and Ecological Preservation Session: Plastics You Know: The Plastics Identification Tool and Collection Surveys / Carien van Aubel and Olivia van Rooijen Examining Plastics in a Historic House Museum through the collections of the Walter and Ise Gropius House of Lincoln, Massachusetts / Megan Mary Creamer
Preserving Plastics in the Collection at the Harvard Art Museums / Susan Costello
05/28/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
05/28/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes Co-Authors: Georgina Rayner, Angela Chang, and Elizabeth LaDuc In 2016, the conservation department at the Harvard Art Museums began the first comprehensive survey of polymeric materials in the collection. This talk will highlight the impact of the survey, and share challenges encountered during this ongoing project. The need for a survey was realized after the severe degradation of Claes Oldenburg’s False Food Selection (1966, M26457) was discovered only 50 years after its acquisition.  Its ready-made plastic food elements discolored, deflated and bloomed. The spoiling of the food is undoubtedly due to its unstable materials; a combination of polyurethane, poly(vinyl chloride) and rubber – three of the most at-risk plastics in museum collections. The survey sought to determine the scope of plastics in the collection, to identify the type of plastic, to update the media information in the museums’ collection database (TMS), to upgrade storage and housing and to undertake conservation treatments as necessary. Since mid-2016, 500 objects containing plastic have been examined and 30 different polymer types identified through the tandem use of FTIR and pyrolysis-GCMS. Based on the survey results, a list of action items was compiled divided into preventive and interventive conservation. The preventive conservation measures form the bulk of the work and focus on slowing the deterioration of the most vulnerable plastics. The most labor-intensive portion of this work is rehousing, which includes placing poly(vinyl chloride) objects in non-absorbent boxes to prevent plasticizer loss, cellulose acetate and nitrate in blue board boxes to absorb their acidic vapor and rubber in anoxic storage. Additional preventive measures include moving objects to cool or cold storage and limiting cumulative light exposure. Interventive conservation forms a smaller portion of the work. Most of the objects surveyed were in stable condition. Only 14% of the objects were deemed unstable, with 13 in need of immediate attention. Two treatments have been completed to date and will be discussed. The first is a poly(vinyl chloride) work by Joseph Beuys exhibiting serious plasticizer migration. The surface was cleaned, the object rehoused and moved to cool storage. The second treatment is a regenerated cellulose book cover by Herbert Bayer in multiple pieces and suffering losses. Mock-ups were used to determine an appropriate adhesive and backing material for regenerated cellulose and the best way to create a colored patina on the surface of a Mylar fill. Various methods were also tested to alter the surface of the Mylar to increase adhesion. Currently we are planning treatment for a Naum Gabo sculpture made of cellulose acetate, which has warped and sagged. We continue to identify plastics in our collection, predominantly objects lacking correct media descriptions in TMS. The current challenges include undertaking conservation treatments that are not exhibition driven, improving housing while maintaining access to objects, improving art storage while taking into account limited space and cost, increasing awareness throughout the museum of the needs and limitations of plastics, digitizing analog audio/visual materials, identifying plastics for potential new acquisitions, and determining the best way to monitor our plastic objects moving forward.
Plastics You Know: The Plastics Identification Tool and Collection Surveys / Carien van Aubel and Olivia van Rooijen
05/28/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
05/28/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes Co-author: Suzan de Groot Plastic is a frequently used term in describing materials in artworks. Like describing a painting made of oil or acrylic, it is preferred to describe a plastic by the type of polymer used. Like paints, many of the different plastic polymers react differently to the environment and by knowing them by their name, correct measure in collections can be taken. During the two-and-half year Plastics Project an identification tool 1for plastics without the use of analytical techniques for collection staff was developed. This project was initiated by the Foundation of Modern and Contemporary Art (SBMK) and the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE), and was a project within the Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Science (NICAS). During the development ten Dutch contemporary art collections collaborated to create a clear and user-friendly method. The outcome of the project is the Plastic Identification Workshop which facilitates a learning environment for organisations that care for plastics artworks in their collection, using the Plastic Identification Tool. After a two-day workshop, participants identify plastics in the objects of the museum during a collection survey. The workshop was first developed in Dutch and due to international interest was translated in English and presented at Future Talks 019 in Munich. Topics concerning plastic objects in a collection survey such as, what is found on average in a collection, which type of plastic polymer is showing most of the problems and what type of objects show difficulties to identify using this method have been investigated. This paper presents the outcome of these investigations based on results of a workshop given in Ghent (BE) at the Design Museum Gent and S.M.A.K, which was part of the Belgium project 'Know Name and Assess you Plastic'. It is good to know what type of plastic you are dealing with, you know. Referenced Links: https://plastic.tool.cultureelerfgoed.nl/ ; https://www.sbmk.nl/en/projects/plastics_projects ; https://www.vanaubelvanrooijen.com
Examining Plastics in a Historic House Museum through the collections of the Walter and Ise Gropius House of Lincoln, Massachusetts / Megan Mary Creamer
05/28/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
05/28/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes This paper will explore the issues of exhibit and storage of plastic objects in historic house museums, an area of plastics research that is understudied in conservation. The material culture of the twentieth century was in many ways driven and defined by experimentation and industrialized mass manufacture of plastic to create fine art, furniture, household items, and clothing. As such, historic houses are increasingly places of collection and exhibition of plastics, along with their well-known issues of climate control and mixed-material display in open exhibit environments. Plastics have known sensitivities to UV light, and fluctuations in temperature and humidity that can exacerbate inherent vice, or 'infect' nearby objects. The context of historic houses presents unique research opportunities to understand the aging characteristics and issues of plastics in non-standard museum conditions. The 1938 family home of Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius and its contents were bequeathed to Historic New England by Ise Gropius in 1982. Documentation and conservation then began on the thousands of objects in the bequest - many of them plastic, and the property has been open as a historic house museum ever since. This paper looks at interventive treatment paths of three synthetic twentieth-century objects in the Gropius House. Highlighted are the CH1 38 Rho Space Modulator - a cellulose acetate painting by László Moholy-Nagy, a flexible polyvinyl chloride (PVC) curtain manufactured by BF Goodrich used as a kitchen curtain, and a red, customized, synthetic-fiber dress worn by Ise Gropius. The issues of preventive conservation including environmental monitoring, integrated pest management, and storage are included for a broad, holistic look at collections care and maintenance for plastic collections in historic house museums. Referenced Links: Historic New England: https://www.historicnewengland.org/visit/homes-farms-landscapes/ Land acknowledgment: support the Mashpee Wampanoag: https://mashpeewampanoagtribe-nsn.gov/ Take a virtual tour through Gropius House: http://http://gropius.house/
Monday, June 8th: Research and Technical Studies & Collections Care Session 1 (Meet & Greet with G.C. Laser Systems)
Examining commercially available sorbents to understand and maximize the mitigation of volatile organic compounds / Kelli Stoneburner
06/08/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/08/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes Co-authors: Eric Monroe and Fenella France For decades, sorbents in a variety of forms and compositions, such as silica gel, zeolites, or activated carbon, have been sold and used in the conservation world. These materials are placed in exhibition cases and storage spaces to stabilize environments be it by controlling the humidity or removing compounds that can tarnish or degrade collection objects. Each of the different materials work to mitigate volatile organic compounds (VOCs) through different mechanisms and not much is known about the capacity, selectivity, or potential for off-gassing for these sorbents. As such, it can be challenging to know how much of a sorbent is needed for an exhibit case or how long before the sorbent needs to be replaced. Sometimes the silica gel used for humidity control can absorb volatiles, the challenge with this not being the ab/adsorption, but the potential future re-release of these compounds that could lead to degradation of collection materials. Through the use of headspace sampling and thermal desorption gas chromatography mass spectrometry thirteen different sorbents and two silica gels were characterized. This work will detail how each sorbent and silica gel was tested to determine their selectivity for adsorbing a series of VOCs commonly found to be off-gassed by paper collections and then tested to determine how readily they off-gas the compounds that were originally collected. These tests were conducted with the goal of being able to assist in determining when sorbents need to be replaced and selecting the best type of sorbent for mitigating degradation products of different types of collection items and the residual VOCs from building, construction, and housing materials. Examples of sorbents used with collections items will be discussed.
New Guidelines for the Desiccated Storage of Archaeological Metal Artefacts / Nicola Emmerson
06/08/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/08/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes Corrosion of archaeological metals, particularly iron and copper alloy artefacts, is an ongoing problem for conservation and collections care. If not managed, corrosion can lead to reduction in value or complete loss of artefacts and collections. This paper presents the results of a long-term research programme at Cardiff University which investigated corrosion rates linked to humidity levels and best practice in creation of desiccated microclimates for corrosion prevention. Surveying sector practices in the post-excavation storage of archaeological metals has revealed the complexity of the decision-making process and a distinct lack of evidence-based guidance to direct protocols. Immediately post-excavation, free water in corrosion product layers can create high humidities and drive destructive electrochemical corrosion. Advice on drying techniques is limited and conflicting, leading to ad hoc practices and consequent danger to objects. Once dry, chloride-bearing compounds mean archaeological and marine iron artefacts can remain unstable down to 15% relative humidity (RH). Therefore, for most museums and archaeological units, long-term corrosion control is by desiccated storage reliant on creating and maintaining low RH microclimates in plastic boxes. Success of these microclimates is driven by air exchange rates of boxes which are in turn dictated by box design and size. Along with the mass of silica gel included, these variables determine the lowest RH achievable and its longevity. Without evidence of the influence of these variables, effective management of storage procedures is impossible. This paper delivers new data on the influence of post-excavation drying, storage box variables, mass of silica gel and gel regeneration cycles in successful creation of desiccated microclimates for medium and high RH external store environments. Combining this with corrosion rate data for iron and copper alloy objects between 20-80% RH allows predictions to be made about the risk to artefacts of following a range of common protocols. Guidance on best-practice drying and storage procedures to minimise corrosion and enhance object longevity are now offered to the heritage sector. The research updates previous, generic guidance on storage box selection and silica gel use. Results of surveying practice indicate that the go-to guidance remains First Aid for Finds, the most recent edition of which was published in 1998. Advice on silica gel per volume of box in that publication was based on contemporary practice rather than evidence-based data and no guidance on box selection was offered beyond the ubiquitous Stewart Sealfresh. The synergy of conservation science and practice reported here combines laboratory experimentation using climatic chambers, oxygen consumption corrosion rate testing and air exchange measurements with an extensive survey of sector practice and close liaison with end users to produce pragmatic guidelines for practitioners and managers. Supporting cost benefit decision-making in storage box selection and silica gel regeneration cycles, these guidelines will allow managers of archaeological metalwork collections to design bespoke storage protocols which have the potential to extend lifetimes of collections. Assessment of risk to objects can be weighed against hardware and human resource costs and variables manipulated to design workable, case-specific solutions to a widespread problem.
A Case Study in Establishing and Maintaining Elevated RH Levels in Microclimate Casework / Laura Resch
06/08/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/08/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes Co-authors: Beth Edelstein and Justin Baker Loan negotiations for The Cleveland Museum of Art’s 2019 exhibition “Shinto: Discovery of the Divine in Japanese Art” required the museum to maintain an elevated level of humidity for a large number of objects from Japan. In response, CMA conservation and production staff decided to view this as an opportunity to improve preventive conservation standards in display case design, and to test and utilize active humidification units. This presentation will detail the research and preparation that went into establishing and maintaining a higher-RH environment for the exhibition, and the integrated efforts among museum staff that led to a successful solution. The lending requirements stipulated that the objects borrowed from Japanese institutions must be displayed at 60% RH, and in one instance at 62%, a significantly higher level than most U.S. standards of 50%. Elevating the CMA gallery spaces in their entirety to the required RH was not an option as it would cause undue stress to the machinery, and would raise the humidity in galleries and storerooms adjacent to our special exhibitions hall, risking damage to our own collection. We required a solution that would allow us to present the entire exhibition using microclimate casework for each and every object on display. Carbon dioxide leakage tests and silica gel performance tests were performed using several different case types at the museum. The majority of CMA casework is constructed in-house, and leakage tests showed us which case styles were the most airtight, and which required improvements to decrease airflow. The silica gel tests used a 60% RH gel to test how well each case type would acclimate to and hold a 60% RH environment. Two important findings came from this testing: several cases failed to reach 60% RH despite having the required amount of gel and favorable air exchange rates, and all cases were observed to have discrepancies between the RH levels of the environmental chamber and the RH levels of the deck. These findings led to useful practical changes in the design of cases produced in-house at the CMA. The new cases efficiently held a 60% environment for the exhibition. Active humidification units produced by Glasbau Hahn GmbH were also tested. These humidification units were found to be very efficient, particularly for use in oversize casework or casework that had higher air exchange rates as a result of its design and construction. Members of the CMA conservation, production, and design departments worked in conjunction with staff from Glasbau Hahn GmbH to plan the installation and maintenance of several humidification units to provide the required climate to more than half of the casework in the exhibition. This project was an opportunity to work within the guidelines of Japanese preventive conservation standards in presenting an extraordinary loan exhibition in the U.S. The seemingly straightforward requirement of a higher RH for loaned objects led the CMA to an increased understanding of available resources for preparing and maintaining microclimates, and will hopefully provide useful data for other institutions facing similar challenges.
Tuesday, June 9th: Photographic Materials Session 1
Technical Analysis of William Henry Fox Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature / Colette Hardman-Peavy
06/09/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/09/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes Co-Authors: Aniko Bezur, Rui Chen, Richard Hark, Paul Messier, Katherine Schilling, Marcie Wiggins, Paul Whitmore Published between 1844-1846 in a series of six fascicles, William Henry Fox Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature was the first commercially produced photographically illustrated book. The book presented Talbot’s proposed uses for photography on paper, accompanied by photographs printed by his assistant, Nicolaas Henneman. Unfortunately, the production of the photographs was fraught with challenges such as an intermittent supply of clean water, the questionable purity and unreliable supply of chemicals, changing paper quality, and a lack of sunny days for printing. These factors combined with low sales led to the halt of production, and The Pencil of Nature was never completed. The photographs within the fascicles faded shortly after publication, and the project was ultimately considered a failure. The Yale Center for British Art owns copies of the first four fascicles of The Pencil of Nature. In 2018, an in-depth, collaborative, technical analysis of the fascicles began at Yale’s Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage. The project aims to better understand the current physical and chemical state the prints are in, the mechanisms behind the fading of the photographs, and whether change is ongoing. Analysis of the image materials, paper, inks and adhesives found in The Pencil of Nature was undertaken using principally non-invasive techniques such as X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, microfade testing (with both visible and ultraviolet light), and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. Additional characterization of the paper was done using gloss measurements, micrometry, colorimetry, and texture photography. Short-term monitoring of reactive species, such as hydrogen sulfide and peroxides, using silver nanoparticle sensors indicated that chemical change within the fascicles may still be taking place. Further monitoring using silver nanoparticle sensors may reveal more information related to the preservation of this work. This presentation will address some of the initial findings of this study, and implications for the display and storage of these objects. Results related to the quality of the papers, the retouching media used, and the chemical composition of the photographs will be presented. The multi-technique analysis has found that stability assessment of early salted paper prints through visual examination alone is insufficient. It is hoped that the methodology developed and results obtained in the current project will serve as a baseline for the study of other copies of The Pencil of Nature.
The Conservation of the Ernest J. Bellocq Glass Plate Negative Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art / Elsa Thyss
06/09/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/09/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes Discovered by Lee Friedlander in a New Orleans antique store in 1958, Ernest J. Bellocq’s Storyville photographs have an unusual history. The negatives were made in New Orleans’ Red Light District, also called “Storyville”, which gave its name to the series. They depict individual portraits of women, brothel interiors, and landscapes in the area. Although the negatives were made in the early nineteenth century, the images were only revealed to the public in a major exhibition at MoMA in 1970 entitled “Storyville portraits : photographs from the New Orleans red-light district, circa 1912”, using prints made by Lee Friedlander from the original Bellocq glass plates. In 2013, The Metropolitan Museum of Art acquired 89 original Storyville negatives from Lee Friedlander, and for the first time, the collection of negatives – for which, to date, no original prints from Bellocq’s days have been found – became available for investigation and exhibition. This presentation describes the condition of the collection and the research and decisions made to address these condition issues. The negatives most significant damage, the delamination of the gelatin binder from the glass support, was very challenging in part because of the different chemical nature of gelatin and glass and the difficulty to find an efficient adhesive for the long-term that also meets conservation ethics. A literature review on the topic made clear the need to customize the treatment for each typology of binder lifting, since each one of them present specific challenges. After conducting test treatments on experimentally-altered glass plate negative samples from The Met’s study collection, we adapted existing solutions to stabilize the physical damage on the Bellocq negatives. These included an innovative approach developed in 2001 which has proven to be suitable for large areas of binder lifting. In addition to these treatments on a selection of plates, individual enclosures were designed and created, conceived to accommodate the specific fragilities of each object. Made with non-interactive materials, these provide ultimate protection, while allowing access for further study. We used digital technologies to create custom sink mats for the plates broken in several pieces. Transparent acrylic sheets are embedded in the housing on front and back allowing for transmitted light viewing as well as viewing in both recto and verso orientations. Thus, we aim to foster safe access for scholars to view these outstanding photographic objects, which still have much to reveal.
What do cigarette filters and photographic films have in common? Cellulose acetate: Durable in the streets, volatile in the sheets / Ida Rebecca Ahmad
06/09/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/09/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes Co-authors: Deborah Cane, Joyce Townsend, Cristian Triana, Luca Mazzei, Katherine Curran Cellulose acetate (CA) has found myriad uses since it was first synthesised in 1865, illustrating not only the versatility of the particular molecule, but that plastic as a material class offers infinite possibilities. Two of these possibilities, in the case of CA, are photographic (including cinematographic) films and cigarette filters. These two objects were designed to have very different functions. In the short-term, CA photographic films and cigarette filters serve their intended purposes reasonably well. In the long-term, the degradation behaviour of the CA polymer reveals the plastic paradox: it is unstable in film archives, but ecologically persistent as litter. The risks of CA films are familiar to both archivist and conservator. Over time, moisture reacts with CA and produces acetic acid, causing the film to emit a recognisable odour which has lent this phenomenon the name “vinegar syndrome”. Once the vinegar syndrome has started, the film is very likely to degrade at an accelerating rate. This is because the reaction is autocatalytic—the acetic acid being produced will in turn catalyse the reaction (speed it up), which produces more acetic acid, and so on. The CA in cigarette filters is susceptible to the same chemical reactions as that in films, with designs for biodegradable filters using controlled-release acid catalysis to promote deacetylation. However, in contrast to CA films, the degradation (or lack thereof) of cigarette filters is not characterised by autocatalysis – that is, acetic acid generated by deacetylation alone is not sufficient to increase the degradation rate. Setting aside the question of what constitutes the (subjective) acceptable/unacceptable degree of change for the two objects, we argue in this paper that the role of autocatalysis in the degradation of CA has been historically underestimated. We propose a mathematical model wherein the autocatalytic degradation of CA is controlled by (1) the rate of the deacetylation reaction and (2) mass transport processes such as diffusion and evaporation. Based on this abstraction, cigarette filters and CA films can be represented by the same model, simply differing in the relative contribution of mass transport processes to the degradation dynamics. Highlighting some of the key differences in the conditions that characterise the degradation of films and filters, we will demonstrate how mass transport processes critically influence the degradation of CA when autocatalysis is taken into account. Autocatalytic degradation in cigarette filters may be virtually non-existent due to relatively high rates of mass transport of acetic acid to the surrounding environment. To contrast, our mathematical model shows that poorly-ventilated storage environments enhance the rate of degradation in CA films to a greater extent than was previously believed, even before the signs of vinegar syndrome may be present. Our model suggests that CA film permanence may be significantly overestimated by conservation guidelines (which do not account for autocatalysis) with urgent consequences for film preservation.
Thursday, June 11th: Electronic Media Session 1 - Digital Preservation (Meet & Greet with SmallCorp)
The First Stewards: Digital Preservation in Artist-run Platforms and Galleries / Colin Post
06/11/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/11/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes Artists have long used digital and networked technologies to both experiment with new methods of artistic production and new means to disseminate artworks. Digital artworks often circulate outside of traditional gallery and museum spaces: on artists' websites, online platforms, and other experimental networks. Whether by the conscious choice of the artist to skirt these typical exhibition contexts or due to myriad other factors, many of these artworks will never enter institutional collections. Artworks that do eventually make their way into arts institutions will have likely faced preservation issues shortly after the point of creation. Long before these artworks receive professional conservation attention—if ever—artists and the curators of alternative exhibition spaces serve as the first stewards. Preserving a robust cultural heritage representative of the full breadth of artistic practices requires research that advances digital preservation tools and methods across institutional and artist-run exhibition and collection contexts. This paper presents a case study of Paper-Thin, an artist-run platform that has included online virtual reality exhibitions as well as a site-specific installation. In this research, I conducted semi-structured interviews (n = 27) with the Paper-Thin curators, artists who contributed work to the platform, and additional individuals identified by the artists who have played some part in the ongoing care of their artworks. These individuals included artistic collaborators, collectors, and curators of other alternative platforms and galleries, all contributing to a rich and dynamic depiction of the shifting nature of the art world for digital and networked artworks. The aims of the research were twofold: 1) to characterize the preservation practices, challenges, and approaches of artists and curators of alternative platforms and galleries; 2) to understand the information practices of these individuals as they gained skills and learned techniques necessary to care for their artworks and related archival materials. Among the key findings, this paper discusses the cooperative activities of artists and curators in the care of artworks disseminated through these platforms and galleries. While both collaborate to address technical difficulties encountered in the initial staging of works, there is a more marked division of labor in the ongoing care, with curators of these networked alternative spaces taking on primary responsibility for storing artworks and preserving these works against technological change and obsolescence. In these activities, curators and artists draw on a wide range of information sources and participate in communities both in and outside the art world. Importantly, artists and curators supplement their arts educations with tutorials, forums, and documentation for both open-source and commercial technologies. This research has several implications for professional conservation practice. Conservators can study the novel repertoires developed by these first stewards, as these practices stand to guide the ongoing care of artworks in institutional contexts. Additionally, arts institutions can find ways to support the preservation work of these alternative platforms, which is dependent on the volunteer labor of artists and curators with limited resources. The research demonstrates the potential for post-custodial and community-driven efforts, such as providing shared storage infrastructure or developing open-source digital preservation tools and resources.
New Objects of Conservation - Web-based art and web-based records / Christopher King
06/11/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/11/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes Co-presenter: Sarah Haylett As part of the the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded project Reshaping the Collectible: When Artworks Live in the Museum, a team of researchers are looking at a series of 15 internet artworks commissioned by Tate between 2000-2011. These were brought together under their own microsite http://www2.tate.org.uk/intermediaart/, which also includes contextualising texts, discussion boards and a series of podcasts. Current developments mean that some relevant web-technologies, such as flash, will soon no longer be supported by our everyday browsers, while parallel developments in web-archiving tools allow for the capture and documentation of websites with a much higher level of completeness, so now was a timely moment to act. The Reshaping the Collectible project calls on the expertise of Time Based Media Conservation, the Tate Archive, Tate Media and Tate Technology to understand the intricacies of how to document, conserve and maintain the integrity of web-based art in the contemporary art museum. This research is supporting the different contributors in understanding the context and developing the skills, infrastructure and knowledge required to undertake future Net Art acquisitions and preserve them for the long-term. In this paper we will share the perspectives of conservation and the archive on how we are changing practices to allow the collection, archiving and display of web-based objects, both as artworks and records of Tate’s activity on the web.
Conservation in the Contemporary Art Market / Ben Fino-Radin
06/11/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/11/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes When contending with replicable, variable, and iterative forms of contemporary art outside the walls of institutions, the role of conservation extends beyond an act to prolong and protect the life of a work. In considering how the work of a time-based media conservator may interface with and support the ecosystem of artist’s studios, galleries, and private collections, conservation becomes a critical component of operational viability, and market acceptance, especially when considering small artist studios tasked with supporting sometimes hundreds of time-based media artworks in collections all over the world. At last year’s annual meeting, Small Data’s post-graduate fellow presented research and findings as to how private practice time-based media conservators can expand their remit to better support this sometimes fragile ecosystem. This year, we will present three case studies offering a practical perspective on how TBM conservation can directly support the activities of contemporary artist studios. Our case study on collaborations with Cory Arcangel will offer a view into fabrication, preventive conservation, documentation, and supporting collectors; with Sondra Perry we will explore how documentation and remote support tools are aiding both private collectors and institutions; and finally, our case study on collaborations with John Gerrard’s studio will share an exploration into the use of cloud-based virtualization platforms for the secure and reliable loan and display of complex and demanding software-based works of art. Ultimately, these case studies will be shared in the hope of providing colleagues with reproducible methods and tools for commonly encountered challenges in supporting time-based media art.
Monday, June 15th: Paintings Session 1 (Meet & Greet with Carestream and Opus Instruments)
Honoring a Legacy: the technical study, digital reconstruction, and conservation treatment of Margareta Haverman’s A Vase of Flowers / Gerrit Albertson
06/15/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/15/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes The 2018 treatment and technical study of A Vase of Flowers, a painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art signed and dated by Margareta Haverman (Dutch, 1693–?) in 1716, provided new insights into the artistic motivations and singularity of the artist, as well as material alterations that have occurred in the painting since its creation. Despite the skill evident in Haverman’s painting, relatively little is known about the artist’s life and work. Much of the art historical record repeats a likely erroneous rumor that Haverman was expelled from the Academie Royale in Paris, and writers have dismissed the artist due to her gender, claiming that her success relied on that of her teacher, Jan van Huysum (Dutch, 1682–1749). Additionally, Haverman’s known oeuvre is small: her only other traced work is a flower piece on deposit at Fredensborg Castle from the Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen. Thus, this study represents a rare opportunity to more closely investigate an overlooked artist. Visual examination of the painting and technical imaging and analysis, including non-invasive infrared reflectography and X-ray fluorescence mapping (MA-XRF), and micro-sampling techniques such as light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and Raman spectroscopy, suggest that Haverman largely used materials and techniques common among flower paint­ers of her era but that she altered aspects of this prac­tice in unexpected ways in order to bring about results that aligned with her own artistic vision. This can be seen in multiple of the study’s results: her choice of a walnut panel support differs from Van Huysum’s clear preference for oak and mahogany, and her six overall priming layers far exceed the common one or two layers typically found in this period. A Vase of Flowers contains many compositional changes, indicating the artist was hard at work in crafting an independent composition that suited her own artistic vision. Her use of two newly available pigments, Prussian blue and Naples yellow, indicate that the artist was an early adopter of new materials, and it suggests a possible link with artists from the Holy Roman Empire’s court in Düsseldorf, such as fellow flower painter Rachel Ruysch (Dutch, 1664–1750). Cleaning of the painting was a subtle, but important step in recapturing some of the painting’s vibrancy and tonal range, and it became clear afterwards that each of the artist’s colors was chosen with extreme care and an eye for accuracy. Some pigments, however, including yellow and red lakes and a copper-containing glaze, altered in the centuries since the painting was made. A digital reconstruction of the painting was made with the aim of visualizing the painting’s original appearance. The process of creating this digital reconstruction, which involved data from MA-XRF elemental distribution maps, two paint samples containing unaltered pigment, and spectrophotometry to ensure color accuracy, was a collaboration across conservation, scientific, imaging, and curatorial departments at The Museum. The result was instructive, not only in what it taught us about how the painting originally functioned visually, but also because it raised questions regarding the limitations of digital reconstructions.
Alfredo Volpi and Hélio Oiticica: anachronistic materials that made the modern / Corina Rogge
06/15/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/15/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes The Concrete Art movement of the twentieth century advocated the creation of non-representational, non-sentimental art. Theo van Doesburg, a Dutch painter and author of the Manifesto for Concrete Art, wrote that “the painting technique must be mechanic” and that before “physically made material, the work of art is fully conceived by the spirit. Thus its production must reveal a technical perfection equal to that of the concept. It should not reveal any trace of human weakness such as trembling, imprecision, hesitation, nor any unfinished parts.” As this movement spread worldwide, it was adapted with different regions developing their own unique ‘vernacular’ styles that went beyond van Doesburg’s rather dogmatic strictures. For instance, many works by Brazilian Concrete and Neo-concrete artists seem to possess the desired impersonal ‘industrial’ finish van Doesburg recommended; but close inspection reveals that these works were not the result of a single gestalt moment of sublime creation. Scored lines created by ruling pens, ridges of paint left by removal of pressure sensitive tape, and pinholes left by compasses all betray bear witness to the human endeavor behind their creation. In addition to this rather subtle ‘betrayal’ of the manifesto, many Brazilian artists also began to create objects with expressive lines and textured surfaces; works that are in no way purely ‘mechanic’. Although many artists chose to use modern materials to pursue the Concrete movement, others eschewed novel materials and methods in their pursuit of modern abstraction. Analysis of the works of Alfredo Volpi and Hélio Oiticica reveals choices of materials and modes of paint application that were innovatively anachronistic. Four paintings in the Adolpho Leirner Collection of Brazilian Constructive Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, yield evidence that Volpi chose egg tempera as a binder, a medium most often associated with medieval panel painting, rather than new paint media such as the nitrocellulose paints favored by Lygia Clark or the alkyds used by Geraldo de Barros. Analysis of Oiticica’s studio paints relating to the Invenções (1959-1962), Penetráveis (1961), and Núcleos (1960-63) series shows that he utilized a traditional medium, oil paint, as the base material for many of his works, but he manipulated his oils through the addition of other materials to create not only a precise color vocabulary but also to modulate their gloss, drying time, and flow. Oiticica also utilized traditional layering techniques in Relevo Especial (c. 1960) to create a luminous surface, one that has the ‘body of color’ he so desired. These findings illuminate the complex and often unorthodox paints and painting methods used by these artists and help create a richer story of the material nature of Brazilian Concrete and Neo-concrete art.
If the Curves Match The Color Will - Color Match Magic / Ulysses Jackson
06/15/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/15/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes With the aid of technology one can both improve the quality of a pigmented repair as well as save a significant amount of time by removing much of the trial and error guesswork associated with color matching. This is increasingly important as the colorant options available to contemporary artists continue to expand, and conservators are being faced with complex color mixtures that are challenging to match. Additionally, private residences, galleries, and museums are commonly being lit by a variety of light sources requiring a significant consideration of how the environment can affect the viewer’s perception of a matched color. This presentation will describe the cause, and show examples, of perceived color shifts due to different light sources, a phenomenon known as Metamerism. To do so we will demonstrate this effect in the form of a worst case scenario for a conservator, then demonstrate how using a spectrophotometer and gloss meter can give one a better understanding how color will look in different light sources. Finally we will share how one can create a database for a spectrophotometer with mixes to quickly match complex colors, and also a few case studies of successful color matches.
Monday, June 15th: Architecture & Objects Historic House Session - Part 1 (Meet & Greet with Zarbeco)
Preservation in Paradise: Working with the Collection at Shangri La / Kent Severson
06/15/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/15/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes Shangri La, a museum for Islamic art, culture and design, was built between 1936 and 1939 as the Honolulu home of American heiress and philanthropist Doris Duke (1912-1993). Inspired by her honeymoon trip to the Middle East and South Asia, Shangri La came to house her collection of Islamic Art. The Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, supports Shangri La’s mission today, including conservation and preservation of the collection of Islamic art and the ongoing presentation of Shangri La to the public.Designed to resemble homes found in many parts of the Islamic world, the house and grounds bring courtyards, gardens and lofty living spaces together through the use of large scale windows and doors that blur the difference between interior and exterior spaces. Although Honolulu enjoys one of the most consistently pleasant climates anywhere on the planet, it is unmistakably tropical, with warm temperatures, elevated dewpoints and relentless sunshine. Located on a terrace above a rocky shore facing the Pacific Ocean, breaking surf generates seawater aerosols that drift across the campus twenty four hours a day. Shangri La was first opened to public tours in 2002 with an exhibition intended to evoke the atmosphere that might have existed while Doris Duke was alive. The display includes furniture, textiles (including historic carpets), ceramic, glass and metal objects, as well as wood, ceramic and stone decorative elements permanently installed in the architecture. Although the interior spaces include a few built-in vitrines, much of this material is on open display in conditions rarely found in a museum. Presentation of the collection in this difficult environment consists of a wide-ranging mix of mitigation strategies that includes a rigorous program of intensive regular cleaning, light control measures, and protective coatings. While this has slowed the deterioration of many classes of materials, the work load of maintenance is strenuous and light exposure remains high. Shangri La is currently undergoing a curatorial transformation that will reduce the number of objects displayed in open air.Components of the collection that are permanently installed in the architecture of Shangri La, and the decorative elements of the architecture itself, likewise suffer in Honolulu’s harsh marine environment. In some cases, exposure to the elements has resulted in degradation that is sufficiently severe to require partial replacement as opposed to conservation treatment. Questions of sustainability and long term preservation in such an environment loom large at Shangri La. Overall climate control in exhibition spaces has been proposed but will require thoughtful resolution of many logistical challenges in order to preserve Shangri La’s unique visitor experience.
Exhibitor Meet and Greet - Zarbeco
Select the "View On-Demand Recording" button to begin.
Select the "View On-Demand Recording" button to begin. Speaker Dave Zweig, President, Zarbeco, LLC portable digital microscopes We will be presenting our MiScope Megapixel MP3 and our new “premium plus” MiScope Megapixel MP4K. These USB 3 powered devices are portable, lightweight, have a small footprint, and are available for every budget. Their micron level resolution, excellent color accuracy and included precision measurement software with patented calibration tools will improve your process and documentation to image and record the finest details and color pigments for your own purposes or to share with colleagues, or customers. We will demonstrate how the MiScope can be used for art conservation and restoration to image book and paper, photographs, fabric, paintings, objects, historic buildings, sculptures, and anywhere you want to image for damages, to compare and match pigments, or to look to see if something is an original or a copy. Proudly made in New Jersey since 2001.
Tenements, Tourists, and Treatments: Managing Visitor Impact at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum / Stephanie Hoagland
06/15/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/15/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes When a building housed some 7,000 immigrants over the course of 72 years, how do you deal with the impacts of 200,000 visitors every year? New York’s Lower East Side Tenement Museum is one of the most popular house museums in America which essentially translates to 400,000 feet tracking in dirt and climbing the stairs, 400,000 hands touching the walls, 2-million fingers aching to pick at loose paint and wallpaper, 200,000 mouths breathing hot air, and 50,000 students wanting to get “just a little bit closer” annually. The Tenement Museum is a five-story brick building located in a neighborhood densely packed with tenements and factories which has historically served as a starting point for those new to the United States. Between its construction in 1863 and the 1930s immigrants from over 20 countries lived in the tiny apartments that made up 97 Orchard Street. Instead of making additional alterations to meet changing housing codes, the landlord evicted the tenants in 1935 and sealed off the upper floors, which remained uninhabited until 1988 when the museum took over the building. As a result, these apartments became time capsules of immigrant life in America. The museum is unique in both its interpretation of the building and its occupants over time and its treatment of the ruin apartments in a state of “arrested decay” with their peeling wallpaper, curled plaster, bare wood, and faded linoleum. In addition to retaining the authenticity of the apartments, retention of these finishes assists in telling the story of the building’s occupants including changes in aesthetic tastes over time. The use of these “stabilized ruin” apartments on the tours presents a special challenge, not only for interpretation, but also visitor comfort and safety, the development of conservation treatments, and general maintenance of the finishes. The building has no air conditioning and the small cramped apartments get excruciatingly hot in the summer. When the threat of a visitor passing out after climbing five flights of stairs is not an uncommon occurrence in the summer, is the free cardboard fan handed out at the beginning of the tour enough? The building was never designed to handle the vibrations of hundreds of thousands of people climbing the stairs and walking the halls. When sections of the ceiling have started to fall, is consolidating a room or two per year sufficient to preserve the historic fabric? What is the best way to keep people from picking at the peeling paint and paper on the walls? Should it be an elaborate barricade, or can something simple be just as effective? How important is training the janitorial staff? Is it just about sweeping the floors, or should they be trained to be on the lookout for pests or areas of concern such as paint chips or plaster dust on the floor. This paper will explore how the museum overcame many of the technical and practical challenges of conserving and maintaining this one of a kind house museum.
Preventive and Proactive Conservation at the Gilded Age Mansions of Newport, Rhode Island / Patricia Miller
06/15/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/15/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes The Preservation Society of Newport County is the steward of 11 historic house museums, the majority of which date from the late nineteenth to early twentieth century. In 2016, the conservation department began a series of comprehensive condition surveys, or health checks, of the structures and more than 60,000 collection objects to determine strategic conservation priorities. Our outward goal was to improve the quality of preventive care through collaborative winter cleaning projects with staff carpenters, painters, masons and caretakers. Our department goal was to evolve from a reactive to proactive workflow. The presentation will discuss survey methods including the use of apps to increase productivity and improve documentation, staff training and coordination, management of stakeholder expectations, and a series of unfortunate events.
Tuesday, June 16th: Preventive Care Collections Storage (Meet & Greet with Spacesaver)
Preventive Conservation: Collection Storage / Rachael Perkins Arenstein
06/16/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/16/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes How do we convey that we aren’t just storing our stuff? How do we promote respectful and careful access to our collections while ensuring long-term preservation? Good storage is the foundation of effective collection care and plays a key role in advancing conservation while promoting accessibility and use of collections among all stakeholders. Lunch and learn with colleagues while listening to subject experts presenting key insights centered around the main sections of the newly published Preventive Conservation: Collection Storage. Topics will include: Fundamentals of Collection Storage, Assessment and Planning, Creating and Renovating Storage Facilities, Facility Management, Specialized Collection Environments and Care, Storage Equipment and Materials and Storage at a Glance. As in the book, talks will focus on a range of collections including science, fine and decorative art, history, library, and archives from a risk-management perspective. Be ready! The session will include an interactive quiz based on one or more of the book sections that could win you a free copy of the book!
Wednesday, June 17th: Objects Session 1 (Exhibitor Meet & Greets with Bruker and Carestream)
Conservation in Action: Japanese Buddhist Sculpture in a New Light / Linsly Boyer
06/17/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/17/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes Co-presenter: Evelyn Mayberger Visible conservation labs have become increasingly popular in American museums, as institutions feature behind-the-scenes opportunities and access in order to increase public engagement. For over fifteen years, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) has carried out work in galleries in the form of “Conservation in Action” projects. The MFA is currently in the middle of its largest endeavor, the two-year exhibition Conservation in Action: Japanese Buddhist Sculpture in a New Light. While the treatment space in a public gallery was necessitated by logistical realities, conservators have proactively used this visibility to connect with visitors, collaborate with colleagues, and undertake new research. The MFA has one of the largest and most important collections of Japanese Buddhist sculpture outside of Japan. This project focuses on the conservation of seven large-scale wooden sculptures from the Heian period (9th-12th centuries) depicting Buddhist deities. Since 1909, a selection of Buddhist sculptures have been displayed in the Japanese Temple Room, a space designed to evoke the contemplative atmosphere of a Buddhist temple and inspired by the architecture of Hōryū-ji near Nara. The Temple Room has long been one of the most beloved spaces at the MFA; however, the gallery will be temporarily closed to make improvements to the Museum’s Asian Wing. This allows the rare opportunity for conservators to access these elaborately polychromed and gilded sculptures, many of which need urgent conservation. Conservators and conservation scientists are studying and treating the sculptures in an adjacent gallery in full view of the public. This “Conservation in Action” exhibition is a pilot project for interpretation that will inform the future reinstallation of the Japanese galleries. Museum guides are stationed at the exhibition daily to engage with the public about the project and determine what interpretive tools might be most effective. Although the Temple Room aspires to place the sculptures in an appropriate context for viewers, it does not accurately portray a complete temple environment. The conservators are working with the Interpretation and Design departments to envision what new technologies might be employed to better depict an authentic historical context for the objects (e.g. Augmented and Mixed Reality). The conservators will also seek to make documentation tools often utilized during the conservation process accessible to the public in unique ways, such as gallery didactics and social media. External collaborations, both local and international, have proved essential for this project. The Conservation in Action: Japanese Buddhist Sculpture in a New Light project is a unique opportunity for conservation to be highlighted in a public space. Conservators are able to interact directly with the public to express the importance of conservation and share new discoveries while much-needed treatment is taking place. New research stemming from the project strives to contextualize historic treatment methods and inform decision making, as the MFA looks to the future reinstallation of the Japanese galleries. The Temple Room sculptures have epitomized the reverence of Buddhist devotional figures for generations of museum guests and now, through this project, the newly-conserved sculptures will continue to inspire future visitors.
At the Core of the Problem: A new method used to clean the bores of USS Monitor’s XI-Inch Dahlgren Shell Guns / Erik Farrell
06/17/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/17/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes When the turret from USS Monitor (1862) was archaeologically recovered in 2002, it contained the ship’s primary armament: two XI-Inch Dahlgren Shell Guns. These guns are the largest caliber smoothbore, cast iron artillery ever recovered from a marine archaeological site, and as a result they represented a particular engineering challenge to clean. After comparing apparatuses used by other conservation laboratories to clean artillery bores, it was found that no extant boring method ideally fitted the requirements for the guns from USS Monitor. As such it was necessary to create a new method, incorporating some features of other designs into a largely unique system, tailored to the specific goals of the Monitor project. This involved the modification of a prior gun mount design, creation of a new drill mount design, and refinement of the methods used to establish alignment of the cleaning tool and gun bore. Additionally, a new set of tools and methods was created to remove concretion from the hemispheroidal, Gomer-type powder chamber. This paper describes the reasoning behind the decision to create a new methodology, details the equipment designs and construction, and provides a case study for its operation.
It Gets Complicated: the treatment of Zayamaca #4 By Alvin Loving / LaStarsha McGarity
06/17/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/17/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes Co-presenter: Raina Chao Artists incorporate modern materials into their works in dynamic and innovative ways, creating fantastical forms and unique challenges for those charged with their long-term care and preservation. Zayamaca #4 by Alvin Loving, made in 1993, is no exception. The piece – which came to the Saint Louis Art Museum as part of the Thelma and Bert Ollie Memorial Collection, a gift of 81 works by contemporary African American artists – can be described as a painting on paper, as a wall-mounted flat sculpture, or most accurately as a sculptural painting. The spiraling, boldly multihued tendrils of Zayamaca #4 are comprised of acrylic paint and medium on collaged paper adhered unevenly with acrylic medium to an artist constructed, multi-part, red poly(methyl methacrylate) or plexiglass sheet backing. Loving also signed, dated, and titled the piece on the PMMA backing in black permanent marker. Due to a combination of inherent vice, manufacturing method, and the difficulties of handling the work, cracks and failed joins propagated throughout the sections of the PMMA backing. The failed joins particularly compromised the overall structural stability, prompting invasive conservation efforts to prepare the piece for exhibition. While a mounting system to enable display could be constructed as a short-term solution for exhibition, it would not address the piece’s inherent instability, postponing treatment until circumstances like a total failure of the PMMA backing, forced a reaction in the future. Instead, the decision was made to proactively address the weaknesses before further damage occurred throughout the plexiglass sheet and propagated into the paper and paint layers. Following conversations with the collector, the artist’s gallery and the artist’s estate about Loving’s artistic intent and thoughts on his work’s continuing longevity and care, the plan to carefully delaminate the paper layers from the backing so that a professionally cut support material could be inserted to provide a stiff, planar layer was implemented. The interdepartmental effort drew expertise from the Saint Louis Art Museum curatorial, installation, design, and conservation departments. Given the complex nature of the artwork, techniques typical of paper, painting, and objects conservation were employed in tandem to improve the reversibility and long-term stability of each component while respecting and honoring Loving’s artistic aesthetic and intent.
Thursday, June 18th: Wooden Artifacts Session 1
A new Furniture and Frame Conservation Lab at the MFA, Boston / Gordon Hanlon
06/18/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/18/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes This talk will give an overview of the overall design, detailed planning and construction of the new Furniture and Frame Conservation lab as part of the new Conservation center at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston designed by Samuel Anderson and Associates. The new conservation center will bring together the Furniture and Frame, Scientific Research lab and the Mountmaking studio on one level and the Objects and Paintings conservation studios on the floor above. The final design of the lab evolved over 2 years with periodic meetings with the architects at the MFA followed by numerous e-mail communications to refine the specific requirements of the lab and the many details that needed to be worked out with the architects. To help us get an idea of what ideas and details might be useful to incorporate into our new lab the members of the Furniture and Frame conservation lab toured two local conservation labs that had been completed within the last few years. This proved to be extremely helpful as we worked out the details for our new space and we came away with many new ideas that we incorporated into our lab space. There were significant access problems with the old Furniture and Frame Conservation lab due to a small elevator and a series of steep steps that prevented us from bringing many large pieces of furniture or architectural woodwork to the lab. It was therefore necessary to work on larger objects in storage areas that was often problematic. The new labs have access to a large freight elevator that solves the access problem and will allow us to work on all of our objects in our new lab. The new lab was designed with a large open plan area that will accommodate the conservation work that we undertake on Furniture, frames, musical instruments and architectural woodwork. Tables are on wheels and the entire lab can be rearranged depending on the type and size of objects being worked on. Within our main lab we have an area for microscopy, cabinetry for the storage of smaller objects and tools and supplies. In addition to the main conservation space there are separate rooms for photography/examination, storage and office areas. A new feature of the lab is that there will be one long glass window that will allow visitors to come and see the conservation activities being undertaken within the lab space. Since 2005 the museum has had several different spaces with the museum for “Conservation in Action”. These “Conservation in Action” spaces have proved to be very popular with visitors and conservators alike as it has allowed us to convey the many different aspects of our conservation work to visitors.
Menthol and detachable paper fills: a new approach for loss compensation in gilding conservation / Yuqi Chock
06/18/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/18/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes An early 20th century carved and gilded rampant lion presented issues of flaking gold leaf and bole, areas of white bloom on a dirty surface, as well as patches of lost gilding. The lion used to be one of a pair decorating the top of a synagogue’s Torah Ark, alongside other carved animals. The ark had been made by the prolific cabinetmaker Simon Katz, who furnished many synagogues in upstate New York and Boston. X-ray radiography was conducted to reveal the construction method of the lion. Cross-section microscopy and FTIR analysis were performed to better understand the unusual gilding layers, which were found to be extremely water-sensitive. Consolidation of the flaking gilding was carried out, as well as surface cleaning with a non-polar gel, which successfully removed the white bloom while preserving the original toning material. A paper-based detachable fill was considered as an option for masking the largest patch of lost gilding, as the sensitivity of the bole and gilded surface prevented the use of the usual materials for traditional gilding and conservation infills. Two types of volatile binding media, cyclododecane and menthol, were considered to have potential as a temporary layer to protect the original surface while a mold was taken of the area marked for loss compensation. Cyclododecane was later excluded from testing after consulting recent literature that cited uncertainty over its potential health risks. Menthol, a derivative of peppermint oil that sublimes at room temperature, was tested for its suitability to be applied directly onto the original bole, while Japanese paper was laid on top of the layer of menthol using wheat starch paste in order to obtain a mold of the object’s surface. The Japanese tissue mold was removed when dry, and the menthol was left to evaporate from the surface completely. The Japanese tissue mold was then gilded and toned to match the surrounding original gilding. This method of using menthol as a temporary layer during the molding process has the potential to be utilized in creating paper-based detachable fills for other water-sensitive surfaces. The presentation will focus on the surface cleaning of the gilding, testing process with menthol, and findings regarding the practical application of menthol and the making of the paper-based molded detachable fill.
Through the Fire and Flames: Conservation and analysis of a polychrome wood Madonna and Child / Mari Hagemeyer
06/18/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/18/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes On October 10, 1938, the Baltimore Evening Sun reported on a fire which had broken out at an historical brick townhouse in downtown Baltimore, which at the time housed offices and workspaces for The Walters Art Gallery. The fire consumed much of the rear part of the building, including the conservation studio newly established there. Museum employees successfully used heavy fire doors between buildings to keep the flames from affecting the artwork housed in the adjacent museum; however, at least one object was not so lucky. A polychrome wood statue of the Madonna and Child had been awaiting treatment in the conservation studio at the time of the fire. The sculpture received a heavy coating of soot in addition to whatever soiling had already been present. It had already been affected by flaking polychromy and old insect damage at the time; with the addition of the sooty grime, conservation efforts were halted and the object was placed into storage, presumably written off as a lost cause. It would not be moved to the conservation laboratory until the early 2000s—almost seventy years later. A significant period of time has elapsed since the fire in 1938, which has brought along with it a number of advances in conservation technology as well as an accumulation of data on the object from multiple conservators’ treatment and research efforts. The current campaign has sought to apply these recent advances to the condition issues affecting this object, as well as the dearth of information about its origins. Due to the documented sensitivity of the surface to organic solvents, an aqueous cleaning solution was developed using the Modular Cleaning Program. Analyses are also underway to both describe the techniques present in the polychromy and understand its materiality; these analyses have been helpful in studying the object from an art historical viewpoint in addition to pure conservation study. The art historical study of the object has also been aided by the efforts to clean the surface, which revealed details of the polychromy which could not be discerned through the heavy soiling. Furthermore, cleaning has contributed to the understanding of the treatment history of the object prior to its sale to Henry Walters, revealing restorations which had blended into the darkened, dirty surface. Ultimately, it is hoped that this treatment campaign will allow the sculpture to be exhibited in the Walters Art Museum. The current campaign has already resulted in increased interaction with the statue both behind the scenes and in publicly accessible spaces such as the Conservation Window at the Walters Art Museum, where many visitors have expressed a desire to see the object once treatment is completed. Despite the damage it has sustained, this sculpture is unique in the Walters collection, and would prove a valuable addition to the displayable collection once cleaned, stabilized, and properly attributed.
Monday, June 22nd: Research and Technical Studies Session 1 (Meet & Greet with Bruker)
Polymeric Treasure: Evaluating the Composition of Civil War Era Rubber Objects from the USS Monitor / Molly McGath
06/22/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/22/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes This paper evaluates the composition of Civil War era rubber objects recovered from the USS Monitor marine wreck and treated by conservators at The Mariners’ Museum and Park over the last two decades. Compositional changes are anticipated where rubber objects have been exposed to burial environments and differing treatment conditions. Some rubber materials in gaskets appear to have properties of “new” rubber due to their isolation from environmental conditions as components of larger machines. These “like new” rubber objects offer a unique analytical viewpoint on historical rubber objects and rubber manufacture in the mid-19th century. Other rubber materials have been greatly impacted by the marine environment or the treatment conditions of the metals to which they were attached. The composition of the rubber artifacts was evaluated using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy. The test results reveal a wide range of compositions for the various rubber objects from USS Monitor, providing us with a better understanding of rubber manufacture in the 19th century, the aging of rubber when exposed to a marine environment, and the effects of treatment on rubber artifacts.
A Closer Look at School of Rembrandt’s Portrait of a Young Man in an Armchair at the Memorial Art Gallery / Fiona Beckett
06/22/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/22/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes Portrait of a Young Man in an Armchair at Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery has seen a troubled past. Attributed to Rembrandt and demoted several times, it has been difficult for curators and conservators to determine how the painting fits into Rembrandt’s greater oeuvre. The painting also suffered extensively, causing it to be conserved by the hands of four prominent American restorers. With a recent focus on Rembrandt paintings and conservation histories at institutions worldwide, updated information is now available to better characterize Rembrandt’s use of materials as well as the cumulative effect of conservation campaigns. As such, the armchair painting was worthy of a closer look. Faculty at the Patricia H and Richard E. Garman Art Conservation Program embarked on a collaborative research initiative with the Memorial Art Gallery to conduct technical imaging, fiber optics reflectance spectroscopy, x-ray fluorescence, Raman spectroscopy, cross-sectional analysis, x-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. The goal was to use current knowledge in the field and compare it to the information obtained from the painting. Of particular interest was the ground materials and specific compounds in the impasto. This presentation details the history of the artwork including former conservation initiatives, the current research related to Rembrandt’s painting materials, and how the Memorial Art Gallery’s Young Man in an Armchair fits into Rembrandt’s world. Finally, the challenges of obtaining the data as well as the greater context of attributions in the current museum environment are addressed. The results will be displayed in an interactive exhibition at the Memorial Art Gallery, enticing visitors to also have a closer look.
Archaeological Plant Fiber Identification through DNA Extraction and Sequence Match / Runying Chen
06/22/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/22/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes It is commonly recognized that identification of different bast fibers and leaf fibers of archaeological objects can be very challenging. One such example is the debate between the research teams led by Kvavadze (2009) and the team by Bergfjord (2010) about the identification of 30,000-year-old wild flax fiber. DNA analysis can be a potential new tool in dealing with this challenge. Murphy, et al (2011) identified flax and hemp fiber present in the rope and fabric samples from the Christmas Cave in Israel through DNA analysis; and some of the samples were dated as early as the “fourth millennium BCE”. This new technology can only work, however, when the plant fiber material contains other plant cells, such as parenchyma, because the dead fiber cells do not contain any plastids. In this paper we present DNA extraction and sequence matching results of two textile fragments recovered from Mary Rose, an English Tudor navy ship of King Henry VIII which sank in 1545. Before using the limited archaeological samples, we first replicated and tested the sample preparation method by Dunbar and Murphy (2009) with commercial rope samples (Chen and Mayer 2018). In addition to the rbcl primers used by Murphy, et al (2011), we explored matK and psbA3 + trnHf primers which are recommended for addressing the limitation of overlapping rbcl genes between species. The extracted DNA were sequenced using BigDye v.3.1 on an Applied Biosystems 3130 XL Genetic Sequencer. The sequences were used as a query for a BLASTn through the Geneious software package. Three DNA extraction experiments were made with two rope samples and ten sailcloth samples prepared from Mary Rose. DNA extractions were successful with the two rope samples and six out of the ten sailcloth samples using rbcl primers, and other primers failed to work with these samples. The results of DNA sequence matching revealed the rope sample (marling twine) from Mary Rose being cannabis sativa (hemp), rbclF2: ID = 130/136 or 96% and rbclR3a: ID = 138/140 or 99%, along with other two high percentage identities such as Humulus lupulus (a flowering plant of hemp family). These matches do indicate the limitation of rbcl gene for plant identification. However, it is known that hemp is the fiber plant cultivated for textile production. Among the six sailcloth samples’ DNA matching results, three showed one directional identity match at 98% and 99% with Urtica family members (nettle fiber); one showed two different identities matching of Urtica family at 98% and Populus at 93%; and the remaining two showed matches lower than 90% with other plants, including flax. These results demonstrate that DNA extraction and sequence matching are possible with archaeological plant fiber material, but the sequence matching results need to be examined and interpreted carefully due to overlapping rbcl gene region between plants and contaminations which could produce a false matching.
Tuesday, June 23rd: JAIC Session
Scholarly Writing for Conservation
06/23/2020 at 11:00 AM (EDT)   |  100 minutes
06/23/2020 at 11:00 AM (EDT)   |  100 minutes This session will cover a variety of topics on scholarly writing and publishing in a panel format, with discussion and Q&A at the end. Julio M. del Hoyo, Editor-in-Chief will present an overview of JAIC, including aims and scope of the journal, how to prepare and format your article, and offer a pre-submission checklist. Suzanne Davis, AIC's Vice President, and Corina Rogge, JAIC Associate Editor, will present “The ethics of authorship, acknowledgements, and credit.” They will cover issues of authorship and acknowledgements; responsibilities of authorship: the roles and obligations of first authors and co-authors; and professional recourses: what to do if your work has been plagiarized, used without appropriate credit, or submitted under your name without your review. Catherine Stephens, JAIC Associate Editor, will cover “Writing Style.” She will discuss the foundational aspects of figures, tables, and images; the importance of a clearly written abstract; and the physical layout of your article. Robin Hanson, JAIC Associate Editor, will present “The Mechanics of Writing for JAIC, ” including the use of citations in a scholarly work, image permissions, and transitioning a paper from a Specialty Group Postprint to JAIC. George Cooper, Managing Editor, Journals Anthropology, Conservation, Museum Studies & Heritage at Taylor & Francis, will share “How to publish an article with 'impact.'” He will discuss how to get published, the benefits of being published, and innovative tools available to promote your accepted article. Lastly, Heidi Lowther, Commissioning Editor for conservation books at Routledge, will briefly discuss “Tips on how to publish your first book.” We will hold time for discussion and Q&A at the end of the session.
Tuesday, June 23rd: Architecture Session 1 (Meet & Greet with G.C. Laser Systems)
Maintaining Modernism: Acoustical Plaster at the Walter Gropius House / Edward FitzGerald
06/23/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/23/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes Acoustical plaster is among the innovations in architectural materials of the early twentieth century. The material was typically a standard lime or gypsum plaster modified with porous aggregate, air-entraining admixtures, or fibers such as cellulose, cork, or asbestos, to create a sponge-like finish that could better absorb sound. Hydroscopic ingredients and the porous and often friable nature of the plaster make it challenging to clean. This presentation will discuss treatment options explored for cleaning acoustical plaster at the Walter Gropius House, a house museum operated by Historic New England. Gropius House, built in 1938 in Lincoln, MA, by influential German architect Walter Gropius, is an iconic example of the early modernist movement in the United States. The house notably combines traditional New England materials—wooden siding, brick, and fieldstone—with innovative products that had rarely been used in domestic architecture at the time, including glass block, metal casement windows, and acoustical plaster. The acoustical plaster features prominently, covering the walls and ceilings of the living room, dining room, and study as well as the ceilings of the first and second floor hallways. The plaster was a proprietary mixture, sold under the trade name, “Stucoustic”, and is a soft and moderately friable material with a textured surface created by the presence of large (approximately 2mm in diameter), aspherical air voids. Based on microscopic analysis, the plaster has a lime-based binder with aggregate composed of a medium-grained pumice and minor crushed marble constituent. Fibers present in the finish coat were extracted from the matrix and have been identified as cellulose. In 2016, Historic New England engaged Jablonski Building Conservation (JBC) to test and develop a cleaning program for the plaster. The once cutting-edge material was showing its age. Water stains and soiling discolored the white and pink-colored plaster. Dating back to 1945, several previous attempts to clean the plaster were made by others, including the Gropius Family. These efforts all relied on wet methods with varying levels of success. Concerned that wet methods could damage the hydroscopic material, JBC’s testing focused on dry cleaning methods including rubber sponges and proprietary poultices. Tests of these methods produced less than ideal results. In most tests, poulticing actually caused additional discoloration and all methods resulted in some surface loss. Ultimately, a light, masking coat of a modified limewash proved the most successful in returning the finish to its original appearance.
Conservation Consumption: Measuring the Gains and Losses of Building Restoration / Xsusha Flandro
06/23/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/23/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes In 1871, a fourth level Architecture course was offered in New York City that instructed on topics such as heating, ventilation and circulation of water. Notably, it asserted that the only way to successfully ventilate a building was to use fuel. Fast forward 150 years and we find that we are still battling this same concept, while simultaneously forcing our historic buildings to perform within modern energy limits. In the words of Greta Thunberg, a teenage environmentalist, “you only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess, even when the only sensible thing to do is pull the emergency brake.” To further understand the impacts of building restoration on the environment a small research project was undertaken. Research took place using two buildings with cast iron facades. Dating from the 1870’s, each structure underwent complete restoration and renovations between 2016 and 2019. Both were gutted of all interior finishes, entire facades were removed and restored off site and new backup wall assemblies were constructed using modern materials with the intent of improving the buidling's resistance to heat loss. Comcheck, WUFI and THERM software was utilized to analyze the energy efficiency of the new wall systems installed. The results of these computational analyses were then compared to the energy efficiency of the historic wall systems—calculated using the same software, an 8% increase in efficiency was identified. Additionally, the overall expected life span of the modern materials, construction waste generated, and the amount of fossil fuels used during restoration were roughly calculated and graphed to get an overarching idea of how “green” the two projects were (life cycle assessment). The prevailing belief in the construction industry is that historic buildings function poorly in terms of energy usage, and that restoration and preservation are “green” practices; however, very rarely is data actually presented to support these claims. We can no longer afford to be myopic about conservation and restoration. Measuring the environmental losses and gains of building restoration should be included in conservation discussions. This presentation will explore using modern software tools to assess the environmental impacts of building restoration.
The Reality of Architecture as a Conserved Object / David Overholt
06/23/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/23/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes Over time, treatment protocol established by objects conservators expanded to include architectural conservation and preservation. With the ultimate goal to provide the highest level quality at the best value, and provide long-range performance and durability, preservation tradespeople and conservation firms are engaged to execute a defined scope of work. Construction managers and general contractors are challenged to find qualified firms that not only have the capability to deliver a high level of craftsmanship, but also possess the business acumen to manage and administer, for instance, submittals, shop drawings, requests for information, and provide the staffing necessary for a large-scale complex project. Creative solutions are necessary to help the best craftspeople cope with the pressures of a modern project, where documentation, accounting and meetings are overwhelming. The success of a preservation project lies ultimately in the hands of the craftspeople. The construction manager provides the conduit between the design professionals and work in the field. A building, as an object to be conserved, is made up of a myriad of complex, individual components; plaster, wood, masonry, ornamental metals, chandeliers, floors, elevators, staircases. Viewed as an aggregate, the quality of the individual parts contribute to the overall aesthetic of the whole. The objective of this presentation is to provide a construction manager's perspective and analysis for the following project components: Procurement - Pre-Qualification of Preservation Trades, Conservators and Artisans understand specification requirements for the preservation/conservation scope of work summarize the scope of work in the construction documents, for individual trades, for bidding purposes help potential subcontractors fully comprehend the intent of the construction documents identify qualified firms, artisans, tradespeople and conservators identify certification required for specific tasks, for example laser cleaning understand which firms will be able to ramp-up staffing levels to match the needs of the project as it evolves towards completion understand how firms reach out to third tier subcontractors to match staffing level needs Budget procuring qualified firms within budget limitations balancing the client's high expectations for quality vs. the low bid reality of the budget best value concept working with the trades to assure that their business, administrative and project management capabilities are adequate for the project size mockups pre-construction qualification mockups - compare work against other subcontractors pre-construction design development mockups reliable subs help solve design issues ahead of final construction documents minimize change orders mockups required per specifications targeted, practical and most importantly reproducible on a large scale Schedule managing scope additions tracking progress what it means to supplement trades if they are unable to meet the needs of the schedule Quality qualify individual mechanics i.e. cutting, pointing, carving, and patching masonry monitoring quality managing expectations of the client will the work in place look "new" or maintain it's appearance as having aged Case studies to include: President Lincoln and Soldiers' Home National Monument Old Senate Chamber at the Maryland State House The U.S. Capitol Dome Skirt Rostral Columns at Union Station Laylight Restoration at the Daughters of the American Revolution Memorial Continental Hall.
Wednesday, June 24th: Electronic Media Session 2 - Hardware
From repair to prepare, concepts for the preservation of picture tubes in video art / Jochen Saueracker
06/24/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/24/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes „from repair to prepare“ concepts for the preservation of picture tubes in video art. The CRT televisions used to be a wide spread presentation medium and they also became a structural part in many artworks since the rise of video art in the 70s and 80s. With nearly all picture tube televisions at the end of their lifetime new concepts to keep this iconic cultural machine alive for the future are urgently needed. At the same time we face the fact that the supporting industry and the maintenance structure of analog televisions has vanished. The technique of rebuilding picture tubes was also lost. Three years ago Christian Draheim, a specialist for display systems, established a new workshop for the rebuilding of picture tubes. reintroduced the technique to the museum restoration and conservation world already allowed to give a new span of life for s. This presentation will describe the process of rebuilding a picture tube and will focus on the preparations that are necessary today to support the CRT technology. A predictive maintenance process has to be established. The necessary steps for the near future to keep not only the picture tubes alive, but simultaneously the technical knowledge about the CRTs, will be reviewed. To experience the qualities of an analog image the viewers needs the technical structure of an analog display. The fragile equilibrium of artist-artwork-technology-time needs a prospective approach to be intelligible in the future.
Jim Campbell: Caring for Custom Hardware in Time-based Media / Shu-Wen Lin
06/24/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/24/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes Contemporary artist Jim Campbell is renowned for his innovative approach of integrating custom electronics with multimedia works. Opposing the high-resolution world we are currently situated in, Campbell’s blurry, pixelated moving images in his ongoing Low Resolutions series forces viewers instead to focus on movement and shapes. Collected by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Grand Central Station #2 illuminates moving images of passengers in the main terminal at Grand Central Station in New York City. It consists of a grid of nine LED panels as a display screen, nine FPGA-based controlling electronics adhered to the back of each LED panel, a printed Plexiglas, and a power supply. In the artist's own words, the controlling electronics are the brains, and the FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) integrated circuits are the heart. To communicate between non-digital electronic systems, the artist’s source designs were taken through a complicated optimization process where human-readable codes are translated into specific binary forms to be loaded onto the circuitry. The LED matrix display with the adhered controlling electronics were collected as a self-contained unit comprising of the information carrier, playback, and display equipment. With a background in electrical engineering and mathematics, Campbell designs and configures all the custom hardware for the unique purpose of his art works. Unlike many mass-produced consumer products used in time-based media, these modules are carefully and thoughtfully designed by the artist and his studio in San Francisco, California. Over the course of twenty years, the artist has demonstrated an early adoption of technology that requires highly specialized skills by consistently working with the same technology. The evolution of his design technique reflects the technological development and progression in the industry. Reprogrammable circuits and controllers play an increasingly significant role in interactive installations because they offer great flexibility for artists to execute specific functions. Emulation may allow a caretaker to retain software’s functionalities over virtual machines running on contemporary hardware; nonetheless, it cannot be accounted for maintaining and migrating embedded hardware designs over legacy technology. To address the unparalleled role of artist-made hardware, I performed a comprehensive study of both the creation process as well as the prevalent industrial practices. With the assistance of electrical engineers and computer science experts, I aim to identify the complex trajectory and technical characteristics of hardware configurations, and further disseminate the overarching principles to care for custom electronics in time-based media.
Thursday, June 25th: Plastic Challenges in Cultural and Ecological Preservation - Session 2
Fashion’s Plastic Problem: Preventive Conservation for Synthetic Materials / Kaelyn Garcia and Marina Hays
06/25/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/25/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes Co-Author: Sarah Scaturro Contemporary fashion collections contain a time bomb: plastics of variable composition and stability found in clothing, shoes, hats, and other accessories. These plastics exist in a wide range of formats, like fabrics, fasteners, embellishments, laminates, and coatings. To date, there is no comprehensive method or study established that addresses the preservation and treatment of plastics in fashion collections. Those plastics which have been in use since the nineteenth century, such as cellulose nitrate and cellulose acetate, have been extensively studied, but the deterioration of more modern plastics—notably polyvinyl chloride and thermoplastic polyurethane—are less well understood. The Costume Institute Conservation Department has been conducting a multi-year project on the preservation of plastics commonly found in fashion objects. One aspect of this project is a real-time aging experiment to assess the effects of various storage conditions on these materials. The experiment was inspired by and designed to expand on the findings of the cross-institutional POPART (Preservation of Plastic ARTefacts in museum collections) project, which used composite plastic dolls as reference objects to compare the natural aging behaviors of the various component materials. In the Costume Institute’s experiment, the reference objects were designed to resemble mannequins and were made from nineteen different plastic materials that have been found in fashion objects in the CI collection. In spring 2017, fifteen mannequins were placed in a range of different locations and storage conditions where they would be exposed to various temperatures, levels of light, moisture, and oxygen. Prior to placement, the mannequins underwent technological analysis to capture the color, mass, and tensile strength of the plastic components; in fall 2019, the component materials are again being analyzed to assess changes related to their real-time aging. The goal is to collect information on how the materials fared in each environment, thus providing guidance for storage decisions in the future. Questions that we hope to answer include: is cold storage a viable possibility for composite objects made of different materials? How are plastics affected by movement from cold storage to gallery conditions and back again? What is the best way to house objects in cold storage? Is anoxic storage an effective method for slowing the degradation of plastics that are prone to deterioration by oxidative mechanisms? Does airtight storage, which is cheaper and more accessible than anoxia, have a beneficial effect? Does anoxic or low-oxygen storage negatively affect any materials? What is the ideal relative humidity within an anoxic environment? How does light impact each material, and does it change depending on the environment? While the mannequin experiment was designed in part to provide specific information about the spaces where fashion is stored and exhibited at The Met, the answers to questions like these will be applicable to other institutions. The experiment is also a case study that will demonstrate the utility of relatively low-tech real-time time aging experiments in general, which may be a valuable way for institutions—especially those with limited resources—to learn about their particular collections storage spaces and how best to use them.
Conserving Vintage Dior: Investigating New Methods for Cleaning Deteriorating Patent Leather / Natalya Swanson
06/25/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/25/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes The deterioration of the polymeric components in synthetic patent leather coatings is a concern for museums and institutions with collection items originally mass-produced for the consumer market. As these objects age and begin to chemically deteriorate, mobile components migrate out of the polymer matrix and deposit on exterior surfaces. Depending on the form of degradation, the object may become sticky and/or develop a bloom. Both of these conditions are unsightly and pose concerns for the object and surrounding collection items: sticky plastics adhere to mounts, storage housings, or adjacent collection items, and can attract soiling; the development of a bloom, or fatty acid exudate, compromises the physical stability of an object and can be mistaken for mold, which may prompt inappropriate actions. The complexity of caring for these objects is multifold, and without pro- and reactive action, these objects cannot be exhibited. The deteriorated surfaces are highly sensitive to mechanical action and to a variety of commonly used solvents, which makes interventive action challenging. To address the void in published information regarding cleaning options for degraded synthetic patent leather coatings, an experimental investigation was undertaken with a pair of Christian Dior heels, c. 1968/9, from the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s study collection. The exterior surfaces of the shoes had an uneven, blotchy appearance and the tongues and upper top edge were deformed from being unsupported in storage. Other condition concerns included cracking along the back line and signs of minimal wear. The study included research into the context of the object’s creation and ownership, and an exploration of how the object’s biography affects assigning values and subsequent conservation decision making; characterization of the coating as a polyurethane-ester blend and efflorescence as adipic acid with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy; and development and implementation of a multi-step cleaning protocol based on extensive heuristic testing. This object’s condition and status as a study collection item permitted a highly experimental treatment where various materials, including gels and silicone solvents, and delivery methods were tested. The overall treatment was very successful. The surface has a much more uniform finish and distortions were safely reduced. This talk will include findings of this pilot treatment, a discussion of problem solving and adjustments made based on local sensitivities of the surface coating, and the author’s autoethnographic approach to documentation.
The Conservation of Turning Point, Philip Johnson’s Monumental Outdoor GRP Sculpture / Claire Curran and Julie Reilly
06/25/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/25/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes Philip Johnson’s sculpture, Turning Point, a monumental, multicomponent composite glass reinforced plastic sculpture with five elements installed on a purpose-designed concrete plaza, was commissioned by Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in 1995. It was the Cleveland native and acclaimed architect’s first foray into sculpture. In 2012, the sculpture was de-installed and due to the size and weight of the pieces, was stored laying on its side, outdoors on a grassy lot, uncovered and fully exposed for six years. The subsequent development of a new campus green space in 2019 led to the desire to conserve and reinstall this important work. CWRU approached ICA-Art Conservation in late 2018 to oversee the conservation and reinstallation. The sculpture exhibited an extensive network of fine cracks deep into the GRP layers with loss to the paint and gel coat. Additionally, several large cracks and losses in one of the elements allowed water to infiltrate into the interior, leaving pools of water or blocks of ice, depending on the season. ICA-Art Conservation worked with Thomarios©, a commercial painting, coatings, and construction contractor, for the project. Upon transport of the sculpture to the Thomarios© indoor warehouse facility, closer examination revealed that the cracking in the GRP was pervasive, requiring a more involved course of treatment that was much costlier and time intensive than initially estimated. Budget and timeline concerns for the multimillion-dollar green space project ultimately resulted in delays and compromises to the course of treatment that produced an outcome that provided stabilization, but no clear warranty of long-term efficacy. This presentation discusses navigation through a complex of factors -- deteriorating artist materials, limitation of the original fabrication, unavailability of original formulations, evolution of GRPs and replacement polymers, the passing of the artist and the fabricator, university politics, allied contractors, budgetary constraints, and time constraints -- that challenged treatment protocols, timelines, and the successful completion of the project. Turning Point was reinstalled in August of 2019 and rededicated on September 5, 2019.
Monday, June 29th: Book and Paper Session 1 (Meet & Greet with Tru Vue and Foster + Freeman)
Thinking Beyond the Frame / Victoria Binder and Allison Brewer
06/29/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/29/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes For centuries the frame has been the indisputable method of displaying two-dimensional artworks in Western society. The frame is versatile in appearance and forms a contained environment that protects the object. Yet it has its limitations. It can be costly, incompatible with the object, and create a barrier between the viewer and the work. Endless frames on a gallery wall, typically in standard sizes, can sometimes create monotony and disengage the visitor. In this rapidly changing world, art institutions are shifting their approaches to engaging the audience, with trends towards immersive and dynamic exhibition environments. This includes the display of artwork and artifacts. As exhibitions become more unconventional and lively, there is a need to think safely beyond the frame. For decades, the paper lab at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco has been developing safe alternative methods of displaying works on paper that present unique challenges in regards to size, material, and context. The honing of these methods over the years found its ultimate application in two recent major exhibitions at the de Young Museum, The Summer of Love Experience: Art Fashion and Rock & Roll (2017), and Ed Hardy: Deeper than Skin (2019). Both exhibitions, celebrating creativity and countercultures, showcased a wide variety of works on paper and presented big challenges. The Summer of Love Experience, consisted of over 200 works on paper including rock posters, album covers, ephemera, and a large 10 x 21 ft screenprint billboard. Ed Hardy: Deeper than Skin featured nearly 400 of Hardy’s tattoo and fine arts pieces including conventional prints, drawings on delicate ruled paper, tattoo parlor flash art on illustration board, preparatory drawings on tracing paper, works on thick amate paper, and large Tyvek paintings, including one 500 ft long scroll. To honor the original intent of the works and the vibrant and non-traditional nature of the art, and (not the least concern) the budgets for the exhibitions, alternative display methods were required. Solutions for these multi-faceted exhibitions required close collaboration with curators, designers, and technicians. Methods of display included the use of rare earth magnets and presenting many works on paper uncovered, in different ways. Acrylic sandwiches, generally frowned upon, were also successfully employed and turned out to be a huge cost savings. Display solutions necessitated a balance of creativity and safety and, despite many unconventional display techniques, no art was harmed during the course of the exhibition. The logistics of treating and mounting so many artworks in a short period of time also demanded streamlined systems. One of the outcomes beyond the exhibition itself was the development of a test kitchen for display methods, a permanent showroom wall with the various possibilities for display.
Laid Bare: Preserving our Nation’s History in view of the public at the National Park Service / Angela Campbell
06/29/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/29/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes As is clearly laid out in its mission statement, the National Park Service (NPS) “preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.” Though the majority of the public associates the NPS with its natural resources, its cultural resource holdings exceed 50 million artifacts, reflecting the broad and diverse history of our nation. More than half of these artifacts are in collections located in the NPS’s Northeast Region, which extends from Virginia to Maine. As a Paper Conservator for the NPS, based in the Northeast Region, I am routinely faced with the challenges of both encouraging access to these artifacts, as well as ensuring their preservation and safety. Two distinct projects revealed some of the inherent tensions between these responsibilities. The Salem Maritime National Historic Site is home to 12 historic structures, all of which include paper and paper-based artifacts. In 1978, when a historic building newly acquired by the NPS was being renovated, an intricate Victorian wall mural comprised of approximately one thousand faces and figures cut from local performance posters and adhered directly to a wallpapered wall was discovered. In an effort to preserve the mural, the piece was cut out of the wall, with horsehair plaster and lath intact, and placed in storage. Treatment began on site, in the NPS Visitor Center, in 2017. The Visitor Center is open to the public and is treated by tourists as a gateway to all that Salem has to offer. Since the mural is both visually arresting and enormous, hundreds of visitors from all walks of life engaged with the project. I worked closely with both the curatorial staff and the interpretive staff at the Park in order to ensure a clear message, particularly when discussing some of the more culturally-charged elements of the mural. The Martin Van Buren National Historic Site, which is likewise tasked with sharing its cultural resources with the public, is home to a beautiful Zuber wallpaper in what was used as the formal dining hall of our 8th President’s home. In contrast to the mural in Salem, the spectacular Zuber wallpaper was never covered up, though it did suffer substantial damage. After an in-depth and off-site conservation treatment in the 1980s, the paper was rehung, and the park now encourages visitors to walk carefully through the space and view the wallpaper that bore witness to the dealings of eminent 19th-century politicians. Unfortunately, environmental fluctuations and the lingering hands of visitors have caused minor but repeated damage to the paper. In an effort to share the story of the wallpaper as well as the importance of its preservation, an informational film titled, “Saving the Scene: National Park Service Conservation of Martin Van Buren’s Zuber Wallpaper at Lindenwald,” was created. This film reaches a wide audience, and conveys both the history of this significant wallpaper as well as the care that the NPS has devoted to it.
Varnished Artworks Created By Children During Art Therapy Sessions: Legal and Material Considerations / Laura McCann and Chantal Stein
06/29/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/29/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes A novel conservation challenge arose during research into varnished artworks on paper created by children during art therapy sessions at the Wiltwyck School for Boys from 1951-1957. The artworks are part of a large collection that documents the life and work of artist and pioneering art therapist Edith Kramer. As products of art therapy, the artworks are not only art; they are also medical documents, subject to specific regulations in the United States. These regulations impact conservation goals and documentation protocols. This presentation will detail analysis undertaken to identify the materials to best conserve the works, and will then describe how that analysis informed actions to make the works available to researchers while ensuring legal compliance with the health care privacy laws in the United States. While Kramer used pseudonyms in her publications, the vast majority of the artworks reveal private health information that must be withheld for fifty years after the death of the art therapy recipient, according to health care privacy laws. Restricting access to the collection for up to 100 years (many of the artists are still alive) was considered an unacceptable option. Therefore the conservation goals included temporarily obscuring access to private health information until the restrictions are lifted. The forty-two expressive works under discussion depict a range of subject matter, including people, animals, objects, fantastical beasts, and cityscapes. They are executed in charcoal, graphite, and/or matte opaque paint. Kramer then hastily coated the surfaces with a brush-applied varnish she describes as “plastic paint.” The unevenly-applied varnish is grayish in tone, slightly tacky, and contains many bubbles and accretions. Application of the varnish disturbed the original media, dramatically altering the surface texture from matte opaque to semi-gloss. Microchemical spot testing, SEM-EDS, and FTIR analysis were undertaken to study the varnish and paint media. The methodology will be presented along with the results that suggest that the varnish is a PMMA product and that the paint includes a polysaccharide binder and various inorganic extenders. Informed by the analysis and research into brush-applied acrylic-based varnishes available in the 1950s in the United States, a number of mounting strategies were employed that temporarily obstruct access to the private health information until the privacy regulations expire. Where the non-interventive mounting techniques could not block access to private health data, an interventive solution was developed that involved applying toned paper patches over the private information. These patches are visible and easily removable by future conservators without impacting the varnish layers, but not overly intrusive to the viewer. Reversibility is required, as once the privacy restrictions expire then the patches can be removed. The specific protocols were developed in collaboration with archivists to ensure that documentation practices adhered to the privacy regulations and that the composition and function of the obscuring mounts and patches are communicated to all stakeholders. These protocols provide a model for sharing conservation data with current and future stakeholders.
Monday, June 29th: Book and Paper Group Business Meeting
2020 BPG Business Meeting
06/29/2020 at 3:30 PM (EDT)   |  105 minutes
06/29/2020 at 3:30 PM (EDT)   |  105 minutes Annual business meeting open to all members of AIC's Book and Paper Group. Please register for the separately by clicking on the link to the right.
Tuesday, June 30th: Book and Paper Session 2 (Meet and Greet with Bruker)
Hair Today and (Not) Gone Tomorrow: The Conservation of a 19th Century Hair Album / Mary French
06/30/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/30/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes In the 19th century, hair art was a popular way to remember loved ones: regarded with sentimental affection, human hair was made into accessories or stored in albums. As it ages, hair art poses an interesting conservation challenge since hair becomes brittle and fragile, and is often incorporated into objects whose other components have competing conservation priorities. When multiple pieces of hair are introduced into a bound structure with moving parts, the result is a particularly complex object. Formulating a treatment plan that maintains the functionality and historic appearance of the book while also addressing the conservation needs of the hair requires drawing from multiple conservation disciplines to overcome this unique challenge. In 2019, the Davenport House Museum in Savannah, Georgia sent a 19th century hair album to the Northeast Document Conservation Center for conservation and digitization. Created in 1829 by Sarah Davenport, a boarding house keeper, widow, and mother of 10 children, the album contains locks of hair from members of Sarah’s family, as well as handwritten poems and anecdotes. Having lost her husband, mother, and three of her children in the preceding years, the album is a tangible representation of Sarah's enduring love and remembrance. The locks of hair had been tied to the support leaves with silk ribbons, but the silk was degraded and broken, and many of the locks were detached. Because the locks could move freely within the support leaves, strands of hair were broken from mechanical wear. Some locks were no longer on the correct support leaf and many were already missing. Additionally, strain from the hair’s extra bulk caused the binding to fail. The goals of treatment were to stabilize the hair and prevent further loss, restore functionality to the binding, mend the broken silk ribbons, identify the correct location and positioning of the hair locks, and reattach them to the support leaves. Deciding how to treat the hair was complicated by its fragile nature and the curatorial desire to return the album to its original appearance and layout. Simply reattaching the hair with the lined silk ribbons was not possible since this would place too much strain on the hair at the single point of attachment. This paper will discuss how the author navigated the difficulty and limitations of treating human hair while preserving the artifactual and structural properties of the album. Drawing on book, textile, and objects conservation techniques, the book conservator devised an innovative and fully reversible treatment to stabilize the hair locks and reattach them to the support leaves along with the mended silk ribbons, and repaired the binding without causing further damage to the hair or the book. The author will also discuss how visual cues were used to determine the correct locations of the detached locks based on their size and shape in relation to surrounding text, the unique discoloration patterns they left in the support leaves, and by matching silk ribbon fragments from the locks with corresponding fragments still laced through leaves in the text block.
Restoration, Rebinding, Conservation: Changes in Collections Care over 275 years at the APS Library / Renee Wolcott
06/30/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/30/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes The American Philosophical Society, founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin for the “pursuit of useful knowledge,” has maintained a research library since its earliest days. In the institution’s 275-year history, the Library’s approach to collections care has changed as the conservation field has evolved, from binding loose documents and pamphlets in the 1700s to item-level treatment in today’s fully staffed and well equipped conservation lab. In the years between, the APS forged relationships with many contract binders and restorers beyond its walls and established its own in-house conservation facility. The APS Archives reveal the Library’s long-standing concern with stabilizing its collections, and provide details concerning the individuals hired to perform the work, including Philadelphia binder Jane Aitken in the early 19th century; Library of Congress manuscript restorer William Berwick in the early 20th century; Carolyn Rugh (later Horton), who was hired as the first APS on-site conservator in 1935; and Willman Spawn, the Society’s first full-time conservator. Not all of these restorers and conservators left records of their work, but the collections themselves reflect the changing materials and methods in use over the years, from Western-paper fills and silk lamination to indiscriminate rebinding to today’s historically sensitive item-level treatment. This long, varied history of collections care also means that today’s conservators must sometimes reverse earlier treatments that no longer serve the needs of the books and documents they were designed to protect. This constant engagement with and reassessment of conservation work from the past is common in smaller research libraries, particularly as scientific conservation techniques have been slower to catch on in the complex interplay among binders, restorers, and program-trained book conservators. The Society’s approach to the evolving history of conservation treatment may serve as a guide for other institutions in like circumstances.
Arsenic and Old Bookcloth: the Safe Handling, Storage, and Treatment of Potentially Toxic Victorian-Era Cloth-Case Publisher’s Bindings / Melissa Tedone and Rosie Grayburn
06/30/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/30/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes Analysis of decorated, cloth-case, publisher’s bindings at Winterthur Library revealed starch-coated bookcloth colored with “emerald green,” or copper acetoarsenite, a pigment known to be extremely toxic. This pigment’s popularity in England and the United States during the Victorian era is well documented. While the colorant was known to be widely used in textiles for home decoration and apparel, wallpaper, and toys, its use specifically in bookcloth has not been formally explored. Successful bookcloths were a closely guarded trade secret during the nineteenth century, limiting our current understanding of their materiality and manufacture. Conservation staff and interns at Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library conducted a survey of bookcloth pigments in order to correlate the presence of emerald green and other potentially toxic pigments with specific publishers and dates. The project initially focused on the library’s circulating collection, which poses a greater potential risk to patrons, and then expanded to include the rare book collection. English-language books published between 1837 and 1900 align with the rising use of bookcloth on publisher’s case bindings. X-ray fluorescence (XRF) was used to collect elemental information from bookcloths. When arsenic and copper were found together, Raman spectroscopy was used to confirm emerald green. The Winterthur Library data set was further expanded in cooperation with The Library Company of Philadelphia, which has significant holdings of cloth-case publisher’s bindings. To date, ten books at Winterthur have been confirmed as containing emerald green, four of which were found in the circulating collection. A total of 28 books at The Library Company tested positive for copper and arsenic. Trends in emerald green bookcloth use based on this data include: consistent, visually identifiable hue of vivid green; gold and blind stamped decoration; English and American imprints; imprint dates from the 1840s–1860, with peak popularity from 1852 to 1858. The data also revealed trends in green bookcloth use overall. Case bindings bound in green cloth from the 1830s through 1840s were more likely to show iron-based greens, while case bindings from the 1860s through 1900 were more likely to show lead-based greens. Quantitative analysis performed by the University of Delaware Soil Testing Lab revealed significant levels of arsenic. Arsenic pick-up tests revealed that a dry cotton swab rolled across the surface of the bookcloth attracted arsenic-containing offset, indicating that the bookcloth colorant is extremely friable. In order to contextualize these results, the research team consulted with University of Delaware Environmental Health & Safety to develop approaches for mitigating routes of potential exposure. At Winterthur, arsenical books formerly housed in the circulating collection have been moved into the controlled environment of the rare book collection. Arsenical books are stored together in a designated area, in order to facilitate future monitoring as well as safety during collection emergency response. Arsenical volumes are shelved sealed individually in zip-top, 4-mil., polyethylene baggies. A code indicating a handling hazard has been added to the volumes’ call numbers as an immediate signal to library staff when one of these books is requested by a researcher. Safe handling tips, such as wearing nitrile gloves, have been added to the library catalog record, and library staff have received training in how to handle the materials and advise patrons. Conservation treatment should ideally take place under a certified chemical fume hood. A description of the project and list of arsenical volumes can be publicly accessed on the Winterthur Wiki at http://wiki.winterthur.org/PoisonBookProject. A bookmark with color swatches and information to assist with non-instrumental identification of arsenical volumes is available from Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library.
Audrey Amiss, artist and patient: preserving her legacy / Stefania Signorello
06/30/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/30/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes This talk focusses on the challenges posed by a complex collection donated to Wellcome Collection in 2014 comprising of framed works on paper, unframed prints and drawings, diaries, photographic albums and scrapbooks by the contemporary artist Audrey Amiss. These artefacts tell a story of a promising Royal Academy art student whose life was changed by a mental breakdown, and eventually bipolar disorder and paranoid schizophrenia. The author will highlight only part of this very large collection: a series of 150 scrapbooks, compiled by Audrey from 1980s to 2013. They contain food and drink packaging from what Audrey consumed, adhered in place by herself with pressure sensitive tape (Sellotape)/glue and annotated with her views on their design and on the food itself. The scrapbooks present the following challenges: Severe wedging due to packaging, paper cups, cartons, foil trays, plastic shopping bags attached to the leaves with either Sellotape -to be preserved-, or liquid glue -which has caused mould growth-. Remains of food are still present in the packaging (potential pest issue). They should be digitised before the Sellotape loses tackiness and prior to mould treatments as this shows the way Audrey worked (H&S issues). Once treated, they need to be made accessible to users, even if in anoxia storage (unsealed and resealed). Balancing the needs of a collection with an intrinsically short lifespan, limited budget to preserve/store risky material for the rest of the core collection because of possible pest/VOCs issues. The talks will highlight work ethics and research questions raised by Audrey’s scrapbooks. How the author is carrying out trials for feasible anoxic enclosures, starting from current techniques -doing some cross-discipline collaborative work with major UK institutions- and exploring possible sustainable and cost-effective ways to preserve Audrey’s legacy. The goal is to work towards slowing down the degradation of these multi-natured materials, contain potential pests and mould issues, protect the surrounding collections whilst in storage, and to digitise it as soon as possible. Throughout the whole project the author is constantly reminding herself that this collection is destined to break down faster than most collections held at Wellcome. Therefore, despite the duty of care, to extend the useful life of these scrapbooks and make them available to researchers, it is sensible to contain costs and accept compromising solutions. The author sees these challenges as a great learning experience she would like to share/raise questions with the conservation community, especially as these works give an invaluable and thorough insight into a common, but among the most misunderstood, medical condition.