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A history hidden in the details

The recent conservation treatment of an early Netherlandish panel painting in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art prompted a close comparison of the work with a similar panel painting in Copenhagen. The examination and resulting discoveries about how the painting was produced is now detailed on the Met's web site, in a blog post co-authored by WUDPAC Class of 2013 alumna Laura Hartman when she was the museum's Mellon Fellow in Paintings Conservation.

WUDPAC alumna investigates the longevity of artworks

The Miami Herald has named WUDPAC Class of 2011 alumna Emily MacDonald-Korth one of their "20 under 40"—young professionals making their mark in innovative fields.

Philanthropic support of art conservation training

The Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation was spotlighted by Inside Philanthropy magazine as "on the cutting edge of their field," and an example of why organizations such as the Mellon Foundation support the "living, fluid, ever-changing" field of art conservation.

Mellon Foundation grant supports initiative by UD and partners in Middle East

  • MEPPI. Debra Hess Norris (left) teaches at a MEPPI workshop in Jordan (photo by Abdulrahman Alghabiri).

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation recently awarded a three-year, $440,000 grant to the University of Delaware to continue an initiative that seeks to improve the awareness and preservation of the Middle East region’s rich photographic heritage.

Student Blog: The conservation of painted surfaces

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  • Nick Pedemonti.Applying adhesive to cracks and flaking ajami on Syrian Room Ceiling, Shangri La, Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu. Photo Courtesy of Nicole Peters.
  • Detail image in raking light of flaking ajami on decorated ceiling in the Syrian Room at Shangri La, Honolulu. Photo Courtesy of Nick Pedemonti.
  • Nick Pedemonti. ”Conservation in Progress” in the Syrian Room at Shangri La, Honolulu. Photo Courtesy of Lauren Fair.
  • Jon Braenne demonstrates the proper application procedure for linseed oil paints after preparing them from raw materials. Photo Courtesy of Nick Pedemonti.

In this post, WUDPAC Class of 2015 Fellow Nick Pedemonti shares the wide ranging aspects of treating paint surfaces and the equally diverse activities that took him from Quebec to Hawai`i to New York City in the first months of his internship year: a workshop on oil paint preparation run by the Canadian Conservation Association, mapping and consolidation of the painted rooms at Doris Duke’s estate in Honolulu, and Nick's upcoming internship at the Sherman Fairchild Center for Objects Conservation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Bringing Chinese export studies to Hong Kong

  • Joao at IIC

Furniture conservator and PSP student Maria João Petisca has been studying lacquered furniture for more than a decade. This month she traveled to Hong Kong for the annual meeting of the International Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works—and presented a poster exploring her work with the Winterthur Museum's Chinese export furniture collections.

PSP student helps bring digital preservation to Israel

Jane Klinger—Chief Conservator at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and a PSP student—recently traveled with an international group of conservators to a workshop devoted to the physical and digital preservation of documents at Jerusalem's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial. Over three days, these visiting experts discussed the ethical and technical challenges of conserving the original documents while creating a digital archive to make these significant objects more accessible to the public.

Artist's changes made visible through x-radiography

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  • villanova image
  • Villanova image
  • villanova image, david's repositioned hands

The collaborative UD-Villanova project to preserve and restore Pietro da Cortona's "The Triumph of David" has entered a new and exciting phase. With the help of scientists from General Electric Company and their portable x-ray equipment, lead conservator and PSP doctoral candidate Kristin De Ghetaldi and her team are finding artist's alterations in the enormous 17th-century painting. Thus far, they have discovered changes in the position of the main figure's hands, plus a hidden figure covered by a shield.

UD and art conservation embrace "living learning communities" on campus

  • Members of UD's material culture LLC

On-campus living learning communities (LLC), help students who share a major live near each other, study together, receive help from peer mentor students, and benefit from other resources from their department. A biology LLC began at UD last year and since then, other freshman academic living communities have developed, such as the College of Earth, Ocean and the Environment community and the material culture LLC, which includes freshman art history, art conservation and anthropology majors.

Art conservation and doctoral study

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  • ARTC eblast August 2014. Tatiana today, analyzing samples of  Louis’s paint materials.
  • ARTC eblast August 2014. PSP  doctoral candidate Tatiana Ausema in  2008, working on a Noland painting, a project that piqued her interest in  Color Field painting technique.
  • ARTC eblast August 2014. Tatiana working with UD undergraduate  students on the conservation treatment  of paintings.

A few years ago, paintings conservator Tatiana Ausema was at a professional crossroads. The 2003 WUDPAC graduate was working at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, where her job as a collections assistant entailed coordinating the activities of the conservation, registrar, and photography departments. Although she enjoyed her work, her career path seemed to be leading away from art conservation. She wondered if that was where she wanted to go. In 2010, she made the decision to pursue a relatively new option for conservators, the University of Delaware’s Ph.D. program in Preservation Studies.

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