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Symposium and workshop on Chinese export lacquer

The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works and the Winterthur Museum present "Exotic Surfaces: Chinese Export Lacquer Symposium and Workshop," to be held at the Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library on October 29-30, 2015.

Fulbright Blog: Cross-country conservators

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  • ART graduate and Fulbright scholar Alyssa Hull Analyzing Munch's paint tubes with XRF at the Munch Museum (photo courtesy of Erika Gohde Sandbakken)
  • Alyssa Hull. view over Jotunheim National Park.

ARTC graduate Alyssa Hull is currently in Norway, working as a Fulbright Scholar with staff and collections at the Munch Museum and the University of Oslo. In Alyssa’s latest blog post, she updates us on her work assisting in the study of Munch’s pigments, and her adventures surviving the Norwegian winter and skiing across the country with a cadre of conservators.

Blogging about contemporary art conservation

The International Network for the Conservation of Contemporary Art has a very active membership, with regular updates from members of their North American affiliate (INCCA-NA). WUDPAC and PSP students and alumni regularly contribute to the online presence of contemporary art conservation with blog posts featuring their own conservation projects. 

Student Blog: The role of preventive conservation

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  • Kelly McCauley Pebbles Island. Monitoring light levels in laboratory workspaces at Peebles Island. (Photo credit: Claire Burns)
  • Kelly McCauley Pebbles Island. Monitoring light levels in laboratory workspaces at Peebles Island. (Photo credit: Claire Burns)
  • Kelly McCauley Peebles Island.Comparison of different fluorescent lights installed in the workspace. (Photo credit: Kelly McCauley)

For WUDPAC Class of 2015 Fellow Kelly McCauley, minimizing potential damage to objects is vital to the long term preservation of our cultural heritage. In this blog post, Kelly shares the preventive conservation activities at the heart of her internship at New York's Peebles Island Resource Center, including her efforts to assess and understand the impact of lighting conditions in the Center's work and storage areas.

Art conservation and historical mystery

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  • WUDPAC Fellow José Luis Lazarte applying cyclododecane using a kistka tool to temporarily secure the crack on the panel
  • Lazarte. Thinning of the runners with a card scraper
  • Lazarte. Before consolidation and setting down of tented paint, raking light
  • lazarte. After consolidation and setting down of tented paint, raking light

Gazing out from the oil portrait on panel, the pensive looking gentlemen in the brown doublet and ruff did not seem to be very enthused about life in the 17th century. The only clues to his identity were the date “1621” in the upper left hand corner, and “Æ t.” (age) 52” in the upper right hand corner. The family that owned the portrait had nicknamed it Shakespeare. After some dedicated research and conservation treatment, WUDPAC second-year fellow José Luis Lazarte has developed some theories about the portrait.

Student Blog: MFA Houston

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  • Claire Curran Filling small loss with dyed wax under 10x magnification.  Photo courtesy of Jane Gillies.
  • claire Curran Louise Bourgeois, The Age of Condom Come, First State (1989), Overall.  Photo courtesy of Mathew Golden.
  • claire Curran Louise Bourgeois, The Age of Condom Come, First State (1989), detail of cracking. Photo courtesy of Mathew Golden.
  • claire curran Louise Bourgeois, The Age of Condom Come, Second State (1989), Overall. Photo courtesy of Mathew Golden.
  • claire curran Repaired corner after re-assembly, filling, and aesthetic compensation.
  • claire Curran Creating acrylic trays for storage and display with a sanding drum attachment. Photo courtesy of Ingrid Seyb.
  • Claire Curran Storage container before sealing objects in an anoxic environment.

In this blog post, WUDPAC Class of 2015 Fellow Claire Curran shares her continuing exposure to the wonderful and unique world of modern and contemporary art provided by an internship in objects conservation at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and discusses her treatment of a cast latex work by artist Louise Bourgeois.

A tribute to Mae and Bob Carter

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  • Mae and Bob Carter cropped
  • Mae and Bob Carter 70th anniversary party

We want to recognize Mae and Bob Carter for their friendship and continued support of the art conservation program. Mae and Bob have contributed their time, expertise, and financial support to our students, both undergraduates and graduates. They have sponsored conservation surveys and treatment projects, and more recently they have supported our students with a special Mae and Bob Carter Professional Development Award. We are grateful to them for sharing their enthusiasm for material culture and travel in such meaningful ways.

Art conservation and ancestral memories

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  • ARTC eblast January 2015. WUDPAC  Fellow Pamela Johnson removing surface dirt and grime from the painting with a 2.5% chelating citrate solution at pH 6.
  • ARTC eblast January 2015. WUDPAC  Fellow Pamela Johnson removing surface dirt and grime from the painting with a 2.5% chelating citrate solution at pH 6.
  • ARTC eblast January 2015. Blackish-colored dirt and grime being removed from the bottom of the painting.
  • ARTC eblast January 2015. Pamela alongside  the newly-assembled stretcher.

When the 113-year-old, full-length portrait of two well-dressed society women from Philadelphia was discovered rolled up in a New England barn, it was covered with dirt and grime. The canvas, though unframed and without a stretcher, was structurally sound and family members of the women in the portrait asked if it could be a project for the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation.

Student Blog: Pre-program experience

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  • ARTC Senior Maddie Cooper digitizing a Flemish manuscript (photo: Ariel Tabritha)
  • ARTC Senior Maddie Cooper consolidating iron gall ink from a 13th century Flemish manuscript (photo: Linda Owen)

How do students prepare themselves to apply to a conservation training graduate program? In this blog post, University of Delaware ARTC undergraduate student Maddie Cooper talks about her “pre-program” preparations and her plans to continue her training after graduation this spring.

Art conservation and historical alchemy

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  • ARTC eblast December 2014. Cathie Magee using a sewing frame to attach the Polygraphice to original and new sewing supports
  • ARTC eblast December 2014. Cathie Magee using a sewing frame to attach the Polygraphice to original and new sewing supports
  • ARTC eblast December 2014. Cathie Magee using a light table to reattach a torn piece in one of the illustrations.
  • ARTC eblast December 2014. Cathie Magee using a light table to reattach a torn piece in one of the illustrations.
In what must have been a very busy life, William Salmon (1644-1713), who called himself ‘Doctor’ though he had no formal medical training, sold his own medicinal mixtures and practiced alchemy. One of his most popular books, the Polygraphice, offers advice on subjects such as drawing and painting the human figure, draperies, mixing pigments and preparing perfumes. This fall, a well-worn 1678 edition of Polygraphice in the collection of the Winterthur Library became a treatment project for second-year WUDPAC Fellow Cathie Magee.
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