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Objects conservators Lauren Fair (left) and Lara Kaplan (right) examine potential treatment projects in the Metals Conservation Lab at Winterthur Museum.
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The study of objects conservation during the first year of the master's-level program is divided into an organic and inorganic materials block. The organic materials conservation block covers the material science, analysis, treatment, and preservation of modern plastics, leather, feathers, bone, horn, ivory, hair, wood, and other plant and animal materials, including natural history specimens. During the inorganic materials conservation block, students study metals, glass, and ceramic materials, as well as outdoor sculpture, and stone. Topics such as mold making and casting, glass reassembly, removal of soluble salts, mechanical and electrochemical cleaning techniques, and metals coating procedures are addressed.
Second-year master's-level students majoring in objects conservation work across two rooms, the Objects Lab and the Metals Lab. Treatment projects include objects made from a range of materials, both organic and inorganic, covering a variety of disciplines in the field of objects conservation (for example: decorative arts, modern and contemporary, natural history, and archaeological materials). Object treatment projects are often provided by Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, as well as a host of local museums, universities, and historical societies, and private collections.
In working on conservation projects, students are encouraged to study and understand the history and cultural significance of material culture in their care through research and collaborative conversation. Using both benchtop microchemical techniques and instrumental analysis, students study the physical and chemical nature of the objects to gain an understanding of deterioration processes to and better determine appropriate conservationproposals. A series of seminars is also offered to the students on a weekly basis on particular techniques useful in objects conservation such as stain reduction of ceramics, examination and treatment techniques for leather, loss compensation of glass, conservation of plastics, and many others.
Master's-level students majoring in objects conservation are supervised by Lauren Fair and Lara Kaplan.
Second-year objects majors with Bruno Pouliot 2009