Spending my third
year at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s (SAAM) Lunder Conservation Center
has been a really exciting and different experience. I have encountered
materials I wouldn’t have expected and I have faced conservation challenges
that have really tested my skills and adaptability. The Lunder Conservation
Center is an ideal location for learning and engaging with other conservation
and museum professionals.
Since starting my
internship, I have worked on a variety of objects, as the Objects Conservation
Lab is in charge of the conservation and preservation of not only the
three-dimensional objects in the SAAM collection, but most of the Renwick
Gallery’s collection of craft objects as well. Under the supervision of SAAM
Objects Conservator, Gregory Bailey, I have been able to examine and treat a
variety of materials. My more in-depth projects have included the cleaning of
Larry Fuente’s Game Fish, a large assemblage of plastic toys in the
shape of a sailfish; stabilization of Untitled, by Leroy Person, a
wooden table coated in crayon; and the cleaning of a weathered marble sculpture
by artist Chauncey Bradley Ives.
Two of these
treatments are ongoing, but the treatment of Game Fish
is finished and the sculpture was recently reinstalled along with a number of
other objects from permanent collection at the Renwick Gallery. The Renwick
Gallery is a part of SAAM, but focuses on contemporary craft, and is located in
a historic building opposite the White House.