CONSERVATION OF A FAN
SANDRA GREENWALD VIERRA, & BETHUNE GIBSON
Sandra Greenwald Vierra, 35, anthropologist and ethnographic conservator, died August 1975. She had just completed her conservation training and had been appointed conservator at the Pacific Regional Conservation Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. She had planned to publish her conservation of the fan in the near future. It is presented here by Bethune Gibson, a friend and one of her teachers, as a memorial to a fine conservator whose promising career was cut short so tragically.
Head Conservator, Anthropology Conservation Laboratory, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20560
Personal communication, Elisabeth West Fitzhugh, Freer Gallery of Art, Dec. 3, 1975. “The blue color of the silk fiber disappears immediately on application of 5% NaOH, and when dilute (1:4) HCL is added, the blue color returns. This behavior is a strong indication that the blue color is supplied by Prussian blue.”
Ethyl-hydroxyethyl cellulose (equivalent to Modocoll E), Chemaster Corp., Long Island City, N.Y. 11101
Carbowax 400 (polyethylene glycol 400). Union Carbide Corporation, New York, New York 10017.
OrvusWA, a non-ionic detergent.
B-371, a heat-activated adhesive composed of a mixture of resins, paraffin, and low-aromatic petroleum solvents. Adam Chemical Co., P.O. 15, Spring Valley, N.Y. 10977.
Acryloid B-72 is an ethyl methacrylate copolymer. Rohm & Haas, Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, Pa. 19105.
See the Talas catalog for 1975, p. 27. R-2258, a PVA emulsion, is now a substitute for R-131.
The compiler is greatly indebted to Elisabeth West Fitzhugh of the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., for making the confirming chemical test to determine the type of the blue dye of the embroidered panel. Thanks are also due to Joan E. Gardner, ethnographic conservator, for her assistance in the research on the history and travels of the fan; to Joseph V. Columbus, textile consultant, for providing the silk thread and needles for sewing the fan to the backing; and to Carolyn L. Rose for assistance in assembling the manuscript. Photographs of the fan, except Figure 4, were made by the staff of the Smithsonian Photo Laboratory.