JAIC 2003, Volume 42, Number 1, Article 8 (pp. 121 to 134)
JAIC online
Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC 2003, Volume 42, Number 1, Article 8 (pp. 121 to 134)



PININ BRAMBILLA BARCILON AND PIETRO C. MARANI, LEONARDO: THE LAST SUPPER. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2001. 440 pages, hardcover, $95. Available from The University of Chicago Press, 1427 East 60th St., Chicago, Ill. 60637 USA; (773) 702-7700, Fax:: (773) 702-9756. ISBN 0-226-50427-1.

The recent conservation treatments of three major Italian works—the Michelangelo murals in the Sistine Chapel, the Brancacci Chapel murals, and Leonardo's Last Supper—mark important moments in the history of conservation of the 20th century. The first half of the text on The Last Supper was written by curator and Renaissance art historian Pietro C. Marani. The second half of the text of this book was written by the chief conservator of the 1977–97 treatment, Pinin Brambilla Barcilon. The two essays in this large and weighty volume bookend a central portion, ca. 3/4 in. wide, of more than 200 unnumbered pages of color photographs, bled to the edge, ranging from overall views of the room housing the painting at the Refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy, to many 1:1 photomacrographs of details of the painting after treatment. There is no list of photographs or index.

The book has three portions, possibly suitable for three different audiences. The opening art-historical essay is scholarly and thorough, tracing the chronology of The Last Supper and discussing preparatory drawings, older to modern accounts of the painting's deterioration and restoration campaigns, and the creation of copies. This essay is well illustrated and referenced and would seem to be of great use to scholarly and practical researchers in art history and conservation while providing enlightening discussion for collectors and members of the public.

The generous central portion consists of unnumbered detail photographs from unspecified locations of the lunettes, the apostles, and their food and clothing, which are intended to arouse “wonder” in the reader, according to the “Preface to the English-Language Edition.” The lack of any organizational means to be able to relocate especially interesting photographs or to determine whose foot or hand is being shown is likely to frustrate most readers. The format relegates the stunning color photomacrographs to the level of a lovely but shallow spectacle to thumb through with awe, turning these rich resources into more of a coffee-table book of “after treatment” documentation.

This treatment has been a subject of much debate and discussion. I had hoped that this book would explain Leonardo's techniques, the condition of the work in 1977, and treatment choices made by the conservator in a state-of-the-art presentation, synthesizing what George Stout once labeled the “three-legged stool” of our profession: scientific analysis, art-historical research, and practical methodology. Instead, Barcilon's essay gives us a somewhat informal chatty discussion, as if we visited her on her scaffolding after a day's work and she pointed to areas before and after treatment, discussing what most professionals could already see with their own eyes. There are some scattered cross sections from unidentified locations and occasional vague mentions of analyses, but the methodologies are not listed, nor are they footnoted so that other publications would need to be consulted, nor are they promised for future publication. Barcilon references many of her own previous publications and also repeats some of what was in the excellent opening essay by Marani, as if she had not read it. I think this approach to documenting such an important undertaking does not serve our profession, art historians, or the general public fairly, and I would cite the successful “Art in the Making” and “Making and Meaning” series by the National Gallery, London, as more thorough and synthesized publications on the understanding of artists' and conservators' techniques.

The Marani essay provides much useful information. The exact facts of the commissioning of the painting are still unknown; Marani notes, “Most likely, the Last Supper was commissioned by Ludovico [Sforza, duke of Milan], probably around 1493–94, earlier than normally assumed” (p. 1). “Absolutely none of the studies is duplicated precisely in the painted version” (p. 13). “The Last Supper has been the subject of eight documented restorations, including the most recent one completed in 1997. There have been a number of undocumented interventions as well” (p. 21). “Almost every restoration of the Last Supper has been undertaken with the purpose of … ‘saving' it forever and assuring it to posterity by halting its physical deterioration” (p. 21). “Vasari, who visited Milan in 1566, wrote that the Last Supper had been ‘reduced to such a condition that there is nothing to be seen but a mass of confusion'” (p. 22). At about the same time, “Lomazzo stated flatly that ‘the painting is completely ruined'” (p. 22).

Marani provides detailed contemporaneous accounts of the painting's deterioration through each succeeding century. The refectory also served temporarily as a military warehouse or barracks for occupying French troops. It would seem that every possible type of consolidant (wax, glue, resin, shellac) and every medium of retouch (tempera, oil, casein, watercolor) were applied to the painting over the last four centuries, attempting to resurrect this “venerable skeleton.” There were attempted transfers of hands or entire figures of the composition. Harsh cleaning systems were used. “On 16 August 1943, an Allied bomb hit the refectory” (p. 35). “In 1947, Mauro Pellicioli agreed to intervene using wax-free shellac” (p. 35). After this restoration Bernard Berenson wrote, “Leonardo's most famous creation will be visible as it has not been for generations” (p. 35). (Fulsome praise was reported after many of the now-considered-lamentable previous restorations.) Many useful, although unnumbered and often undated, illustrations accompany Marani's text, and he lists 50 copies by other artists ranging from Bramantino and Andrea Solario to John Everett Millais and Andy Warhol.

A predominant and costly feature of this volume is clearly the extensive color photography. The central section of after-treatment color photographs is breathtaking if not sorted, labeled, or numbered. I would have had to hire a research assistant to puzzle out and then label the 100+ enlarged detailed views of “Simon's nose,” “Matthew's hand,” etc., and I think the assistant would have rebelled at locating and labeling the many close-up details of vegetation in the lunettes. This section could be used as a “how-to” instruction book on the application of variations of detectable watercolor inpainting, although the reasoning for compensating the losses within well-preserved passages of light blue using beige colors and other confusing choices is never sufficiently explained. Yet with all the space dedicated to these photographs, Barcilon notes in footnote 25, page 428, “The photographs taken after completion of the restoration give an inaccurate image of the lacunae because the watercolors used in the restoration are transparent and fade out under photographic lights.” That comment thus calls into question the accuracy and impact of the entire opus of photographic images.

Barcilon has written a chapter entitled “The Restoration,” extending from page 328 to page 426. She has been in uniquely intimate contact with Leonardo's painting from 1977 to 1997. She notes, “Leonardo was still alive when his masterpiece began its exorable decline” (p. 328). “Old accounts speak of at least six restorations, which can now be identified, analyzed, and evaluated on the tortured, altered surface of the painting” (p. 328). (As noted earlier, Marani had mentioned at least eight restorations.) “Conscious respect for the original work did not arise until the beginning of the twentieth century” (p. 328). “The primary cause of the Last Supper's dramatic condition is its defective adhesion” (p. 336). Barcilon again discusses in general the numerous interventions and materials used in the past. Photographs from the recent treatment show the application of solvent through small patches of Japanese paper; the solvents are not listed. In the text she notes, “To re-adhere the fragments, we used wax-free shellac in alcohol, the same adhesive Pellicioli applied during his intervention of 1947” (p. 341). Although it is noted that the painting has continued to flake since 1947, she does not explain why the same (previously unsuccessful) adhesive was reused, or if it was used differently. Inpainting was carried out in watercolor.

Useful illustrations in her chapter include diagrams of the cracks running through the surface of the painting, fallen sections of the support layer, areas where old restorations have been maintained, the incisions in the surface, the perspective scheme with a vanishing point as a hole in Christ's right temple, and a fascinating schematic diagram of the layout of the objects set out on the table seen from above. There are many paired before-and-after treatment photographic details of the left wall, the left window, Christ, and the heads and torsos of the apostles. Barcilon's section is mainly a walk-through of each area of the painting from the background to Christ to each apostle, providing visual pretreatment observations generally repeating in each case that the original composition had been “profoundly altered” by multiple repaintings; “the process of removing the repaint was time-consuming and delicate” (p. 366); “the goal of the pictorial integration was to achieve sufficient legibility of gesture, pose, and modeling” (p. 359).

About five pages at the end contain a generalized description of “Leonardo's technique.” Findings are stated vaguely or inconsistently. Page 412 states, “Chemical physical analyses [unspecified] confirmed that the painting was accomplished a secco using a proteinaceous binder.” However, on page 416 we find, “The artist painted with an oil tempera, probably created by emulsifying thinning oils in egg.” Barcilon writes, “Leonardo's palette consisted of basic pigments in use at the time. Brief descriptions follow” (p. 416). She mentions lead white, vegetable black, silver and gold metal leafing, red ocher, vermilion, red lead, red lake, lead-tin yellow, copper acetate green, and beautifully illustrated layering of lapis lazuli and lead white on top of a dense layer of azurite and lead white. The method of pigment identification is not specified; in note 72 she thanks Antonietta Gallone who helped her describe the pigments and notes that the topic “requires fuller treatment.”

Because this treatment has been controversial, and because I teach conservation practice and history, I had hoped that reading this book would prepare me to present an informed discussion of the treatment philosophy and methodology. I did receive an excellent grounding in the background and history of The Last Supper from Marani's chapter and lamented each of the multiple indignities this work has undergone. The many excellent color photomacrographs introduced questions never answered in the text, such as: Why were some readily decipherable borders and edges of figures, faces, hands, and drapery folds completed during the retouching stage and others left as ragged edges? Why were the orange colors retouched in closely matching tones and the blue colors retouched in jarring “neutral” colors? Or is the color incongruity solely a problem of the photographic lights used, as mentioned in the footnotes? Also, how much of the inconsistency in the text was a problem of the translation from Italian to English? I can say that an editor who knew something about conservation was keenly needed for the text and captions. Marani or Barcilon would relate a fascinating observation such as that previous restorers had converted Bartholomew's foot into a chair leg and Thomas's left hand into a piece of bread, but finding the detailed photograph to accompany the observation required thumbing through most of the 400 pages. There are disconcerting inconsistencies that an editor should have caught; in the discussion of the apostle Philip on page 372, it is noted that the gem at his neck is now lost, but on page 373 it states that Philip's cloak has a green gem. (The green gem is clearly evident in the accompanying photographs.)

Barcilon probably knows more about the physical presence of this painting than anyone living, but she rarely draws conclusions from her observations. The hand of James Major was said to be one of the best-preserved portions of the painting and Judas's right shoulder one of the worst. Why might this be true? Was this disparity pigment-dependent? A chart that was not discussed in the text reveals that Christ's robe has the thickest layer of the expensive lapis pigment, and Judas's robe has no lapis at all. Is this meaningful? If this was not a fresco technique, why did Barcilon identify giornate? Which of the multiple past attempts at consolidation seemed to be more effective than others? Does she feel that her consolidation treatment was successful? When will the painting need treatment again? What steps will be taken for maximum long-term preservation? The team treating the Sistine Chapel would admit to visitors that Michelangelo's skill increased as he became more experienced with the fresco technique. I understand that the treatment itself was meticulous, most of it carried out under the microscope, but even this fact is not mentioned in the book. Even though the Last Supper has been inarguably unstable for most of its life, Barcilon ends her essay, “The final result displays an astounding knowledge of the handling of pigments, applied to a composition that was crafted carefully over a great period of time, where nothing was haphazard or left to chance” (p. 426). I must now state a hope that a more objective, thorough, synthesized, cutting-edge analysis of the artist's materials, the past treatments, and the current treatment choices will be published for the benefit of art historians, art conservators, and the interested general public.

  • Dr. Joyce Hill Stoner
  • Professor
  • Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation
  • Winterthur Museum
  • Winterthur, Del. 19735

JONATHAN M. BLOOM, PAPER BEFORE PRINT: THE HISTORY AND IMPACT OF PAPER IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2001. 320 pages, hardcover, $45. Available from Yale University Press, www.yalebooks.com. ISBN 0300089554.

In a book with an intriguing title, Paper Before Print: The History and Impact of Paper in the Islamic World, Jonathan Bloom recounts the familiar story of the invention of paper in China and its spread across the Islamic world and makes the ambitious claim that “the introduction of paper and papermaking across the Islamic lands in the ninth and tenth centuries was a remarkable technological achievement that transformed society in its wake” (p. 47).

Bloom, professor of Islamic art and architectural history at Boston College, claims that “the history of paper in Islamic civilization is not … just about the transfer of papermaking technology” (p. 12). For Bloom, “the introduction of paper in the eighth century had a transformative effect on medieval Islamic civilization, spurring an extraordinary burst of literary activity in virtually all subjects from theology to the natural sciences and literature” (p. 12). The availability of paper “spurred an artistic revolution in the Islamic lands” (p. 14), “spurred changes in … metalwork, ceramics, and particularly textiles” (p. 14), and “spurred a conceptual revolution … [in] literature, mathematics, geography, commerce, and the arts” (p. 10). Bloom suggests that “humble [paper] may have been as responsible for the long reluctance [in the Islamic lands to accept printing] as for the development of printing [in the West]” (p. 14). In essence, Bloom contends that the increasing spread and adoption of paper in the medieval Islamic world was the cause of the flowering of culture and knowledge there and that “the transformation to literate society was accomplished only with the help of paper” (p. 17),

This is a large and exciting claim; unfortunately, Bloom's text is disappointing. It is plagued with various kinds of problems—conjecture, lack of convincing evidence, paper as historical actor. I will cite one example, but readers of his book will be struck by others. Bloom introduces chapter 4, “Paper and Systems of Notation,” as follows: “The development of several systems of notation [under the Abbasids] … [was] a product of both increased intellectual curiosity … and attempts to exploit the potential applications of paper” (p. 125). Rather than textual or material evidence, he offers only conjecture: “Abu'l-Wafa [a mathematician] … attempted to free [government bureaucrats] from the messy dustboard, through, one may conjecture, the use of paper” (p. 131). And “Ibn al-Banna … does not mention dustboards at all, which suggests that he did his calculations on paper” (p. 133). Absence of evidence is not evidence.

Political unification of the Middle East and Persia increased bureaucracy and encouraged greater literacy and a flowering of intellectual life there, creating a demand for writing supports (chap. 2). However Bloom's claim that this flowering was the product of “attempts to exploit the potential applications of paper” makes paper into a historical actor. In the absence of convincing supporting evidence, it is more reasonable to argue, as has Helen Loveday in Islamic Paper, A Study of the Ancient Craft (2001), that, in response to social, political, and economic demands at a certain historical moment, papermaking spread rapidly in the Islamic world. Historians of Islamic civilization have observed connections between technical activities and social and political contexts; for example, a strong stable government can facilitate the development and maintenance of technologically based activities.

The intellectual flowering in the Islamic world generated a scholarly outpouring written on papyrus and parchment, as well as on paper. Paper is one agent of transmission of that flowering, not its cause. Scribes, scholars, businessmen, and government officials used readily available materials. Bloom has explained drawbacks they undoubtedly encountered in selecting the traditional support materials of the Middle East—papyrus and parchment. The raw materials of papyrus, for example, were not as readily or widely available locally as those of paper. Yet paper could not be “produced in virtually unlimited quantities anywhere,” as Bloom claims (p. 49). Nevertheless, paper, whose basic techniques the Muslims had already learned from the Chinese, presented an attractive alternative. Islamic papermakers did not simply adopt Chinese papermaking methods and materials but revised them as necessary to suit new geographical and technological contexts. This does not mean that Chinese papermaking was irrelevant to Muslim, and hence Western, procedures. So to write, as Bloom does, that “for the history of paper in the West, the ultimate origin of papermaking in China is somewhat beside the point” (p. 11) is somewhat beside the point.

Bloom asks why Europeans have failed to recognize the important Islamic contribution to the story of paper. But they have recognized it. The literature generally agrees that the Islamic world was famous for its fine paper in medieval times and responsible for the transmission of papermaking technology to Europe. Yet, though some technological transfers from the Far East to Europe were mediated by the Greeks and Muslims, not all were. Some came directly to Europe by the caravan routes. In Medieval Religion and Technology (1978), Lynn White wrote, “Paper making was already travelling west and could have reached Europe directly and flourished there without Islam given the right political and cultural conditions.” What if papermaking had bypassed the medieval Islamic world? Would the cultural flowering of which Bloom writes in such depth have failed to take place? That seems highly unlikely, but the flowering would have been different.

Previous studies of paper production in the Islamic world have been largely based on literary sources. It is only quite recently that the contents of early texts have been scrutinized and checked by “close looking” and analyses of surviving papers by Loveday and others. Only painstaking analyses of the depth and specificity of their varied approaches will produce new information for the study and understanding of Islamic paper and papermaking and, ultimately, its cultural context. Bold speculation is no substitute.

Bloom appears to lack a deeper understanding of paper as a material and its recent study. For example, to claim that “two sheets made from the same mould will have exactly the same marks” (p. 210) or that “because paper absorbs ink, writing on it could not be erased easily” (p. 49) are oversimplifications. Bloom does not take advantage of methodological approaches that have recently provided useful models for relating the results of the physical examination of paper to paper history and broader social and cultural contexts. John Krill and Peter Bower, for example, are two highly sophisticated scholars whose detailed investigations of European papers have expanded our awareness of the character, availability, use, and cultural meaning of paper in 18th-and 19th-century England (p. 8). Bloom overvalues the significance of watermarks in structuring a history of European paper and does not recognize the potential contribution to historical interpretation to be made by rigorously investigating the broader physical evidence provided by dated papers considered in context.

By his own admission, Bloom constructs his story by “stringing together miscellaneous facts into a coherent narrative. … The historian must connect the dots. … In the interests of telling the tale, I may have tweaked circumstantial evidence in my favor” (p. x). He has thus written a history in which sheets of paper, from different historical and geographical contexts, and which may look very different and have served a variety of practical functions, are marshaled into place to serve the subjective needs of an over-arching narrative.

There are no footnotes in Paper Before Print. “To help the reader enjoy the flow of my argument, I have … replaced potential footnotes and endnotes with a bibliographic essay,” which Bloom characterizes as more “reader friendly” (p. xi). In fact, however, these essays interrupt the narrative flow for the reader more than footnotes or endnotes would. Notes permit readers, should they choose, to check the author's sources and evaluate his use of them. Instead, the reader has to read an essay and pick out the probable source from those listed there and then skim through that to locate the original citation. Unless one is very familiar with the source literature, this process is time-consuming and difficult work. Footnotes are, in fact, more “reader friendly.”

Bloom has placed “sidebars … appropriately throughout the chapters [for the] discussion of specialized topics” (p. xi). This method of presentation certainly saved Bloom the trouble of integrating the “topics” into his narrative. Since some topics have only a peripheral relationship with his narrative, this might have proved difficult—for example, a one-and-a-half-page sidebar describes early wire drawing in Europe (pp. 208–9) and the “Parchment” sidebar introduces the argon storage environment of the U.S. Declaration of Independence (pp. 25–27)!

Other aspects of the organization and style of Paper Before Print call for comment. Since Bloom writes the story of paper before print in Islamic lands, it is unfortunate that he begins his book with a short history of paper in Europe after print (p. 3). The reader is distracted from the main topic for a number of pages before it is introduced. Bloom often uses colloquialisms in an attempt to make “this arcane but important subject accessible to a wide audience” (p. x). This reader found them sloppy: for example, “European papermaking took off …” (p. 1), “Europeans had no clue …” (p. 6), “Gutenberg's invention might never have taken off …” (p. 203), and “squared paper was apparently an invention whose time had come …” (p. 196).

Much interesting material about the Islamic world is gathered together in this book by a scholar who is an acknowledged expert in the area. Unfortunately, the author's overriding thesis is flawed.

  • Thea Burns
  • Weissman Preservation Center
  • Harvard University
  • 1350 Massachusetts Ave.
  • Holyoke Center 821
  • Cambridge, Mass. 02140

JOHN KRILL, ENGLISH ARTISTS' PAPERS: RENAISSANCE TO REGENCY. New Castle, Del.: Oak Knoll Press and Winterthur, Del: Winterthur Museum, 2002. 2d ed., expanded and corrected. 250 pages, hardcover, $49.95. Available from Oak Knoll Books, 310 Delaware St., New Castle, Del. 19720; www.oakknoll.com. ISBN 1-58456-055-X.

When Jack Lackington opened his newly renovated store, the Temple of Muses, a mail coach with four horses paraded around the stationer's main showroom. Off to the sides of the showroom were smaller lounging areas provided for the comfort of the more delicate clients who might find the larger room too busy. In London in 1794, this was where people went to buy books and specialty papers. John Krill's English Artists' Papers: Renaissance to Regency is about paper, paper fibers, and surfaces, but it is also about everything and everybody who touched artists' papers in England from the opening of the first mill at the end of the 15th century until the end of the second decade of the 19th century. At 250 pages (including the index), it is astonishing that Krill manages to keep the book so short.

John Krill first published English Artist's Papers: Renaissance to Regency in 1987, and it was immediately embraced as an important book and mandatory reading for scholars of works of art on paper. I chose to study paper conservation with Krill at the University of Delaware–Winterthur Program partially because of the excellent reputation he made for himself after publishing the book. Yet, clearly, when the first edition was released, he knew he could make it better if he had the chance. The second edition of English Artists' Papers includes corrections and significant expansions based on research done in the 15 years after the first edition was published. Krill also spent his spare time making lists of works on paper that he thought would serve as good examples of specific artists' papers. He then traveled to England and France, where he examined collections and the objects on his list until he found exactly what he was looking for. His exhausting preparation and research make for a book that is effortless to read. This review focuses on the changes brought to the new edition and reminds readers that the first edition received outstanding reviews.

One difference between the old edition and the new is noticed immediately in the preface to the second edition. In the first edition, Krill's son Nicholas was “remarkably careful with paper for age three,” and by the second edition, Nicholas “creatively uses paper at the age of 18.” Fifteen years has seen many other changes. The design of the new edition is quite different, with the most obvious change being that the text is not as tightly squeezed onto the pages, making it more inviting to read. Several topics are given titles where previously there had been no break in the text, which makes it easier to find the information when scanning the book. For instance, the section “Miscellaneous Papers” is now divided into “Tracing Paper” and “Papier-Mâché.” The footnotes appear at the bottom of each page, rather than at the end of the book. The index is more extensive in the new edition and has been expanded to six pages from the original two. There are many more illustrations in the new edition. When the same illustration is used as in the first edition, most often it is reproduced larger in the second edition. Unfortunately, the color plates used in the first edition have disappeared; the new edition is entirely black and white.

The book is divided into four chapters. The first chapter, “Papermaking by Hand,” discusses the history of papermaking in Europe and the spread of the technology. In this chapter and, indeed, throughout the book, Krill finds a simple way to explain a complex process and does so without omitting important details. The section is beautifully illustrated with works on paper photographed in differing light conditions—normal, raking, and transmitted—to give a sense of the texture and opacity of each sheet. This approach allows the reader to see exactly how watermarks and chain lines affect the paper and the media upon the paper. This is the next best thing to having paper samples included in the book. Krill has taken on a very difficult challenge: describing the texture and look of something as subtle as paper. There are a few minor changes in this chapter, mainly in the section “Drying and Sizing,” where Krill has included more material on alum and its properties.

The second chapter, “Sixteenth-and Seventeenth-Century Paper,” describes the paper available during that period: white, brown, and blue were the basic palette with little variation. We also see the growth of the papermaking industry. The first mill opened in 1494 and struggled to stay in business, yet by 1650 there were around 40 mills producing paper in England. The chapter makes clear the difficulty of making a quality product, and it becomes understandable why it took centuries for papermaking technology to migrate from Asia through Europe. In this chapter, we also see more of Krill's additions to the original edition. For instance, there is more discussion about the former lives of the rags used in making white paper. These rags were originally white textiles such as bed linens and shirts, which, in the days before chlorine bleach, were washed and bleached with high alkaline materials to keep them as white as possible. Krill discusses speculation that “papers made in southern Europe were softer than those made in the north because lye was used more for washing in the south. Its high alkalinity helped brighten and break down, that is soften, the cloth. In the north, simple soap was used” (p. 50).

The third chapter, “Eighteenth-Century Innovations,” discusses the exciting era when paper manufacturers in England had become as good at making their product as any mill on the continent, and they started making more specialized papers. The section “Wove Paper” has been expanded and illustrates the close connection between printers and developing papermaking technology. Introduced by James Whatman in the 1750s, wove paper became the preferred surface for printing both text and plates by the end of the century. Printers had become more demanding. The printing industry was competitive in its use of new printmaking technologies, and it needed specific types of paper to show off its new techniques. Papermakers did their best to supply thicker, softer, smoother, and more or less absorbent papers. The section on “Plate Paper” discusses the Society of Arts' competitions for papermakers to produce domestic copperplate papers that were better than expensive imported papers. This chapter also includes new short sections such as “Framed Drawings” and “Filigree Paper,” and more detailed information in several of the sections, including “Paper Selection and Cartridge Paper” and “Corrected White Paper.”

Two major additions to the new edition are the lengthy sections in this chapter on “Silk Paper” and “Drawing Materials and Manuals.” Both are topics that Krill has presented as lectures in recent years. The inclusion of these sections is somewhat awkward, as they disturb the rhythm of the book and some of the information is repeated elsewhere. Nonetheless, the decision to add these sections is sound. The information is fascinating and adds to the reader's overall understanding of the primary topic: English artists' papers. We learn, for example, that silk paper was not always made from silk. Krill makes it clear why silk would not make a good papermaking fiber and why ultimately the paper manufacturers used other materials. The inclusion throughout of photomicrographs and images of fibers seen through a scanning electron microscope is especially important in this section. The section on “Drawing Materials and Manuals” gives a good sense of the popular pastime of touring and sketching, exemplified by such artists as the Rev. William Gilpin. As the moneyed classes became more and more obsessed with this activity, papermakers produced papers to meet the specific needs of both the printers of the manuals and the watercolorists.

The fourth chapter, “Stationers, Paper and the New Style,” focuses on consumers and suppliers. Stationers first got their name from selling their books in little stalls or “stations.” Some of these sellers became successful merchants dealing in paper and related products, and they established large shops such as the one described at the start of this review. Ackermann's Repository of the Arts included gallery space for exhibitions of artwork and also held art classes. The stationers were the people closest to the actual makers of paper, and they passed along the requests of the public. Some had partial ownership of a paper mill or were involved in other parts of the papermaking industry, such as dealing in rags. Krill has made fewer changes to this chapter. He has augmented the earlier sections on “Transparencies,” “Drawing Masters,” “Drawing Paper,” and the epilogue, “Bleaching, Machines and Revival,” and there is a new section on “Creswick Paper.” It is interesting to note that the highly textured Creswick paper is used as the illustration for the dust jacket of the new edition.

John Krill is a paper conservator, researcher, and paper historian, but he is also a teacher. It is his nature to share his knowledge and expertise. The second edition of English Artists' Papers: Renaissance to Regency belongs in every conservation studio's library. The important and significant corrections and additions included in the second edition warrant its purchase. The book is an excellent resource both as an introduction to traditional papermaking and as a reference to be pulled off the shelf.

  • Alison Luxner
  • Paper Conservator
  • Worcester Art Museum
  • Worcester, Mass. 01609

SAMUEL Y. HARRIS, BUILDING PATHOLOGY: DETERIORATION, DIAGNOSTICS AND INTERVENTION. New York: John Wiley, 2001. 654 pages, hardcover, $110. ISBN 0-471-33172-4.

Building Pathology is a textbook, but not of the traditional, dry kind. It uses a conversational approach, and, in reading it, one can hear Professor Harris lecture. This makes it far easier to read than a standard textbook approach, but also more repetitive. The book is divided into six chapters, a preface, and a short epilogue. It is a book “to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention,” as Francis Bacon said in his essay “Of Studies.”

The first chapter is an excellent introduction to the topic and describes the objectives of the book. It is addressed to three audiences: to the practitioner, as a reference; to the nonpractitioner, as a primer; and to the student, as a basic text. The author achieves these last two objectives very well, but it fails as a reference book precisely because of its organization and the lack of a bibliography.

Chapter 2 deals with mechanisms and diagnostics. It is divided into six topics, ranging from building pathology and diagnostics to mechanisms, degradation models, and impact of material standards over time, and ending with the presentation of the intervention matrix. These topics are the real heart of the book. The “intervention matrix” approach is the key to the successful selection of an intervention methodology for each specific case. The matrix is based on the six possible intervention approaches to a problem: abstention, mitigation, reconstitution, substitution, circumvention, and acceleration. These approaches are then combined with the different methodologies that could be used to address the conditions that cause a given problem. This technique allows an analysis of the six intervention approaches, to which a cost factor can be added so that a rational decision can be made as to which is the best solution for a particular problem. As Harris states in the preface, “There is always more than one way to solve a problem” (p. xv), meaning that there is no “correct” answer to a given problem, but that there can be a best answer to it and that this depends on the circumstances of the problem.

The next three chapters constitute the bulk of the book, adding up to some 560 pages of the total 654 pages. They deal with structural systems (chapter 3), vertical closure systems (chapter 4), and horizontal closure systems (chapter 5). They are all similarly organized into four topics, starting with a functional definition, then addressing the components and their description, followed by a discussion on material pathology, and ending with systemic pathology. The order is logical from a construction point of view, and the topics are thoroughly addressed and discussed. But this same order makes the book impractical as a reference, since, for example, a given material is partly discussed in one or more of the three key chapters, so that, for a given topic, different subsections in different chapters would have to be read.

The sixth chapter deals with the active systems: utilities, environmental modification systems and protection systems. It is short and concise.

Although the book has some illustrations, they are mainly photographs, and there are few diagrams, making this reviewer agree with Alice: “What is the use of a book without pictures?” More diagrams would be helpful in the discussion of many of the topics; for example, when dealing with foundation types, they would help significantly in making the text clearer. There are even fewer formulas to calculate deformation or critical loads. And these are reduced to an absolute minimum and carefully distributed within the text, apparently not to scare students that “do not do math or science” (p. 15).

The weakest point in the book corresponds to the material-deterioration issues. This topic is discussed in some 200 pages within the three main chapters, but although some materials are discussed in some detail—for example, wood in chapter 3 and metals in chapter 5—the focus is on deterioration processes such as freeze-thaw, UV degradation, or a combination of stresses. In the discussions of these topics, various errors (mostly minor, such as typographical errors in SO and SO2 for SO2 and SO3) and simplifications (e.g., the statement that “salts from the atmosphere may combine with the calcium, sodium, or magnesium already present within the building materials”) are introduced. Since, however, they do not affect the correctness of the general approach to the topic, they do not warrant further mention in this review. However, they should be addressed in a second edition.

The epilogue brings us back to the beginning and the approach to be taken when faced with a problem. It reminds us that seldom can a cookbook approach be taken and that, furthermore, any solution taken is permanent and therefore not reversible. Although the author does not like to use the medical terminology and analogy, I have had no problem with it, but then, I believe the Spanish saying: “There is no sickness, there are only sick people” (No hay enfermedades, hay enfermos). And this is the case for buildings. There are no two exact buildings and no two buildings will have exactly the same problems, because they cannot be in exactly the same place. Therefore, differences, even if minor, will always exist, and these differences can affect the whole approach that is required to solve a problem.

One of the problems faced in architectural conservation is its interdisciplinary nature: architects, engineers, and material scientists (chemists, physicists, biologists, geologists) need to work together. Each discipline has developed its own lexicon, and, as the author points out, the borrowed medical analogy is not quite appropriate. For example, the term “aging” could be better expressed as “weathering,” corresponding to the “natural deterioration” as defined by geologists. The term “deterioration” is then used only when a special agent is in play, such as air pollution or rising damp, as it is currently used in the field of building conservation. Another point that could be misleading is the statement that “reconstitution is often more than the satisfaction of complying with standards of authenticity” (p. 42). Authenticity is one of those vague words introduced in the field of conservation theory that requires a defined framework. Is it material authenticity or building authenticity? And what standards are considered? This is the type of problem that is also found in the material-deterioration section. To keep it short, simplifications are made that can be misleading or not quite accurate, since some words have very specific meanings in the different disciplines. Learning the vocabulary is critical for the interdisciplinary collaboration that building conservation requires, especially when historic buildings are addressed.

In summary, this book is an excellent textbook on building pathology. As with any book of such scope, improvements can be made. I hope that a second edition, with more diagrams and with some minor corrections, can be published to perfect this book, which has elegantly summarized the long experience of the author both as a practitioner and as a teacher.

  • A. Elena Charola, Ph.D.
  • Graduate Program in Historic Preservation
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Philadelphia, Pa. 19104-6311

DAVID PINNIGER, PEST MANAGEMENT IN MUSEUMS, ARCHIVES AND HISTORIC HOUSES. London: Archetype Publications Ltd., 2001. 116 pages, softcover, $30. Available from Archetype Publications, 6 Fitzroy Square, London W1T 5HJ; USA and Canada: Publications, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA, Los Angeles, Calif. 90095. ISBN 1873132867.

David Pinniger has written the book that I have long wanted to write, but never had the time (or confidence) to do so. Over the last 20 years, integrated pest management (IPM) has become an important part of preventive conservation programs for museums, but there has not been a single concise yet comprehensive handbook that could be used to guide the development and implementation of IPM programs for museums. I have had to refer my client museums and students to a variety of references, but now we have a useful and practical guide for conservators and anyone who has responsibility for the care of collections.

Pinniger, an entomologist from the United Kingdom, became interested in the problems of pests in museums about 15 years ago when he was a research entomologist with Slough Laboratories. The book had its “origins in course notes written for Summer School courses run by International Academic Projects at the Institute of Archaeology in London.” I attended the first session of the course on pest management, where I met Mr. Pinniger and was impressed by his expertise and his commitment and interest in the problem of pests in museums. Since then, I have followed his career and read his many publications on pest problems (and solutions) in museums, and they have helped me in my work in preventive conservation.

On first read, I found few items that I could criticize because I was so pleased with the scope of the book. On subsequent readings, I became more critical, but still found only minor issues with matters of organization, not information, some terminology that might not be understood by users outside of the United Kingdom, and one area where he might have benefited from having a conservator as a coauthor. I am confident that these areas will be corrected in future editions.

The book provides an overview to pest problems in museums and provides information on integrated pest management (IPM) and practical ways to incorporate IPM into the operations of a museum, archive, or historic site. While most of the book addresses insect pests, Pinniger has included a chapter on rodent and bird pests written by Adrian Meyer, a recognized world expert in the field.

Chapter 1 introduces IPM and the components of successful pest management: preventing pests; recognizing them; assessing the problem; solving the problem; and implementing IPM. This chapter could be improved by a clearer introduction to the problem of birds in museums and including basic information about the type of damage birds can cause, including secondary problems such as providing harborage and nutrients for insects.

Chapter 2 provides a basic introduction to insect pests, their life cycles and biology, and includes an overview of the major types of insect pests. The text is illustrated by exquisite drawings commissioned for this book. They will be especially useful for general museum staff because the enlarged drawings are accompanied by drawings of the same insects at their actual size.

Chapter 3 addresses insect detection and monitoring; provides information on how to inspect for insects, where to look for them, and what to look for; and describes techniques and products currently available for insect detection (sticky, pheromone, and light traps; x-rays; ultrasonics; and incubation). Most of the information found in this chapter is very useful, especially the listed principles of insect trapping. However, I believe that the use of x-rays and ultrasound as techniques for insect detection in wooden objects will be beyond the capability of all but the largest, well-funded museums that have scientific departments.

Chapter 4 is entitled “Prevention of Insect Infestation.” Most of the techniques for preventing infestation were described, but I found the chapter slightly disorganized and wanted additional information, especially where Pinniger discussed collections storage, the separation of collection objects from each other and from the surrounding museum environment, and the risks associated with organic exhibit materials and props such as straw, logs, dried vegetation, food, and mannequin hair.

Pinniger includes eradication techniques (smoke generators, slow release strips, and so on) in the section on hygiene, and freezing, anoxia, heat treatments, and fumigation in the section on quarantine. He also includes display issues in the section on storage techniques. Conservators and collections care personnel with experience in dealing with pest problems may be able to ignore the disorganization and fill in the blanks where additional information is needed, but I am concerned that general museum staff, especially staff members of small museums who wear many hats and have limited experience with IPM, may be confused and jump to using pesticides when less toxic options are available.

Chapter 5, “Control of Insects,” is also disorganized and the only chapter that would have benefited from having a conservator as a coauthor. A conservator would have been able to state why the ultraviolet (UV) source in a UV trap “may not be acceptable near historic objects” (p. 64) and to provide clearer information on proper techniques for environmental (temperature and relative humidity) monitoring, as well as the risks and benefits associated with the different options for nonchemical control now available. I was pleased that Pinniger includes warnings about pesticide risks and the need to balance the “toxicity of pesticides to the target insects and the risk to man, objects and the environment” (p. 66). The discussion of insecticides would be improved if the headings for each section clearly related to table 2, “Insecticides” (p. 69). Missing from the discussion on desiccant dusts were the very useful combinations of desiccant dust with pyrethrins or synthetic pyrethroids that can be used for crack and crevice treatment in buildings. Perhaps these materials are not registered for use in the UK. Furthermore, I am unsure why increased hygiene and improved housekeeping are not included as options for dealing with insects in buildings, especially since Pinniger has clearly established this as a treatment option elsewhere in this book and in a number of his other publications.

Chapter 6, “Rodents and Birds,” written by Adrian Meyer, is excellent.

The best chapter of the book is the last, chapter 7, “Implementing IPM.” It is realistic and addresses the influences that museum practices and management have on the implementation of a successful IPM program. Table 6, “Guidelines for IPM Strategy,” should be used by every museum in planning and implementing an IPM program because it is comprehensive and stresses the need for collaboration, the allocation of sufficient resources, training of personnel, and regular program evaluation.

The book includes excellent references and an extensive list of materials for further reading. In general, the text is annotated with good citations. There were a few areas, however, where “evidence” is mentioned, but there is no citation. For instance, I would like to have been able to follow up on the statement that “There is some evidence that lavender and lavender oil is repellent for cluster flies” (p. 58), but there was no citation.

As this book is being marketed to an international audience, I hope that future editions will remove the UK-specific terminology such as “dialing 999” in the event of an emergency or “blunder” traps for sticky traps. Furthermore, the frequency of trap inspection described in chapter 3, a minimum of four times a year, may be appropriate in the UK climate, but I would recommend rephrasing this recommendation to suggest that trap frequency be based upon insect developmental cycles specific to the climate in the museum.

I expect that future editions will correct the few inconsistencies and inaccuracies in terminology such as “Ageless anoxia” on page 61. “Ageless” is a brand name for an oxygen scavenger used for anoxic treatment and should be stated as such in table 3, where it is missing.

Despite the flaws described above, Pest Management in Museums, Archives and Historic Houses fills a need for a comprehensive guidebook on pest management. I am confident that Pinniger will improve upon this excellent resource and continue to make contributions to this specialized area of preventive conservation.

  • Wendy Claire Jessup
  • Wendy Jessup & Associates
  • 1814 N. Stafford St.
  • Arlington, Va. 22207

CRAIGEN BOWEN, SUSAN DACKERMAN, AND ELIZABETH MANSFIELD, EDS., DEAR PRINT FAN: A FESTSCHRIFT FOR MARJORIE B. COHN. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Art Museums, 2001. 317 pages, hardcover, $65. Available from Harvard University Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge, Mass. 02138. ISBN 1-891771-21-3.

A commemorative volume in honor of Marjorie B. Cohn, Dear Print Fan is a Festschrift with a twist. Edited by Craigen Bowen, Susan Dackerman, and Elizabeth Mansfield, it pays entertaining and informative tribute to “Jerry” Cohn and her 40 years as conservator and curator at the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museums (HUAM). Its title, Dear Print Fan, in metallic shocking pink against black, is the salutation of her fact-filled letters regularly issued to fellow enthusiasts of works of art on paper. As the epitome of a Lockean “can do” attitude, Cohn naturally assumes that readers of Dear Print Fan share in her pursuit of perfect connoisseurship. As the editors attest, “Jerry sees only the Print Fan in each of us” (p. xi).

The reader's curiosity is immediately piqued upon opening the book. Seven ranges of pink lipstick kisses march across the endpapers, a reproduction of Joyce Wieland's 1970 lithograph O Canada. The print's significance is explained in an entry “O Cohnada” by John O'Brien, wherein he postulates that Wieland's print, which was prominently displayed in Cohn's exhibition Touchstone: 200 Years of Artists' Lithographs, represents her passion for lithography. As the Fest in this Festschrift, it also reflects the contributors' obvious affection for their honoree.

Dear Print Fan is impressive for its abundance of contributions—48 wide-ranging essays with more than 250 illustrations, including two photographs by the artist Carl Chiarenza. Given the diversity of topics, not to mention their differing formats, the editors had little choice but to arrange the entries in alphabetical order by author. Thus Eric Avery's photodocumentary (“Art as Medicine/Medicine as Art”) of the Fogg Art Museum–Zinberg HIV Clinic's observation of World AIDS Day in 1997 comes first, coincidentally alerting the reader that more surprises lie ahead.

The majority of the authors constitute a Who's Who of university scholars and senior curators, two of whom are former directors of HUAM; Cohn has served twice as acting director of HUAM. The balance includes a half-dozen conservators and a handful of political activists, artists, medical doctors, and just plain friends. By and large, their essays are directly concerned with works of art on paper or topics of particular interest to Cohn. As a whole, the essays are a resounding endorsement of object-oriented study, an approach promulgated by Harvard's “heavenly twins,” Edward Forbes and Paul Sachs. Again adhering to an Enlightenment approach, Cohn personally monitors the Fogg's print room on Saturday mornings, resulting in egalitarian interchange “as enlightening as a little conference with Confucius” (“Look about You: A Tribute Not from a Scholar,” by Mariot Fraser Solomon, p. 309).

Most of Dear Print Fan's essays complement Cohn's own publications and are categorized accordingly, below.

  • On Ingres: “Drawing as Displacement: Ingresís Studies for the Vow of Louis XIII,” by Susan L. Siegfried; “Setting the Stage: Preparatory Drawings for Chassériau's Othello Etchings,” by Jay McKean Fisher.
  • On Dürer: “Albrecht Dürer: A Footnote,” by James A. Bergquist; “The Attention Knees Need,” by Jordan Kantor; “Image versus Text in the Schatzbehalter,” by Cynthia Hall.
  • On traditional art history and connoisseurship: “Reading Bresdin Reading,” by David P. Becker; “A Sheet of Studies by Jan Brueghel the Elder,” by William W. Robinson; “Lives and Afterlives of Vasari's Portraits of the Artists,” by Lisa Pon; “Theatricality and Enigma: A New Drawing by Pierre-Narcisse Guérin at the Fogg,” by Alvin L. Clark Jr.; “A Drawing Attributed to Guiseppe Chiari,” by Edgar Peters Bowron; “On the Edge of Matrimony: Some Early Drawings by Edward Burne-Jones,” by Whitney Davis; “Vincent van Gogh's Roulin: Radical Republican and Socratic Type,” by Vojtech Jirat-Wasiutynski; “Joseph-Marie Vien's Zeuxis Selecting His Models,” by Elizabeth Mansfield; “William Hogarth and Mother Time,” by Elizabeth Kathleen Mitchell; “Meryon and Molière,” by Timothy A. Riggs; “Two Recently Discovered Landscapes by Jacob van Ruisdael,” by Seymore Slive; “Troubled Gyrfalcon,” by Stuart Cary Welsh.
  • On albums: “Elizabeth, Duchess of Northumberland, and Her Album of Prints,” by Antony Griffiths.
  • On technical art history and connoisseurship: “Drawing the Line: Clarity and Unclarity in Velázquez's Seville,” by Gridley McKim-Smith; “Qualities of Impressions in Mantegna's Engravings,” by Shelley Fletcher; “El Lissitzky in 1921: Real Reversibility?” by Peter Nisbit; “An Unrecorded Version of Giuseppe Scolari's Woodcut Entombment,” by Richard S. Field.
  • On the history of materials and techniques: “Materials and Techniques Used for Eighteenth-Century English Printed Maps,” by Nancy Purinton; “The Gluck Collection: Gluck (1895–1978) and Her Legacy to the Harvard University Art Museums,” by Katherine Olivier; “A Closer Look at Bister Inks,” by Carlo James; “The Prestige of Pastel: Robert Nanteuil's Pastel Portraits and Thesis Engravings,” by Thea Burns; “A Neapolitan Experiment: An Eighteenth Century Private Press,” by Eleanor M. Garvey; “Casting Light on Some Edouart Silhouette Likenesses,” by Elizabeth I. Coombs.
  • On prints as teaching tools: “Teaching from Prints: Abraham Bloemaert, Drawings, and Chiaroscuro,” by Susan Dackerman; “Chip off the Old Woodblock? A Newly Discovered Dutch Unicum,” by Larry Silver.
  • On lithography: “‘A Common Patrimony': Drawing Girodet's Legacy,” by Clare Rogan.
  • On collecting: “An Annotated Rawlinson: Notes of a London Print Dealer,” by Hart G. D. Lidov; “Malvasiaís Mis-Prints and His Contributions to Print Scholarship,” by John Chvostal; “Ivin's Hind,” by Jonathan Bober.
  • On advocacy of contemporary and American art: “A Printable Box by H. C. Westermann,” by Stephen Goddard; “You Are There: Andy Warhol's Flash—November 22, 1963,” by Branden W. Joseph; “Not Unordered: Rose Marasco's Tender Buttons,” by Deborah Martin Kao; “Art on Ice: Frank Wilbert Stokes, Artist-Explorer,” by Elizabeth Prelinger; “The Impress of Truth: A Group of Pastels by J. Frank Currier,” by Eric M. Rosenberg and Miriam Stewart.

Curiously, a category seemingly unrelated to Cohn's publications emerges with four essays relating to Edgar Degas: “Edgar Degas's Leaving the Bath: Further States,” by Eric G. Carlson; “After the Benozzo Gozzoli Frescoes in the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, Florence: Degas's Drawings in the Fogg Art Museum,” by James Cuno; “Process of Product?” by Teri Hensick; “An Unknown Early Etching by Paul Signac,” by David A. Brenneman. Could Cohn have something new up her sleeve? Nonetheless, the entries match her published pursuits by virtue of their methodology alone.

Taken collectively, the essays in Dear Print Fan affirm Cohn's role as a respected colleague and mentor. Nevertheless, they are not so personalized as to prevent them from making significant contributions to the disciplines of art history and conservation. For example, Becker's fascinating contribution on the prints of Rodolphe Bresdin reveals that the artist was an inept draftsman and relied on complex layering of tracings from popular illustrated journals and books for his enigmatic compositions. One is reminded of the ongoing debate over the reliance upon reproductive aids by artists, such as the camera obscura by Ingres and photographs by Charles Eakins, heretofore implied to be a chink in the armor of true genius.

In this paean to the physicality of art, several authors do recognize alternate approaches. For example, Kermit S. Champa, in “Odilon Redon's Eye/Balloon: A Brief Re-Reckoning,” grumbles about the current “contextural apparatus” that threatens to overwhelm Redon's visual output. Nisbit acknowledges Yve-Alain Bois's concept of “radical reversibility” while downplaying the yet to be determined significance of a reverse-printed title in one of El Lissitzky's Proun lithographs. Siegfried refers obliquely to the feminist reappraisal of Ingres's erotic “serpentine line” but prefers to abide by Cohn's emphasis on artistic process. And Mitchell's consideration of Hogarth prints is a straightforward iconographic study.

The articles written by conservators, who draw from the same intellectual well, are also noteworthy. Burns identifies an important developmental juncture in the history of pastel and elucidates the original function of seemingly ubiquitous and formulaic French 17th-century portrait engravings. No doubt many conservators will be on the lookout for formal portraits of academicians to whom doctoral theses were dedicated. Usually the lower portion, containing the formal propositions, has been removed, either because of its esoteric nature or to reduce the dimensions of the prints, which display telltale folds. One would like to know if the engravings are reversed from the corresponding Nanteuil portraits, evidence supporting Burns's suggestion that some pastel portraits could have been counterproofed.

Purinton expands our knowledge of the materials and techniques of hand-colored 18th-century English printed maps. Because they were systematically color-coded according to geographical feature, conservators have some guidance on what might be expected in terms of pigments and dyes. In the same vein, Coombs provides us with more information about the manufacture of silhouettes, a category of artworks currently receiving more attention by conservators.

Fletcher pulls the rug out from under even the most confident connoisseur of early engravings and suggests that our “definition of quality based on ‘impression' be flexible” (p. 123). Like Cohn, who enjoys examining late as well as pristine impressions, she bases her observation on hundreds of hours of looking at Mantegna engravings.

Inspired by Cohn's technical appendix in Tiepolo: A Bicentenary Exhibition, James's experimentation on the surface tension of bister is disappointing. Citing Cohn's powers of observation—“One may indeed wonder how one could look closer at bister than she did” (p. 161)—James's empirical conclusions are far more convincing than the imprecise science he presents here. Also, his references to sepia are misleading, since sepia was not commercially available until sometime after 1778.

Hensick's examination of the Fogg's Cotton Office in New Orleans by Degas is a classic example of the rewards of the technical examination of paintings. Olivier introduces to the history of conservation the fascinating Hannah Gluckstein (1895–1978), known legally as Gluck, who fought “a solitary campaign” (p. 235) to improve the quality and permanence of artist's materials. Speaking of personalities, Bober's “Ivin's Hind” is a must for all print fans.

Even the most devoted print enthusiast eventually tires from the mental acrobatics required to read this book in its entirety. Cohn, who has been discovered obliviously reading between the library stacks, clearly has the stamina. But the quest is worth the reward: one ends by knowing a great deal about works on paper and delightfully more about Cohn—for example, she is a Red Sox fan, an avid gardener, and a Sherlock Holmes aficionado, and she sports a Dürer license plate.

The editors—Craigen Bowen, Susan Dackerman, and Elizabeth Mansfield—are to be commended for producing a Festschrift of the highest caliber. Their personal and professional efforts have proven their elevated status as genuine Print Fans.

  • Margaret Holben Ellis
  • Conservation Center
  • Institute of Fine Arts
  • New York University
  • 14 East 78th St.
  • New York, N.Y. 10021

Copyright © 2003 American Institution for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works