WAACNewsletter
Volume 5, Number 3, Sept. 1983, p.5

Art & Conservation in the News

Anonymous

New York Times, July 28. "Chemical Used in Steam Lines Coats Artworks...Museum at Cornell Will Clean Anticorrosive." Gerald Hoepfner, Director of the Williamstown (Mass.) Regional Art Conservation Laboratory was "exceedingly alarmed" when an inspection of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum at Cornell University revealed an oily film coating much of the collection including sculpture, ceramics, and American, Asian, and European paintings. The culprit is apparently the chemical diethylamino ethanol which is used to prevent corrosion in steam lines. The building's climate control system taps the steam lines for a source of moisture during dry winter months.

San Francisco Chronicle, August 15. "New York Law Will Protect Artists." The Governor of New York has signed legislation giving artists the right to go to court to have their names disassociated from works that have been modified without permission where "damage to the artists reputation could result." In addition damages could be awarded, or the courts could order a halt to actions the artist objects to. Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, the sponsor of the bill, said that in the past artists had no legal redress when their creations were "mutilated" by their owners and continued to be displayed.

The law was opposed by the major New York museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. Some experts said the legislation could result in litigation over how a work is framed, how an exhibition is set up how works are reproduced in a catalogue.

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