WAACNewsletter
Volume 7, Number 1, Jan. 1985, pp.7-8

Meetings & Conferences in Review

Various authors

AIC Think Tank on Wood Consolidation

On 1 & 2 December 1984 the Wooden Artifacts Group (WAG) of the AIC sponsored the first meeting of what may become a continuing dialogue of major issues within the conservation profession. Those attending this meeting held at the Klingle Mansion in Washington, D.C. were: Walter Angst, Silver Springs, MD; Stephen Brooke, Augusta, ME; Steve Cristin-Poucher, Los Angeles, CA; Michael Flanigan, Baltimore, MD; Nikki Horton, Arlington, VA; Tom Robinson, Philadelphia, PA; Dr. Arno Schniewind, Richmond, CA; James Wermuth, Newport, RI; and Marc Williams, Washington, D.C.

The purpose of the "Think Tank" is, as stated in the pre-enrollment information, "to provide an atmosphere conducive to problem solving" and to "increase our understanding of wood consolidation and begin the establishment of an American posture towards wood conservation." To achieve these goals in a short time, the program was conducted at an advance level with prerequisite readings of current methods and ethical implications of consolidation technology. James Wermuth, Chairman of WAG, organized and conducted the meetings around a loose framework designed for group participation and focus on the meeting's goals. There was considerable discussion on the nature of consolidants. The problem is that no matter what the solubility or resolubility of a chemical consolidant, the nature of fluid transport in wood causes all consolidation procedures to be more or less "irreversible." This result is in apparent conflict with the AIC Code of Ethics and presents difficulties. Certain processes are potentially more likely to be stable while others are perhaps more "retreatable." At the end of the meeting, individual evaluations were written which address the following directives:

  1. Define "consolidation" as it applies to wooden artifacts and as it integrates into general art conservation usage.
  2. Identify "perfect consolidants" as defined above.
  3. Devise a procedural routine to:

    a) identify a problem
    b) assess the nature of deterioration
    c) determine the extent of deterioration
    d) Survey possible treatments with the end use in mind.

The results of these evaluations will be compiled and circulated among the participants in an effort to come to an agreement on an approach to this complex problem.

Reviewed by Steve Cristin-Poucher

Harpers Ferry Regional Textile Group's 7th Symposium

On 1 & 2 November 1984 the Harpers Ferry Regional Textile Group held its 7th Symposium in Washington, D.C. Over 250 textile conservators and curators from the U.S., Canada and Europe gathered to discuss "Special Problems in the Treatment of Three Dimensional Textile Objects." Nancy Wyatt and Catherine McLean spoke on the "Preparation of the Exhibition An Elegant Art: Fashion and Fantasy in the 18th Century." Sharon Donnan spoke on "Field Conservation and the Conservation of a Miniature Chimu Crown." The proceedings of the Symposium were taped and are available from Richard Todd, Cassette Recording Company, Inc., 13377 E. Stroop Road, Suite 102, P.O.Box 20453, Dayton, OH 45420.

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