WAACNewsletter
Volume 9, Number 1, Jan. 1987, pp.2-5

WAAC Annual Meeting Abstract Reprints, 1986

Various authors

Conservation Materials

Three areas of materials and their stabilities generate the most questions from conservators to CML. They are: relative humidity control via the various forms of silica gel, comparative stabilities of the various epoxy resins, and the similarities and differences between the Maimeri Restoration Colors and the LeFranc Bougeois Restoration Colors. We propose to share with you what we know from the manufacturers in each case and what we have learned from other conservators.

Douglas Adams
Conservation Materials, Ltd.
Sparks, Nevada

Materials Science and Conservation Processes at the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI)

In conservation science, the role of chemistry has always been emphasized and only limited attention has been given to the role of materials science. Most of the critical properties of conservation materials (like appearance, flexibility, hardness, thermal expansion, adhesion and cohesion) are evaluated by materials science techniques. For example, changes in physical and optical properties usually are the result of chemical changes in a material. It does not necessarily mean that such chemical changes would prohibit the material's use in conservation. Therefore, a pure chemical characterization of a material can be misleading and the materials science approach will probably give a clearer sense of the performance of a material in conservation.

One further step is needed: the close interaction of the materials scientists with the practicing conservators who will have to do the final evaluation of any proposed treatment or product. GCI's Conservation Processes group will fulfill this function. In addition, if the study of a material or technique requires more information of a chemical nature, then the problem is handed over to the analytical section. Some examples of this type of cooperative research will be discussed.

Amy Taketomo
Getty Conservation Institute
Marina del Rey, California

The Textile Conservation Centre Program at Hampton Court

Very few recognized textile conservation training programs are in existence today. Of these, the Textile Conservation Centre at Hampton Court is recognized at an international level as having a curriculum which combines both academic and practical training. This paper will outline the history of the program and then describe the prerequisites for admission, course content and graduation requirements. The conservation of an 18th century boy's coat will be presented as an example of a third year diploma project.

Rosanna Zubiate
Conservation Center, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Los Angeles, California

Huntington Fire--A Cleaning Procedure for the Pile Carpets

1985 fire at the Huntington Library left a fine layer of oily soot on the surface of a large silk carpet, a Savonnerie carpet, and a Savonnerie screen, among other textiles. It was considered desirable to clean the items in place. A "poultice" technique was devised using Freon 113 as a solvent, and a commercial silicon base powder as an absorbent.

Stan Derelian
S.D. Derelian & Son, Inc.
Santa Cruz, California

The Restoration of 17th and 18th Century Giltwood Objects in a Paris Atelier

I propose to discuss the connoisseurship and conservation of giltwood objects as practiced in the workshop in which I worked in France. I will describe the characteristics of the gilding from different periods and a range of treatments from total regilding to simple cleaning, patching, and patinating. The talk will be illustrated with slides of French and Italian gilding from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Brian Considine
Decorative Arts Conservation, J. Paul Getty Museum
Malibu, California

Restoration of a Chinese Tang Dynasty Earthenware Camel

This paper will discuss the restoration of a multicolored, lead glazed, Chinese Tang Dynasty earthenware camel. A brief history of the use of Chinese Tang Dynasty funerary ceramics will be presented. This will be followed by an explanation of the conservation processes and materials used in the treatment of this object. The ceramic was tested by thermoluminescent dating to determine its authenticity. Although initial problems were encountered, satisfactory treatment results were obtained.

Lynn Wicks
Bradywicks
Santa Barbara, California

Mexican Folk Retablos--Santos de Hoja de Lata

Mexican folk retablos (santos de hoja de lata or laminas) are usually small oil paintings executed on tin which depict religious themes, primarily l9th century manifestations of belief which had once been popular throughout the central part of Mexico. Within the last 20 years, the collecting of these objects has resulted in their removal from original sites and dispersal throughout the world in private collections. Slides will demonstrate different stylistic trends, themes (including related exvotos), and common problems in their preservation and conservation.

Gloria Fraser Giffords
Conservator
Tucson, Arizona

The Conservation and Installation of a Colossal Painting by Sam Francis

In the early 1980's, a dialogue between museum director Henry Hopkins and artist Sam Francis resulted in the museum's commission of a colossal painting which was to become the largest art work in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art permanent collection. The design for the painting was begun on a miniature scale, with a first maquette produced in 1981 and the final work being completed to scale in 1986. The painting (as yet untitled) is composed of five stretched canvases, each 23 feet by 9 feet, that adjoin each other and fill the entire west wall of the museum's fourth floor rotunda. The painted image is achieved with intensely brilliant acrylic colors, which have been dripped, poured, rolled and brushed onto a solid white priming. Unfortunately, the materials, construction, and condition of the painting were such that conservation treatment was necessary immediately after the art work was completed by the artist. The conservation, installation and registration staff (assisted by additional conservation colleagues and crew) worked as a team to develop and successfully execute major strategies for the delivery, conservation, installation and storage of the painting at the museum. The exceptional scale of the project, and resultant scheduling, personnel and budget requirements, presented great challenge and stimulation to the conservation team.

Jim Bernstein
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
San Francisco, California

A Technique for Texturing Wax Fills on Paintings

In restoring areas of paint and ground loss on paintings, it is sometimes difficult to reproduce paint and canvas textures that blend with surrounding areas using mechanical means alone. A technique for texturing wax fills, using a silicone rubber mold of the adjacent surface, is discussed and demonstrated.

Helen Mar Parkin
Perry Huston & Associates, Center for the Conservation of Art
Fort Worth, Texas

A Conversation with Los Angeles Artist Ed Ruscha

A discussion of Ed Ruscha's philosophy, working methods and the materials he uses.

Denise Domergue
Conservation of Paintings, Ltd.
Los Angeles, California

The Dilemma of Conservation when an Artist is Alive and Available: Bruce Conner's Rat Bastard I

A collage/assemblage by San Francisco artist Bruce Conner was presented to the conservator for treatment, which was to be carried out with the help of the artist. The treatment is discussed, with focus on the ethical problems of allowing an artist to treat his own work.

Will Shank
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
San Francisco, California

Frank Stella...Spare Parts Required

The subject of this talk is a 6 ft. by 8 ft. recently damaged multimedia collage/painting constructed of common materials. The talk will describe ethical considerations involved in arriving at a treatment proposal.

Jay Krueger
Perry Huston & Associates, Center for the Conservation of Art
Fort Worth, Texas

Construction Details on an Aluminum Frame for a Vacuum Envelope Developed by Robert Wilmot, Australia

Robert Futernick
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
San Francisco, California

Update on the Association of Cooperative Conservation Centers

Gary Wade Alden
Balboa Art Conservation Center
San Diego, California

Conservation Trends in Japanese Bookbinding and Problems in Treatment of Large Artworks on Paper

Bookbinders in Japan combine Western and Eastern techniques in attempting to find better solutions to questions of book conservation. Discussion of difficulties and successful methods of treatment.

Karen Zukor
Conservator
Oakland, California

The Challenges of Preservation and Conservation in a Tropical Climate

The staff at the Pacific Regional Conservation Center at Bishop Museum in Hawaii often encounter conservation problems caused by exposure to the extreme conditions of a tropical climate. Examples of pest and environmental damage as well as problems associated with the local architectural style will be shown with particular emphasis on the treatment of paper artifacts. The purpose of this talk is to stimulate an informal dialogue among conservators.

Wendy Bennett and Leslie Hill Paisley
Pacific Regional Conservation Center
Honolulu, Hawaii

Treatment Notes

Discussion of problematic treatments and useful conservation techniques.

Leslie Kruth
Conservation of Works of Art on Paper, Inc.
Los Angeles, California

A Plexiglass Mount System for View of San Francisco, 1855, Six Full-sized Daguerrotype Photographs

Six mid-19th century, full-sized daguerreotype plates that together make up a panoramic view of San Francisco were inadequately mounted and framed beneath a severely flaking reverse painted framing glass. They required rehousing that provided the plates and their delicate front surfaces protection and allowed for reframing beneath the stabilized framing glass. A reversible plexiglass encasement designed to meet these needs was fabricated and installed.

Marc Harnly
Balboa Art Conservation Center
San Diego, California

Use of the Low Pressure Air Flow Table in the Remounting of a Kurt Schwitters Collage

A 1934 Kurt Schwitters collage, composed of several paper elements of a variety of paper and media types assembled as one unit, was inadequately adhered to a secondary support which was modified for remounting. To avoid deformation of the collage's characteristic surface relief, and to insure complete adhesion to the secondary support, the collage was relined with a non-aqueous adhesive (spray flocked Beva 371) on a low pressure air flow table.

RAMON A. SANCHEZ-CHAPELLIN
Balboa Art Conservation Center
San Diego, California

Book Conservation at the Huntington Library

Setting up the book conservation department. A survey of methods
and standards of practice.
Griselda Warr
Huntington Library
San Marino, California

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