Volume 9, Number 3, Sept 1987, pp.16-23
Jack Lucas has been on the road lately, examining murals. The Cheney Cowles Museum in Northeastern Washington State at Spokane, has received two murals by Edward Grigware. They were donated by a bank which no longer wanted them. Each mural is approximately 11 feet high by 15 feet wide. Pendleton, Oregon is in the Northeastern part of the state; high desert country with summer temperatures of 120 degrees Fahrenheit not at all uncommon. The High School there has two murals by C.S. Price, the largest he ever painted; 4 feet high by 22 feet long, adhered to the wall with white lead. The school would like them off the wall. Lucas has recovered from the heat and is working up treatment proposals now.
Sonja Sopher and Elizabeth Chambers are heavily involved with a renovation project which the Portland Art Museum is conducting in its European and Western Art gallery. When the Western Museum Association holds their annual meeting next month (in Portland), Sopher will present a paper describing how well their new environmentally controlled exhibit cases are working out. With any luck, a redaction of that paper will appear in the next WAAC Newsletter.
Sandra Troon has recently acquired a new 3 beam loom, which will allow her to work on tapestries up to 15 feet wide.
Nancy Thorn, who restores gilded furniture and frames in Portland, delivered a paper to the WAG group during the aIC conference in Vancouver, B.C., concerning the restoration of a pair of Girandoles.
Jack Thompson delivered a paper at the IIC-CG meeting in Victoria, B.C., about his work designing, fabricating and installing an active environmental system in an exhibit case for the Lincoln Cathedral exemplar of Magna Carta. The 1215 document has been in the U.S. since last June and will return to England during January of 1988. In July, Thompson, who served as Regent for Conservation of the Guild of the Professional Picture Framer's Association from 1981-1985, taught a four day course on the care, repair, and display of art on paper at the R&D Framing School, in Fort Collins, Colorado. R&D Framing School is one of two in the nation which seek to properly train picture framers. Thompson recently (4 August) returned from Port Townsend, Washington, where he had been employed as the conservation consultant by Maritime Ventures, a firm working to salvage the safe and other artifacts which had sunk with the S.S. Governor in 1921. The ship had gone down in the middle of the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Treacherous currents made it difficult to maintain station over the site and working at a depth of up to 240 feet for extended periods of time required that the divers live in a saturated atmosphere of helium/oxygen during the eleven day "safe window" for diving. It was not possible to recover the safe during this time, but Maritime Ventures is planning for the next attempt at this time. A number of artifacts, including a pair of ladies shoes, in good condition, were retrieved. Thompson, who spent a fair amount of time at sea as an electrician in the U.S. Navy, remains puzzled by one artifact which was recovered--a chamber pot. Think about it.
Istor Productions, another TCL subsidiary, recently completed production on tapes for the repair of library and archival holdings, and on 24 August, will shoot two tapes on the use of Wei T'o, for Dick Smith. Production plans for Fall/Winter include tapes on the care and repair of oriental screens and scrolls; a tape on basic bookbinding to be made for Basic Crafts, a New York bookbinding materials supply company. University Products now carries Istor Production's Tapes in the U.S. and Canada.
The conservation department at the Museum of Church History and Art has been involved in a textile survey of the collection. Jayne Fife, specialist in clothing and textiles from Tucson, Arizona and Sharon Odekirk, from the Museum, worked on the project from January through May. The collection had never been surveyed and much of it had been stored in cardboard boxes for many years. The survey began with photography and condition reports. The items were then properly packed and placed in a proper storage area within the museum. Of special interest were items made from Utah cotton and Utah silk. These items stemmed from cotton crops and a silk industry of the pioneers in southern Utah. Dresses made from silk and home decorative items made from cotton are rare and prized. Most of the textiles surveyed were pioneer clothing and accessories but items from 1830 to the present were also found in the collection. Home decorative textiles and ethnographic textiles will be surveyed later this year.
Blanche Miles, a conservation volunteer, is working on a special project of christening dresses. She has not been able to find much information on these speciality items and if anyone has done research or conservation in this area, she would appreciate hearing from you.
Connie Wanke, Colorado Conservation Center, has been asked to lecture at the AASLH Workshops in Helena, Montana on August 25. Ms. Wanke's topic will be "Evaluating the Conservation Needs of Your Collection." The workshops are being held to benefit personnel of small museums in the various regions of the United States. Colorado Conservation Center spent several days this spring in Cody, Wyoming working on a large poster (6' x 8') for the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. Additional remedial work was done on the permanent collection as well. Ms. Wanke completed work this summer on the Charles Barstow Collection of one-of-a- kind reservation drawings for the Special Collections Division of Eastern Montana College, Billings, Montana. The conservation treatment of 70 drawings and watercolors was funded by a grant from IMS. Connie Wanke was recently asked to consult on the works of art and photographic panels used in the traveling show, "Hollywood, Legend and Reality," opening August 18 at the Denver Art Museum. The show is sponsored by SITES.
Ms. Wanke has also been asked to be a curatorial advisor to the show "Significant Colorado Women Artists of the Twentieth Century" scheduled to open September 1988 at the Women's Museum in Washington, D.C. Ms. Wanke will help in the selection of the historical and early works, as well as provide technical assistance and advice in the movement of the show from Colorado to Washington.
The Western Center for the Conservation of Fine Arts staff took part in the July festivities surrounding the opening of the Wildlife of the American West Art Museum in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. WCCFA has conserved many of the paintings from the JKM Collection, a large public collection of North American wildlife art. WCCFA also consulted with the museum staff regarding installation and environmental control for the collection prior to the museum's opening.
Amy Marsh, who came to the Western Center for the Conservation of Fine Arts from the Cincinnati Art Museum's conservation department, has now successfully completed her pre-graduate internship at WCCFA. This fall's pre-graduate internship opening will be filled by Ronna Rivers, a Stephens College graduate coming to Denver from Iowa City.
Karen B. Jones, preservation officer at Jefferson County Public Library and free-lance bookbinder in the Denver area, recently attended a conference entitled "Lessons of History and Experience in the Design of Conservation Bindings." The conference was sponsored by Library Binding Services and was held in Des Moines, Iowa. Ms. Jones has also been project director of a Colorado Historical Society Local Assistance Grant funding development of a photo archive for Jefferson County. The project, due to be completed in October, is a cooperative effort of Jefferson County Public Library and Jeffco Historical Commission.
Silvia Rennie, a designer binder, will present a hands-on workshop on half-vellum binding with marbled sides to be held September 25 to 27. Please see Events for more information.
Randy Ash has been appointed to the position of Head Paintings Conservator at the Rocky Mountain Regional Conservation Center. Gina Laurin will be filling the NEA funded ethnographic internship at the RMRCC.
The Bay area Art Conservation Guild would like to announce its new officers for the upcoming year: Genevieve Baird as President, John Burke as Vice President/Program chairman, Diane Nicholson as Recording Secretary, Claire Antonnetti as Membership Secretary, Paul Wells as Treasurer, and Anita Noennig as Board Member At-Large. Continuing Board Members At-Large are Elizabeth Cornu, Anne Rosenthal, and Robin Tichane. The Board also appointed Judith Rieniets as the new BAACG Bulletin Editor. Reporters for the Bulletin presently include Walter Henry, Sandra Lawrence, Colette Tanaka, Karen Zukor, Anita Noennig, and Ruth Eis.
Elizabeth Cornu, Objects Conservator at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, spent part of the months of May and June at the National Museum in San Jose, Costa Rica, as a consultant for the UNESCO/United Nations Development Program to help with the establishment of a materials conservation center in Costa Rica. Elizabeth reports that the collections consist of very interesting archaeological and natural history objects, among others, needing conservation/preservation measures, and that the city of San Jose also has a fine contemporary art museum.
Paula Volent is completing her year internship at the Western Regional Paper Conservation Laboratory (WRPCL) at the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, and will be leaving this August to train with Victoria Blyth Hill and Denise Domergue.
Bob Futernick will be teaching a 1-week section of a 9-week paper conservation course to be held in Rome this September-October under the auspices of ICROM.
Keiko Keyes will be a visiting conservator at The J. Paul Getty Museum, 20-26 September 1987. Laura Mau has begun a one-year apprenticeship at the Asian Art Museum in preparation for graduate school. During the year anticipated projects will involve condition reporting, treatment, and monitoring the climatic conditions in galleries and storage.
The Asian Art Museum Conservation Department has been heavily involved in condition report writing for in-house exhibitions, traveling exhibitions, and new acquisitions. Time has been spent developing checklist formats for specific materials to meet the time constraints. The Asian Art Museum recently acquired six pieces of Indian bidriware, a zinc alloy inlaid with silver. One of the pieces has been broken and repaired while another has been overcleaned in the past. Repair of the damaged piece will be done after removal of previous restoration and cleaning. Repatination will be done after appropriate testing of recipes on zinc.
Alexis Pencovic died of cancer on Tuesday, June 9, 1987 at Kaiser Hospital, San Francisco, at the age of 66. Alexis worked for the Conservation Department of the Asian Art Museum for 20 years as Assistant Conservator and as Acting Head of Conservation until the Summer-Fall of 1986, when Alexis retired due to illness. In memorial, the staff of the Asian Art Museum has planted an Asian redwood tree alongside the Museum.
Jerry Podany, Department Head of Antiquities Conservation at the Getty, delivered a paper entitled "Advances in the Reassembly of Large Stone Sculpture" at the Jubilee Conference of the Institute of Archaeology in London, July 6-12.
Louisa Pari and Megham Williams have recently joined the staff at FACL in Santa Barbara, as Assistant Conservator and Administrative Assistant.
Chris Stavroudis is preparing a literature review and survey of existing equipment on the "Application of Acoustic Microscopy and Acoustic Emission to Problems in Conservation" under contract with the Getty Conservation Institute. Chris has opened a private paintings conservation practice, specializing in on-site treatments. In addition, he is continuing consultation with LACMA on their conservation database project.
Barbara Roberts, Department Head of Decorative Arts Conservation at the Getty, delivered a paper on Preservation of Cultural Property at the Natural Hazards Research Association and Information Center at The University of Colorado. Also in attendance were Jane Slate, Melvin Green, Barclay Jones, and Anne Russel.
Susan Lansing, Conservation Assistant in the Antiquities Lab at the Getty, participated in the first summer course in Archaeological Field Conservation at the Institute of Archaeology, University of London. She then spent ten days in July cleaning and mending recently excavated ceramics with the Princeton Expedition in Cyprus.
Marie-Claude Depassiot, Director of the Centre Archeologique de Vienne, recently toured several labs in Southern California after completing a period of study in the Glass Conservation Studio of The Corning Museum.
Duane Chartier, who has been at The Getty Conservation Institute since June 1, will become the Scientific Program Coordinator of ICCROM, in Rome, Italy. Duane has been conducting chamber studies for the investigation of Vikane's interactions with materials and making specifications for a proposed Image Processing System while at GCI. In Rome, among other duties, he will teach the principles of Chemistry class.
Dearby MacNab, visiting from Toronto, has accepted a one year position as Conservation Assistant with Chrysalis, in Santa Barbara.
Pearl Lee has also joined the staff at Chrysalis as an apprentice in objects conservation. The Paintings Conservation Department at the Getty will have two interns this year. Oriana Sartiani, Restorer of Paintings from Arezzo, Italy, and Mark van Gelder, intern from The State University College at Buffalo, are both beginning their internships in September.
Recent promotions within the Decorative Arts Conservation Lab at the Getty include Brian Considine, Associate Conservator. Linda Strauss, Assistant Conservator, and George Johnson, Senior Mount Maker. Brian Considine recently gave a lecture on Decorative Arts Conservation at the Getty to the Ecole Superior du Bois, in Paris. His presentation included the current work designing conservation facilities for the new museum in Brentwood.
Elizabeth Miller has accepted a position as Assistant Conservator for one year in Antiquities Conservation at the Getty. Elizabeth had been working in the Lab on a contract basis until recently.
Lieve van den Bulcke, from the Antiquities Conservation Lab at the Getty assisted Jim Black in the organization of the Summer School Sessions at The Institute of Archaeology in London this summer.
Bill Winters and Jo Hill have recently begun volunteering in the Antiquities Lab at the Getty.
Carol Kenyon of South Coast Fine Arts Conservation Center, Inc., is working with Art Historian and California Mission specialist Dr. Norman Neuerburg on the reconstruction of the altar dedicated to N. S. de Guadalupe at the Mission San Juan Capistrano. The altar, intended for a never constructed Cathedral in Los Angeles, was sent to Capistrano in the 1920's where it was damaged by a leak in the Sacristy ceiling. As a result, only a small piece of the original exists today. SCFACC, also in collaboration with Dr. Neuerburg, has also completed the conservation of three sandstone sculptures by local Chumash Indians in the Mission Santa Barbara.
The Conservation Center at LACMA is happy and proud to announce that two interns have been accepted into the Winterthur/University of Delaware Art Conservation Program. Laurie German, former intern in objects conservation, and Camilla van Vooren, former intern in textile conservation, began their studies in mid-July. We wish them all the best.
David Rash has been hired by LACMA as a Conservation Aid. His focus will be on antiquities conservation which will include a major project to conserve a Roman mosaic from the 3rd century A.D. In addition, David will be responsible for monitoring the recording hygrothermographs throughout the museum complex.
Don Sale, a student in the Winterthur/University of Delaware Art Conservation Program, has started his third year internship in objects conservation at LACMA. His special area of interest is modern sculpture. Susanne Friend, a graduate of the Queens University Art Conservation Programme, has completed her NEA fellowship in paintings conservation at LACMA. This fall, she will be moving to Rome. Virginia Rasmussen has completed an 11 month internship in paintings conservation at LACMA. This is the final requirement for her diploma from the Winterthur/University of Delaware Art Conservation Program. She will continue her studies at LACMA for the next year as a NEA Fellow in paintings conservation. During this past July, Susana Zubiate was a volunteer intern in textile conservation at LACMA.
Victoria Blyth Hill, Senior Paper Conservator at LACMA, was interviewed by Charles Sherman for his special television series on art. Victoria spoke about paper conservation and showed examples of common problems with works of art on paper. The half hour program was shown during the month of July on channel 3, a Public Access station on cable TV.
Paula Volent, a student in the NYU Art Conservation Program, will intern two days a week with Denise Domergue of Conservation of Paintings, Ltd., and three days a week with Victoria Blyth Hill at LACMA for four months beginning in September 1987.
Tatyana Thompson, of Tatyana M. Thompson and Associates, Inc. in Santa Monica, in conducting a Conservation Needs Assessment Survey of the paintings in the permanent collection at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles.
Louis Goldich, Registrar at the San Diego Museum of Art, will present a session "Planning for Natural Disasters (Floods, Hurricanes, Earthquakes...)" at the 51st Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archivists in New York on 5 September 1987.
Gary Wade Alden, Director of BACC, Janet Ruggles, BACC Chief Conservator of Paper, and Larry Booth, Curator of the Photographic Collection of the San Diego Historical Society, will co-chair several sessions of a Regional Workshop of the American Association for State and Local History on the "Care and Preservation of Two-Dimensional Collections" to be held at the Museum of San Diego History, 17-21 January 1988. This will be one of five regional workshops supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and designed for professionals and volunteers in small to medium-sized historical organizations who have not had formal training in the care or conservation of two-dimensional materials.
Gary Wade Alden and Janet Ruggles hosted a workshop at BACC for the San Diego Chapter of the Professional Picture Framer's Association on 16 July 1987, as well as sessions of art history courses at Mesa College in San Diego on 9 May 1987 and California State University at Fullerton on 27 April 1987.
Teresa Andrews has joined the BACC paper conservation laboratory as a volunteer to assist Janet Ruggles and Marc Harnly in a project to treat 499 Japanese prints in the collection of the San Diego Museum of Art. This is part of a larger collaborative two- year program with Keiko Keyes, partly funded by the IMS, based on a survey of 733 wood-block prints and brush drawings in the Museum collection.
Gary Hulbert and Betty Engel, paintings conservators at BAAC, will attend the 8th Triennial Meeting of the Conservation Committee of the International Council of Museums in Sydney, Australia, 6-11 September 1987, with various side-trips before and after to points in between.
Betsy Court, Chief Conservator of Paintings at BACC, was elected Chairperson of the AIC Paintings Specialty Group at the 15th Annual Meeting of the AIC at Vancouver, B.C. on 24 May 1987. People who are eager to become involved in the many important issues facing the specialty should look for the announcements in the next issue of the AIC Newsletter, due momentarily, or contact Betsy directly at BACC, P.O. Box 3755, San Diego, CA 92103, (619) 236-9702.
Annette C. Rupprecht will join the BACC paintings conservation laboratory in September 1987 for her third-year internship from the Art Conservation Department of the State University College at Buffalo, New York. She comes from a summer working with Richard L. Kerschner at the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont, and has had other work projects at the Pacific Regional Conservation Center in Hawai'i and the Kansas City Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.
Bob Herskovitz has joined the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul. As to date, he has not been replaced at the Arizona Historical Society in Tucson.
Dale Kronkright recently returned from The Getty Conservation Institute where he co-taught, with Ruth Norton and Mary Lou Florian, the course entitled "Conservation of Artifacts Made from Plant Materials." Dale is currently working on revisions to the original manuscript material designed for the course which the Getty may publish. Dale is also happily testing a 23 cubic foot chest freezer that PRCC recently purchased for sterilization of appropriate artifact materials. He is now know as "Captain Freeze" in some circles!
Jane Bassett is working on blueprint plans for an exhibit case design that can be easily constructed and is adaptable for private homes and small museums. Jane is also working on the stabilization of several ancient Chinese bronzes and surveying filling materials for exterior stone sculpture as well as for Coromandel lacquer screens. She will be representing PRCC at the ICOM meeting in Sydney, Australia in September.
Janet Mason recently completed the preparation for exhibit of 140 ethnographic objects from Bishop Museum's collection that are the second installation of the "Legacy of Excellence" exhibit to celebrate the Year of the Hawaiian. She is currently working on the consolidation of dry, salt-impregnated archaeological wooden carved objects and a mounting system for Hawaiian feather cloaks.
Margaret Little and Don Sale, conservation students from Winterthur, completed their summer work internships in July. They were involved in stabilization of Bishop Museum's most vulnerable ethnographic objects in preparation for a move of the Ethnology collection to a new building. Margaret and Don discovered characteristic forms of deterioration in banana petiole fibers found in Micronesian woven textiles. They examined fibers to see what part of the micromorphology was deteriorated and explored whether deterioration was caused by inherent factors in the fiber or the photo sensitizing dyes used on them.
Leslie Paisley is preparing exhibition mounts for several pieces for a large exhibition entitled "Revelations" which will open at the Honolulu Academy of Arts in September. The exhibit will bring to light objects from the collection that have never before been exhibited including some large modern pieces by Bill Cumming and Agnes Denes. Leslie recently received training from book conservator, Linda Ogden, during a 3-day workshop and from Linda's husband, Barclay Ogden, head of the conservation department at UC Berkeley, who conducted a 1-day seminar on Disaster Preparedness which was funded by the University of Hawai'i Library.
Wendy Bennett gave birth to a baby boy--Bud Bennett Coulson on July 3. While Wendy is on maternity leave, Downey Rugtiv is working in the paper lab, part time. Downey and her husband, Tony, have recently moved to Hawai'i and we feel fortunate to have her at PRCC.
Recent activities of Greg Thomas in the painting lab included the completion of grants which funded treatment of 4 easel paintings for the Maui Historical Society and the Hawaiian Historical Society. Funding was provided by the NEA, Hawaii's State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, as well as grants from local foundations. Greg is also treating 3 Jean Charlot paintings for the "Revelations" exhibit at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. A survey of selected paintings from the Bishop Museum's collection was completed in June.
Leslie Carlyle has been accepted at the Courtauld to research 19th century artist's techniques as part of a Ph.D. program. She is on a three year educational leave from her paintings conservation position at CCI.
This issue is Connie Mohrman's debut as one of the two Rocky Mountain Regional Reporters. Connie Mohrman, of Western Center for the Conservation of Fine Arts in Denver, is replacing Connie Wanke. Ms. Mohrman, who has recently joined the administrative staff of WCCFA, would appreciate hearing from area conservators with news to contribute. The Newsletter and editorial staff wishes to sincerely thank Connie Wanke for her years of active participation in the WAAC regional reporter network. Ms. Wanke has been reporting on the Rocky Mountain Region from the inception of the WAAC Newsletter in 1979.
The WAAC Regional Reporters are:
(listed North to South)
Oregon & Washington
Jack Thompson, Thompson Conservation Lab, 1417 N.W. Everett, Portland, OR 97209, (503) 248-0046.
Salt Lake Region
Sharon Odekirk, Museum of Church History and Art, 45 North West Temple Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84105, (801) 531-2310.
Jeanne Brako, RMRCC, University of Denver, 2420 South University Blvd., Denver, CO 80208, (303) 733-2712.
Connie Mohrman, WCCFA, 1225 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204, (303) 573-1973.
James Alkons, 1930 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 444- 3719.
San Francisco Bay
Anita Gail Noennig, Daedalus, 6020 Adeline St., Oakland, CA 94608, (415) 658-4566.
Judith Ann Reiniets, 2936-B Lyon St., San Francisco, CA 94123, (415) 931-5346.
Greater Los Angeles
Catherine McLean, Conservation Center, LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036, (213) 857-6169.
Glenn Wharton, Private Conservator, 549 Hot Springs Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93108, (805) 969-4067 or (213) 451-4067.
Gary Wade Alden, BAAC, P.O. Box 3755, San Diego, CA 92103, (619) 236-9702.
Gloria Fraser Giffords, 2859 N. Soldier Trail, Tucson, AZ 85749, (602) 749-4070.
Leslie Hill Paisley, PRCC, Bishop Museum, P.O. Box 19000-A, Honolulu, HI, 96817, (808) 847-3511.
(Next month, look for listing West to East.)
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