WAACNewsletter
Volume 10, Number 1, Jan. 1988, pp.15-17

AYMHM: Articles You May Have Missed

Chris Stavroudis, column editor
"Archaeology and the Ethics of Collecting". Arlen F. Chase, Diane Z. Chase and Harriot W. Topsey. Archaeology, Vol 41, no 1 (January / February 1988), pp 56-60, 87.

The essay discusses issues involving looted archaeological artifacts and the "growing rift" developing between scientific archaeologists and art historians and epigraphers. The article emphasizes the archaeologist's responsibility to the site and project after the excavation is completed.

"The Trouble with Modern Art", Catherine Barnett, Art & Antiques, October 1987, pp 109-116.

The essay, subtitled "When the fur flies, the fat melts, and the plates come tumbling down, what's a poor conservator to do?", discusses the concept of permanency and how it pertains, or doesn't pertain, to modern and contemporary art. Denise Domergue, Conservation of Paintings, Ltd., is quoted in the article. The essay also quotes dealers and collectors and contains numerous horror stories that are amusing, until they have to be dealt with.

"Protecting and Preserving the Column of Marcus Aurelius", Andrea Bruno, Museum, No. 153, 1987, pp 3-7.

The article discusses the research on the preservation of the 'Antonine' column, completed by 193 AD which stands, all 29.77 meters, in the center of the Piazza Colonna. The column, composed of nineteen blocks of marble, has been decaying for years due to exposure to air pollution. The article shows models of the protective structure that has been proposed to allow the column to remain in place, be accessed by visitors, and protect it from further degradation.

"Archaeology and Waterlogged Wood", Denis Ramseyer and Denise Vonlanthen, Museum, No. 153, 1987, pp 18-25.

The article chronicles the history of stabilization attempts on prehistoric, wooden artifacts. The waterlogged wood, excavated from the mud at prehistoric lake settlements in Switzerland, can range in size from small objects that can be freeze dried to many thousands of wood piles. The authors examine treatment strategies from the 19th, and first half of the 20th centuries, and methods since the 1960's.

"The Fracturing of Glass", Terry A. Michalske and Bruce C. Bunker, Scientific American, Vol 257, no 6 (December 1987), pp 122-129.

"Only recently have the atomic interactions underlying glass fracture been defined. The work suggests ways to slow or even stop the growth of cracks in glass or other brittle materials." The article shows how water can react with glass, at a molecular level, to promote cracking and fracture.

"The Solomenko Embroidery Workshops", Wendy Salmond, pp 126-143. "Constructivist Fabrics and Dress Design", Natalia Adaskina, pp 144-159. "The Soviet Garment Industry in the 1930's", Tatiana Strizhenova, pp 160-175. All appear in The Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts, Number 5, Summer 1987.

The three articles discuss aspects of Russian and Soviet clothing manufacture, design, and artistic influence, including fabric and costume designs by Liubov Popova. Not quite what it sounds, the Journal focuses on the international and regional decorative art and propaganda art movements, 1875 to 1945. The Journal is published quarterly by The Wolfson Foundation of Decorative and Propaganda Arts, Inc., 2399 N.E. Second Ave., Miami, Florida 33137. Individual subscriptions are $25 a year.

"Rembrandt: The Unvarnished Truth?", Sylvia Hochfield, Art News, December 1987, pp 102-111.

The big type says: "Is it an authentic work of the master or isn't it? The members of the Rembrandt Research Project have asked that question over and over again and answered it, mostly in the negative. Some critics think they've gone too far." According to the article, the committee has tentatively attributed The Polish Rider to Willem Drost.

"Art Conservators Draw on Skills, Making Sure Work Goes Unnoticed", Cyndia Zwahlen, The Los Angeles Business Journal, week of January 18-24, 1988, p 1, 15.

Based largely on quotes from Yvonne Szafran, at the J. Paul Getty Museum; Pieter Meyers, of Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Tatyana M. Thompson, Thompson Conservation Associates, Inc.; Joyce Hill Stoner, Winterthur/U of D Training Program; and Luis Monreal of the Getty Conservation Institute. Pieter Meyers describes conservation: "It would probably rank close to the bottom of the get-rich-quick schemes".

"In the Picture", John Dornberg, Connoisseur, October 1987, pp 137-143. Subtitled: "When it comes to restoring paintings, no one outperforms Hubertus von Sonnenburg".

The article, printed on faux-cracqulure pages, reviews von Sonnenburg's education, training, and career as well as some of his conservation triumphs. A sequence of photographs show the process of restoration of Raphael's Canigiani Holy Family in the Munich Alte Pinakothek, which he treated in 1982, causing considerable controversy.

"But is it Art", John Horgan, Scientific American, Vol 257, no 4 (October 1987), pp 48-52.

Subtitled "Science can both deepen and resolve issues of authenticity", the article discusses the cat and mouse game between conservators and conservation scientists and forgers. Pieter Meyers, LACMA, and James R. Druzik, Getty Conservation Institute, along with numerous others are quoted in the article.

"The Restoration of a Master Painting". Joseph Fronek, Senior Paintings Conservator, LACMA. Member's Calendar, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Vol 25, no 11 (November 1987), pp 7-9.

The article discusses, for the lay person, the examination and conservation treatment of Giorgio Vasari's "Holy Family with St. Francis in a Landscape", 1542.

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