WAACNewsletter
Volume 12, Number 2, May 1990, pp.17-22

Regional News

Glenn Wharton, column editor
Pacific Northwest

Helen Alten recently attended the IIC-CG-funded meeting in Dawson City, Alaska on the care and handling of wooden artifacts, and is currently preparing her talk on "Medieval Waterlogged Glass" to be presented at the AIC meeting in Richmond, VA. She has also recently treated a group of artifacts dating from Alaska's Russian past, which will be displayed at the Washington State Historical Society in Tacoma, WA, in conjunction with the upcoming Goodwill Games. As northwest regional reporter for the Archaeological Conservation Newsletter, Helen urges anyone with archaeological news to contact her.

Alice Bear attended a two-day symposium in Miami, FL last December on "Environmental Chemistry of Art Conservation" sponsored by the Division of Environmental Chemistry of the American Chemical Society. The symposium focused on the effects of air pollutants on art objects, monitoring and quantification of pollutants, environmental modifications and their efficacy. Bear has also been participating in the IIC-AATA publication project as an abstractor since June of 1989.

Julie Creahan is completing supervision of the rehousing of a large portion of the Seattle Art Museum's collection of ancient copper- alloy objects. Rehousing includes examination, testing for bronze disease, and documentation of findings. Julie recently attended the workshop, "Earthquake in Washington--Are We Ready?" which discussed earthquake preparedness plans of various government agencies in Washington state.

Sandra Troon has recently completed treatment of four Japanese garments for the textile collection of the Seattle Art Museum. She is a member of the Steering Committee for the Contemporary Tapestry Forum 1990 which will be held in Portland, OR. She expects approximately 88 participants will tour her studio.

Lori van Handel and others at the Seattle Art Museum have been involved in the development of low-tech, affordable solutions to earthquake mitigation problems in museum storage areas. More on this next issue.

New Mexico

Bettina Raphael is currently completing work on an IMS grant to survey and recommend storage for the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian's Navajo silver collections. The grant has included consultations with traditional and contemporary Native American silverworkers, as well as with Ellen Howe. Further investigations into the manufacturing techniques and alloy composition of Navajo silver objects is being carried out in cooperation with Los Alamos laboratories which is allowing the use of their SEM.

Landis Smith, at the Museum of New Mexico, recently completed conservation for a travelling exhibit of archaeological objects from New Mexico's only Civil War site, Glorieta Battlefield. Working with MNM archaeologists, she has also begun conserving objects recently excavated from a Spanish Colonial site at Valencia, NM, investigating the problems of wet (but not waterlogged) organic materials.

Working under an IMS grant at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, Patty Morris is conserving and rehousing an important collection of paintings on paper made mainly in the 1930's depicting various Navajo sandpaintings.

Texas

At the January 17th meeting of the Austin Book Workers, Edith Richter gave a slide presentation on conservation problems at the archives and libraries in Rio de Janiero and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

In January, Sara McElroy attended the symposium "Dirt and Pictures Separated" at the Tate Gallery in London. In June she will be traveling to Uruguay to help prepare for an upcoming exhibition on Joaquin Torres-Garcia and his workshop being organized by the Huntington Art Gallery.

On February 15th, the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center sponsored a lecture by British book conservator, Nicholas Pickwoad on aspects of book binding history.

The University of Texas at Austin was one of four universities linked by satellite as an interactive site for the Discovery Lecture Series presentation by Richard Wolbers on February 15th.

In March, book conservator Olivia Primanis, formerly in private practice in Los Angeles, was hired as the Head of the Book Conservation Department at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas in Austin.

On April 5th, Anton Rajer gave a lecture, sponsored by the Huntington Art Gallery, on "The Art Conservator's Challenge in Latin America".

Mark van Gelder traveled to Tokyo and Kyoto in April on a courier trip for the Huntington Art Gallery.

Sally Shelton and Lynn Denton are on the organizing committee for the symposium entitled, "Exhibiting Natural History Materials: A Special Conservation Symposium" being held at the 5th Annual meeting of the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections at the Field Museum in Chicago on May 11th.

The Swenson Fellowship, which provides for conservation of the Swenson Collection of Ancient Coins and Historical Medallions at the Texas Memorial Museum, is funding Andrew Manning to work on the collection under the direction of Marilyn Lenz. Marilyn is also beginning conservation work on the Museum's collection of over 800 patent models.

The Eugene C. Barker Texas History Center is embarking on a project to microfilm 600,000 pages from 141 historically significant Texas newspapers dating from 1832 to the late 1970's. The Texas Newspaper Project is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the University of Texas at Austin.

Wynne Phelan has been working on the establishment of a paper conservation lab at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.

San Francisco Bay Area

Gwen Tauber is currently working as Associate Painting Conservator for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco on a 2 1/2 year grant. She will be concentrating on the treatment of a series of panel paintings by David Park recently acquired by the Museums and a large, 19th century painting by the Russian artist Makovsky entitled The Russian Bride's Attire.

Bob Futernick served as one of the guides for the suction table course held at the Conservation Analytical Laboratory in Washington, D.C. the week of March 19-23. Bob has also been busy as a member of the A.I.C. Ethics Committee working on a draft of the revised Code of Ethics.

Julie Goldman will be working with Victoria Blyth-Hill at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on a large Tibetan thangka during the months of April and June.

Pre-program intern Mary Skram, a U.C. Berkeley art history graduate is working three days per week for the Western Regional Paper Conservation Laboratory in a clerical/technician position. Two days per week she volunteers in the paintings conservation lab at the de Young Museum.

Jill Sterrett completed The Getty Fellowship at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in January, 1990. She is now in private practice in the Bay Area working primarily on contract at the Western Regional Paper Conservation Laboratory and with Jim Bernstein in his private conservation practice.

Visiting Courtauld student Lucy Pearce is spending three months this spring working in the paintings conservation department at SFMOMA as part of her internship at London's Tate Gallery.

NEA Intern Dee Ardrey, a graduate of New York University's Institute of Fine Arts, and most recently of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has undertaken the cleaning of a large seascape by Albert Bierstadt belonging to Stockton's Haggin Museum.

Senior Conservator Will Shank will accompany the exhibition, "Bay Area Figurative Art," to Washington for its installation at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden of the Smithsonian Institution in June.

Sarah Gates participated in the recent Carpet Conservation Symposium held at the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C., where she presented a paper: "100 Flatweaves: Conservation for Exhibition, Storage and Travel" The paper will be published in the upcoming Textile Museum Journal.

A generous NEA grant was awarded to help fund the upcoming exhibition, Art of the Anatolian Kilim. Rachael Balyeat, a Bay Area resident and expert in the study of Eastern rugs, made a generous donation to the Textile Conservation Lab for the conservation of the kilims. The Textile Lab has hired two part-time people to assist in the mounting of the kilims: Barbara Nitzberg, longtime lab volunteer, weaver and dyer and Denise Krieger, a textile conservator who recently arrived in the Bay Area. Her previous position was as a NEA Master Apprenticeship Intern at the textile conservation Workshop in South Salem, N.Y. They are looking forward to working as a team to finish up the conservation of the kilims. Applications to volunteer in the lab to work on the upcoming kilim exhibition are being accepted. To volunteer, contact Sarah Gates at (415) 750-7611. Sewing skills, including the use of curved needles, and attention to detail are required.

The Oakland Museum lab has been working primarily on repairs to objects damaged in the earthquake. An extensive condition report and treatment proposal has been formulated for the restoration of the Jade Pagoda in the Natural Sciences Department. Treatments have been primarily on stone objects, mostly marble, which have come in from the History and the Art Departments of the Oakland Museum, Historic Houses and other collections. In addition, some non-earthquake related restoration had been performed on the collection of Beatrice Wood's ceramics, in preparation for travel to Los Angeles.

Mark Minor, Advanced Intern in Furniture Conservation, is conducting a study of surface checking in plywood in the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

There will be two interns this summer in the Fine Arts Museums Conservation Lab. Working with staff conservators Elisabeth Cornu, Lesley Bone and Teresa Power, will be Michelle Barger from the Winterthur Conservation Training Program and Stephan Meinert, from a conservation training program at the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum in Cologne, Germany.

A new pre-conservation intern has started at the Objects Laboratory at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco: Joanna Rowntree who has moved to SF from New York City.

Lesley Bone recently gave a public lecture on how to safeguard ethnographic collections in an earthquake prone area.

San Diego

Francis Pritchett-Kamen, paper conservator at the Balboa Art Conservation Center (BACC), and her husband Hugh gave birth to a girl, Emily Rose, in December.

Marc Harnly, paper conservator at BACC, spent six weeks training in photographic materials conservation in Wilmington/Newark, Delaware with Debbie Hess Norris and two conservation graduate students Barbara Lemmen and Nancy Reinhold. The study centered mainly on conservation treatments but also included visits to other photographic materials conservators on the east coast. The project was funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Monica Jaworski, private paintings conservator, spent the months of November and December working with Christoph von Imhoff in Switzerland treating a variety of paintings ranging from 16th century panels to contemporary works. Monica also recently worked with Scott Haskins on a 1934 Hugo Bellin Mural in the Los Angeles Times Building.

Rocky Mountain Section

David Bauer, Western Center for the Conservation of Fine Arts, performed a survey for the Albuquerque Museum in November. In conjunction with his visit, David presented a lecture/workshop on collections care.

Jeanne Brako, Art Conservation Services, and Robert Mann, Oriental Rug Restoration, lectured with Zoe Perkins of the St. Louis Art Museum, on the conservation of Oriental rugs at the Carpet Symposium held late January at the Textile Museum, Washington, D.C. During the month of April, Jeanne will be working at the American Museum of Natural History, New York City, on African objects.

Jane Dalrymple-Hollo, Fine Bookbinding and Conservation, is now a part-time associate in the Denver studio of Laura Wait. Jane was previously with Brigham Young University.

Robert McCarroll has joined Western Center for the Conservation of Fine Arts to direct the newly renovated paper lab occupying the second story above the paintings studio. In January, Robert conducted a survey of the Rosemount Victorian House Museum in Pueblo, Colorado. Robert was in Caracas for nine days last October leading a workshop in basic paper conservation techniques as part of the Venezuelan National Seminar on the Conservation of Cultural Properties. He is now preparing for a month-long project at Federal University of Ouro Preto, Brazil, in July 1990.

The Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, has recently completed a Sculpture Condition Survey. With NEA funding, Glenn Wharton surveyed their collection of western bronzes, outdoor sculpture and C.M. Russell wax and plasticine models. John Twilley performed analysis to help identify unusual deterioration products on the models.

Carl Patterson assumed the position of Conservator of Collections at the Denver Museum of Natural History beginning last January. Since assuming his new post, Carl has published an article for the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections entitled "Integrated Pest Management for the Denver Museum of Natural History." As book editor for the Society's publication, Carl requests information about recently- published books of interest to the natural history readership which he might review. In March, Carl presented a one-day workshop on collections care for small museums for the Central Texas Museums Association. He performed an on-site treatment project on the Native American Collection of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. In addition, Patterson has performed four surveys: Arizona Historical Society, Texas Archaeological Research Laboratory of the University of Texas- Austin, Brazos Valley Museum in Bryan, Texas, and the California Academy of Science in San Francisco.

Jude Southward, Director of Conservation and Registration, Colorado Historical Society, reports that an IMS general survey of the State Museum in Denver and eleven regional sites was concluded this Spring. It was performed by Carl Patterson.

Laura Wait, Fine Bookbinding and Conservation, is offering classes in beginning bookbinding and book repair during the months of April and May in her Denver studio.

Western Center for the Conservation of Fine Arts hosted eleven Latin American conservation educators who were touring the U.S. with the International Visitor Program in February. The guests were interested in seeing a variety of conservation facilities and in learning more about the basic business structure and operation of a private lab.

Greater Los Angeles/Santa Barbara

Robert Aitchison and Mark Watters, of Aitchison and Watters, Inc., and Paula Volent are pleased to announce the formation of their new partnership, Aitchison, Watters and Volent, Conservators of Art on Paper and the opening of their new paper conservation studio at 740 N. La Brea Avenue; Los Angeles, CA 90038; (213) 938-4428; Facsimile (213) 938-4879. Considerably more space in the new location and new studio furniture and equipment facilitates the treatment of over-sized contemporary works on paper in addition to more traditional art on paper. Paula, Mark and Robert also thank their administrative and studio staff members, Lisa Forman, Elin Guthrie and Mary Holmes, for all their extra time and effort in making the move.

Nancy Purinton has left the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, CA, after working for two and a half years as their Curator of Conservation. On May first she joined the staff of the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts in Philadelphia, PA. There, she will focus on her area of specialization, paper conservation, in a regional laboratory that provides services in the conservation of paper artifacts, works of art on paper, archival materials, photographs and books.

Eric Hansen, Rosa Lowinger, and Eileen Sadoff will give the plenary paper for the ethnographic group at ICOM in Dresden this August. Their presentation is entitled "A Review of Problems Encountered in the Consolidation of Paint on Ethnographic Wood Objects and Potential Remedies." For those who are unable to travel to Europe this summer, the same trio are preparing a related paper for the AIC Objects Specialty Group at the annual meeting in May. There, they will focus on an actual technique for paint consolidation that uses vapor saturated environments.

Denise Domergue of Conservation of Painting, Ltd. announces that their 8' x 12' hot table has been revamped by Bill Maxwell, a well-known fabricator of suction tables from New York. Originally designed as a vacuum hot table, the system now includes options for suction and a humidity chamber. The table will be available for other conservators to use for a fee. For more information call (213) 453-7717.

Denise also gave a lecture, "Ethical Concerns in the Conservation of Contemporary Art", as part of seminar, Issues in the Conservation of Contemporary Art, held at the Brooklyn Museum and sponsored by Mark Rothko Foundation on 21 April 1990.

Nancy Heugh, Paper Conservator, of Heugh-Edmondson Conservation Services, Kansas City, MO, spent two weeks this past March working under a special contract at Conservation of Paintings, Ltd. Her projects focused on the conservation of contemporary works of art on paper.

Caring for Textiles in Los Angeles has a new Conservation Assistant, Carolyn Bates. With a background in film graphics and animation, Carolyn will work as a trainee under the direction of Textile Conservator Sharon Shore.

Cara Varnell, Textile Conservator, is currently working with Sharon Shore at Caring for Textiles as an independent contractor. In addition, she continues to maintain a private practice in Long Beach, CA.

Abby Hykin, a first year graduate student at Buffalo, will spend this summer as an intern with Glenn Wharton. Abby's primary interests are in archaeological and ethnographic conservation.

Robert Portillo has been hired by the Music Department at UCLA. As a Museum Scientist and Curator, Robert will be in charge of the Erich Lachmann Collection of Historic String Instruments. Purchased in 1960, the newly catalogued collection contains 43 artifacts dated between the 13th and 19th centuries including violins, harps, hurdy gurdies, guitars, and lutes, many of which are exceedingly rare.

The long awaited ascendancy of the collections manager possibly has arrived: two collection managers have been appointed to the General Americana Section of the History Division at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. They are Louise Coffey, formerly with the textile conservation laboratory at LACMA, and Kathleen Plourd (Sam), formerly with the Glensheen Manor House, University of Minnesota at Duluth. Louise is managing the Historic Costume and Textile Collection while Kathleen manages the Historic Objects Collection. Their new number is (213) 744- 3356.

The Conservation Center at LACMA is happy to announce that their facilities have been expanded. Adjacent to the laboratories, 1360 square feet have been acquired to house the administrative section of the Center. After nearly ten years of temporary locations, the Head of Conservation, secretaries, library, conference room, file rooms with compact storage, and study carrels are together in one location. The Center's main telephone number is unchanged: (213) 857-6161. >Jo Hill, intern in Objects and Textile Conservation at LACMA, has been accepted into the University of Delaware/Winterthur Museum graduate training program. Beginning in Late May she will make a leisurely trek across the country and begin course-work on 5 July. Congratulations!

Anneta Zebala, Associate Paintings Conservator at Tatyana M. Thompson & Associates, Inc, Santa Monica, CA, spent the month of November 1989 working with Richard Wolbers at his studio in Wallingford, PA. The goal of this "short internship" was to explore new methods and materials in the cleaning of paintings with the practical application of some of the materials.

Duane Chartier and Susanne Friend have formed ConservArt Associates, a group offering art conservation services ranging from conservation of fine art to materials consultations and analysis; environmental assessments and evaluations of structural problems in sculpture and historic buildings, and teaching and computer documentation system development. Dr. Chartier has a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry and has trained in art conservation at Queen's University in Kingston, Canada. Ms. Friend has trained at Queen's University and at the Instituto Centrale del Restauro in Rome, Italy. ConservArt Associates is located at: 826 North Sweetzer Avenue; Los Angeles, CA 90069; (213) 852-9739.

Jeff Maish will return as field conservator to the site of Tiwanaku, Bolivia. He will also conduct a Site Conservation Course for the Getty Conservation Institute.

Susan Lansing Maish will spend a month this summer as an intern in the Ceramics and Glass Section of the Conservation Department of the British Museum. She will observe and study the techniques and materials used in the conservation of ceramics and glass as well as visit the numerous museums and galleries in and around London.

In January, Fine Art Conservation Laboratories, under the direction of Scott M. Haskins, worked with the Los Angeles Times in recuperating and preserving a series of murals in the historical Globe Lobby in Los Angeles. The murals were created by Los Angeles artist Hugo Ballin in 1934 and have been covered by aluminum panels since 1961. The conservation treatment consisted of cleaning, filling and inpainting, varnishing, and re-creating a three-foot long corner based on photographs from the Times' archives. The rediscovery of the murals and the conservation process were documented by Huell Howser for KCET television on "Videolog". (See also, ""In the News".)

Scott Haskins, Janice Isemoto and Fredy Caballero, all of FACL, were in Portland in September to work on a mural located on the cruise ship, SS Rotterdam of Holland America Lines. The ship was in drydock for a fifteen million dollar restoration to bring it back to its late 50's appearance. One of the grueling requirements of the project was the follow-up visit that Scott had to make while the ship was in the Caribbean--a wonderful ten day cruise in February.

Hawai'i

"Conservation: Creating Possibilities for Collections" was the subject of the Hawaii Museums Association Spring conference, held in Honolulu in early April. Organized by Laura Word and the staff of the Pacific Regional Conservation Center, the conference emphasized the preventive aspects of conservation and was followed by a one day workshop on conservation surveys. Carolyn Rose, Head Conservator at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution and Scott Reuter, Associate Preparator at the J. Paul Getty Museum, were guest speakers. We were also fortunate to have a surprise visit by Merrily Smith, Assistant National Preservation Program Officer, Library of Congress, who presented the world preview (English version) of a UNESCO funded slide presentation on Disaster Planning. With a record breaking turnout, the conference was a huge success, emphasizing that conservation can work hand in hand with small institutions to increase their enthusiasm for the care of their collections, increase the level of professional care, and increase their ability to use their collections in their programming.

PRCC is pleased to report that we have received an $80,000.00 gift from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to continue support for advanced internships in ethnographic conservation.

On a not so happy note, we are sad to see Janice Schopfer return to the Paper Conservation Laboratory at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco after spending over a year at PRCC.

Irene Brückle, of West Berlin, will be returning to PRCC for two months after spending six months working with Christa Gaehda in Arlington, Mass.

PRCC recently completed a survey of 50 works of art belonging to the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. Based on these surveys, the state is planning to continue to contract PRCC to survey additional works of art on Oahu and the outer islands. Furthermore, treatment of the top priority pieces identified during the initial survey will begin soon.

WAAC Regional Reporters

Regional News is gathered by the WAAC Regional Reporters listed below. Individual WAAC members are encouraged to contribute regional news items, or items for "Technical Exchange", "Conferences in Review", or any of the other regular WAAC columns. Please contact a regional reporter, the Column Editor/WAAC Vice-President: Glenn Wharton; 549 Hot Springs Rd; Santa Barbara, CA 93108; (805) 565-3639 or (213) 397-4077, who coordinates this section of the newsletter, or the Editor.

The WAAC Regional Reporters are:

Texas
Mark van Gelder; Conservation Dept.; Huntington Art Gallery; University of Texas; 23rd & San Jacinto; Austin, TX 78712-1204; (512) 471-9294.

New Mexico
Landis Smith; Museum of New Mexico; 208 Gonzales Road; Santa Fe, NM 87504; (505) 989-9379.

San Diego
Marc Harnly; BACC; P.O. Box 3755; San Diego, CA 92103; (619) 236-9702.

Rocky Mountains
Connie Mohrman; WCCFA; 1225 Santa Fe Drive; Denver, CO 80204; (303) 573-1973.

and

David A. Shute; RMRCC; University of Denver; 2420 South University Blvd.; Denver, CO 80208; (303) 733-2712.

San Francisco Bay
Therese O'Gorman; Oakland Museum, History Dept.; 1000 Oak St.; Oakland, CA 94607; (415) 273-3806.

and

Judith Ann Reiniets; 2936-B Lyon St.; San Francisco, CA 94123; (415) 931-5346.

Hawai'i
Jane Bassett; PRCC; Bishop Museum; P.O. Box 19000-A; Honolulu, HI, 96817; (808) 848-4113.

Arizona
Gloria Fraser Giffords; 2859 N. Soldier Trail; Tucson, AZ 85749; (602) 749-4070.

Greater Los Angeles/Santa Barbara
Catherine McLean; Conservation Center; LACMA; 5905 Wilshire Blvd; Los Angeles, CA 90036; (213) 857-6169.

and

Glenn Wharton; Private Conservator; 549 Hot Springs Rd.; Santa Barbara, CA 93108; (805) 565-3639 or (213) 397-4077.

Oregon & Washington
Patricia Tuttle-Leavengood; Art Conservation Services; 215 2nd Avenue So.; Seattle, WA 98104; (206) 587-3725.

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