Volume 18, Number 2 .... May 1996
WAAC Newsletter thanks Cynthia Cripps for initiating a regional news column for British Columbia!
Miriam Clavir, conservator at the University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology (MOA), returned this January from a 4-month academic leave of absence. Miriam spent her leave working on her PhD thesis (tentatively titled "Conservators and First Nations: New Understandings and Evolving Practices in Conservation, with a Focus on British Columbia"). Recently, she has been teaching her annual introductory course on preventive conservation methods, offered through the department of anthropology at UBC.
This February, MOA was happy to welcome Heather Dumka, a conservator visiting from the Glenbow Museum in Calgary. Heather is on a professional leave of absence for 3 months and is volunteering at MOA to gain experience at another museum and to work on treating Northwest Coast ethnographic collections.
Robert Gray, an intern funded through the MAP program, has been at MOA for 9 months, learning preventive conservation methods for nonconservation personnel at smaller museums.
Darrin Morrison, research assistant in conservation, has recently finished a summary report on conservation treatment and storage of waterlogged archaeological material for the exhibit From Under the Delta, which will be opening in mid-April.
In February, Cynthia Cripps, a recent graduate of the master of art conservation program at Queen's University, began a 1-year internship at the MOA, funded by the Getty Grant Program. Cynthia and Darrin Morrison traveled to Kamloops to present a workshop on pest management and environmental monitoring for small museums. The workshop was held at the Secwepemc Cultural Centre as part of the Aboriginal Stewardship Program. Currently, Cynthia is assisting conservation staff as they help museum studies students prepare their exhibits. Another of her projects involves upgrading the visible storage for Classical ceramics, to provide better protection to the collection in the event of an earthquake.
In December, Murray Frost was in Louisville, Kentucky, finishing up a functional programming and building document review contract for an addition/renovation for the J. B. Speed Art Museum. The majority of his time since then has been spent reviewing planning and building documents for the new 375,000-plus square foot Museum of Victoria building, in Melbourne, Australia. At the other end of the building size scale, a former school building of approximately 4,000 square feet, located on Quatsino Sound, Vancouver Island, has been assessed for its suitability as a museum for the Quatsino Band Council.
Rosaleen Hill, conservation coordinator for the BC Conservation Service, has recently taught 2 workshops on the care and handling of photographs. She will soon be traveling to Kamloops as part of the usual round of site visits to smaller archives and museums throughout BC, and to Calgary to present a workshop on preservation management for the Archive Association of Alberta.Regional Reporter:
At the Arizona State Museum (in Tucson), Scott Carroll has been hired to work with Nancy Odegaard on a materials characterization project ("spot tests"), funded by the National Park Service's National Center for Preservation Technology and Training.
Gloria Giffords (Tucson) is the coordinator for a special issue of Artes de Mexico.
Liz Welsh (Phoenix) has joined the staff at Oryx Press, as an editor. Oryx publishes reference books and monographs.
In March, Jude Southward came from Denver to teach a week-long intensive course in basic conservation to museum studies students in the anthropology department at Arizona State University (in Tempe).
The Tucson Arts Council's SOS (Save Our Sculpture!) project has hired Wharton Griswold Associates to do a conservation assessment and preservation plan; John Griswold will be conducting the work.Regional Reporter:
Neal Putt of ICCROM was in Honolulu en route to the South Pacific and met with Bishop Museum staff to discuss his agency's program of training for staff of Pacific Island museums in collection care, PREMO. Courses in preserving Pacific heritage sites and in preventive conservation will be offered in 1996 and 1997.
Downey Manoukian, paper conservator in private practice, has been working on a variety of projects for the Honolulu Academy of Arts, the Contemporary Museum, and clients in California.
Ann Svenson Perlman has been working as a textile conservator in private practice on the island of Maui since 1986. She recently completed treating 36 of the older beaded and sequined flags that are traveling with the Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou, an exhibit from the Fowler Museum of Cultural History, UCLA. She has also been a guest textile conservator at Caring for Textiles in Los Angeles, invited to collaborate with Sharon Shore on a variety of projects. Currently, she is finishing treatment of 7 Iban Puas that will be privately loaned to the Fowler Museum for an upcoming exhibition: The Women's Warpath: Iban Ritual Fabrics from Borneo. In April, Ann will begin a 1-year sabbatical with her husband and 4-year-old son.
Laurence A. Pace, Pace Art Conservation Enterprises, Inc., reports that work has begun at the Honolulu Academy of Art on the IMS-funded conservation project to upgrade the framing of 100 paintings in its collection. A number of outer island projects have been carried out and are planned for the future, including the examination of the paintings hanging in the Volcano House (whose roof blew off during a storm early in March) at Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, and the on-site treatment of paintings at Hawaii Preparatory Academy located in Waimea, also on the Big Island. Other projects have come in from as far away as Fiji.Regional Reporter:
Gayle S. Clements prepared 14 works of art on paper for the upcoming exhibition Los Artes de Mexico, to open in April. Framing, which was contracted-out, was supervised in the conservation laboratory by the staff conservator.
As the final stage of the Gilcrease Museum's IMS Environmental Improvements Grant, lighting specialist Gordon Anson (National Gallery of Art) visited the Gilcrease for a 2-day workshop for staff and conservation volunteers. The Gilcrease has applied for further funding from IMS to continue environmental improvements.Regional Reporter:
News from the Rocky Mountain Conservation Center (RMCC): In February, Lori Mellon attended the Association of Regional Conservation Centers meeting, held in New York. The primary topic of discussion was risk management and insurance. In early February, 4 RMCC staff members, including paintings conservators Victoria Montana Ryan and Hays Shoop, photographer Jeff Wells, and preprogram aide Charlotte Seifen, flew to Brookings, South Dakota, to begin a major conservation project on the Brookings County Courthouse murals, painted in l912 by Axel Edward Soderberg. The four large, oil-on-canvas murals were removed from the dome of the building and transported to the RMCC for conservation. They are scheduled to be reinstalled in the courthouse dome in late fall. Abigail Mack, conservator of objects, and Teresa Knutson, conservator of textiles, collaborated on an unusual treatment for the City of Greeley Museum. They conserved a rattlesnake-skin dress and assorted accessories (shoes, belt, bracelet, necklace, headband) that had been worn by "Rattlesnake Annie," a local woman who killed multitudes of snakes that invaded her farm years ago. The dress probably dates to the l920s. This spring, Abigail and Teresa will be teaching a class at the University of Denver for museum studies graduate students: Introduction to Conservation Theory.
News from the Denver Museum of Natural History (DMNH): Gina Laurin has undertaken a 4-month IMS grant project at the DMNH, involving the survey and preventive conservation of the museum's kachina and mask collections. Gina earned her conservation degree in archaeological conservation from Durham University in England in l986. After completing her studies, she worked at the Rocky Mountain Conservation Center as an objects conservator. In 1992, she returned to England and became head of large objects conservation for the National Museum of Science and Industry, London. Gina has returned to the U.S. and currently resides in Virginia, but she is happy to be back in the West to reestablish her connections with friends and colleagues. Jude Southward recently became a permanent staff member at the DMNH, holding the title of conservator, joining Carolyn Leckie, department head. Jude received a master of art conservation degree from Queen's University in Ontario in 1993. She returned to Denver that year to work as a contract conservator at the DMNH. Jude is also teaching a graduate course entitled Preventive Conservation and Collections Care at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Terri Schindel will begin a private practice April 1, 1996, based in Estes Park, Colorado. She will convert her 1912 apartment building into a conservation laboratory and "an interesting place to live." She will continue to teach preventive conservation courses at Central Wyoming College, in Lander. In September, Terri attended the Sculpture Conference at the Tate in London, then traveled to St. Petersburg and Kiev with her 4-year-old son, Joel. She also recently attended the Leather Conservation Course at CCI.Regional Reporter:
We'll fill you in next time!New Regional Reporter:
Gary Alden has taken a new position as paintings conservator at the Fine Arts Conservation Laboratories in Santa Barbara.
Lourdes Bates has established a new private practice in objects conservation in San Diego. She trained in Mexico City at the Paul Coremans Institute program and has worked as an objects conservator at the archaeological site of Templo Mayor in Mexico City, and at La Prosesa, a colonial church, also in Mexico City.
Elizabeth Reissner, Balboa Arts Conservation Center (BACC) advanced fellow in the conservation of paintings, completed her training in December and is now working with the Frans Halsmuseum in the Netherlands. Yasuko Ogino has begun a preprogram internship at BACC in preparation for application to a training program.
Betsy Court (BACC) recently completed the treatment of a large Thomas Eakins painting, Portrait of Beckwith, in the collection of the San Diego Museum of Art. This painting will be the subject of a "focus exhibit," which will feature its conservation treatment. Laura Downey (BACC) will be working with Marc Harnly of the Getty Museum and Bob Aitchison of Aitchison and Watters, Inc., on the treatment of photographic materials. She is also attending the upcoming conference on videotapes, Playback 1996.
Candy Kuhl has returned to San Diego from Oxford. She can be contacted at her studio.Regional Reporter:
Petteri Kantola will spend 10 weeks at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) Conservation Studio as his final internship for a university degree in conservation from the Vantaa Institute of Arts and Crafts in Vantaa, Finland. Vantaa is one of only 3 conservation schools in Scandinavia, and the only program of its kind in Finland. Petteri has a degree in chemistry and art history from the University of Helsinki, and he studied art conservation for 2 years at the Centre Internationale de Conservation du Tableaux, in Chateaurenard, France.
Katharine Untch has taken a new position as head of objects conservation at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia.
In September, Heida Slobin Shoemaker, 3rd-year student from the Winterthur program, began an internship at the Western Regional Paper Conservation Laboratory (WRPCL) at the Legion of Honor. Theresa Andrews is presently working at WRPCL treating photographs from the Cliff House, which were damaged in the December 12th storm. WRPCL conservators have begun treatment on Russian drawings from the Fine Arts Museum's theater and dance collection, a project partially funded by IMS.
The staff at the Textile Conservation Laboratory at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) is treating and monitoring textiles after a moth infestation using freezing, low-oxygen environments, and pheromone traps. Mark Gilberg, now at the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training in Natchitoches, Louisiana, is assisting, as is Michael Wolf of RODEX.
Denise Krieger-Migdail, contract conservator at the FAMSF, and her husband Eric, welcomed son Zachery Emet on December 12th. It is hoped that she will return to work part-time, with Zach in tow, in April.
Birgitta Anderton, former head of the textile lab at the FAMSF, who has recently relocated here from England, has volunteered to take on the textile conservation responsibilities at the Haas-Lillenthal House in San Francisco.
Tapestry conservator Robert Allen begins work in the FAMSF textile lab in early March. He will be undertaking the conservation of the Triumph of Fortitude, a 16th-century Brussels tapestry, funded by an NEA treatment grant. Robert was trained at the Textile Conservation Centre at Hampton Court Palace and worked 6 years for the Royal Historic Palaces Agency at Hampton Court.
We are greatly saddened to report the death of Cecily Bloomfield, who had recently rejoined the FAMSF textile lab staff after training and working at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Without her help, textiles would not have been included at all in the exhibition Exoticized Woman, currently on view at the De Young Museum. Her expert assistance, cheerful good nature, and wonderful sense of humor will be missed. A scholarship is being established in her name at FIT, and donations may be sent there.
In November 1995, Elisabeth Cornu, objects conservator, FAMSF, assisted in a preventive conservation course for Latin American conservators, organized by GCI in Oaxaca, Mexico. Now back at the Fine Arts Museums, Elisabeth is working with installation crews on finishing the reinstallation of period rooms and seismic safety for large sculptures at the newly renovated California Palace of the Legion of Honor.
Lesley Bone, FAMSF objects conservator, is the national exhibitions conservator for the Fabergé Exhibition, currently at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibit will travel to San Francisco, Richmond, New Orleans, and Cleveland. In the lab, Lesley is overseeing mountmaking and reinstallation of the antiquities and porcelain collections at the Legion of Honor.
Bonnie Baskin, conservation intern at the FAMSF objects laboratory, has been accepted to the Institute of Archaeology Course in Conservation, University of London, beginning in September of 1996. The summer program intern will be David Blanchfield, from the Winterthur conservation training program.
Thornton Rockwell (Tony) now has a private practice in painting conservation in Napa. Tony will be working at the DeYoung Painting Conservation Laboratory as project conservator during the months of March and April, 1996. Over the past summer, Tony, Niccolo Caldararo, and Anne Rosenthal completed the conservation of Jay DeFeo's The Rose, a massive painting/relief sculpture in oil paint on canvas weighing well over a ton. The project was sponsored by the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. The treatment was performed at the San Francisco Art Institute. In 1972, Tony had applied a supportive facing to The Rose to prevent its collapse. All 3 conservators saw the piece at the opening of the exhibition Beat Culture and the New America: 1950-1965.
Mark Harpainter worked with Kathy Gillis from the Oakland Museum and Valerie Huaco from the Judah Magnos Museum to design and fit "tackless" upholstery systems on 2 pieces of French furniture in the collection of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, installed in the reopening of the Palace of the Legion of Honor in November. In addition to standard materials now used for tackless systems, such as ethafoam and synthetic batting, one piece used a thermoplastic board from a local sculpture supply to form a removable cap. The other piece employed dacron sailcloth as an attachment point for the outer fabric cover.Regional Reporter:
WAAC Newsletter thanks Jessie Johnson, who has retired as WAAC regional reporter, for her work over the past two years. We welcome the new regional reporter for Texas, Kathy Hall.
Gregory A. Thomas is joining the staff of Perry Huston and Associates as an associate conservator. Helen Houp, of the same group, is carrying out several CAP surveys at different sites, including the Greater Southwest Historical Museum, Oklahoma; the Folk Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaufort; and two surveys in Natchitoches, Louisiana.
Ann Zanikos presented a paper entitled "The Conservation of Ephemeral Objects" at a meeting of the Texas Association of Museums in Dallas. Ideas introduced included the drawing up of a statement of the artist's intent, awareness of copyright issues, and developing a condition checklist.
Mark van Gelder Austin, completed a treatment of a painting, View of Future Site of El Paso (Henry Pratt, 1853), for an exhibition in Albuquerque entitled Drawing the Borderlines.
The Preservation and Conservation Studies Program at the University of Texas at Austin announces the placement of the 2nd-year conservation students for their summer practicums. Margaret Brown will be working at Barry University Library, Miami Shores, FL; Donia Conn at St. Olaf College Library, Northfield, MN; Mary Elizabeth Haude at The University of Texas-PanAm, Edinburg, TX; Ethel Hellmann at the Asiatic Society of Bombay, India; Michelle Smith at the Smithsonian Libraries, Washington, DC; and Susan Russick at Denver Public Library. This summer practicum consists of eight weeks of independent work in a library or archival collection, with emphasis on planning and executing broad collections care activities.
Carol Mancusi-Ungaro, at the Menil Collection, Houston, has been continuing her series of interviews with artists, including Joseph Galsgow, Nancy Reddin Kienholz, and Jasper Johns.
The Materials Conservation Laboratory of the Texas Memorial Museum, the University of Texas at Austin is hosting Paul Francisco, an AID-sponsored intern from the archaeological service of Belize. Marilyn Lenz has been busy working on a collection of historic guns damaged in a recent flood. Dorothy Lippert and Eva Shipp, University of Texas archaeology students, have been examining the effects of acid cleaning on field ceramics, to develop improved archaeological field methods. Kathy Hall has been working on rehousing areas of the natural history collections, including the collection of invertebrate fossil types, and is also working on cleaning the mineral collection prior to redisplay.New Regional Reporter:
Chris Stavroudis and Aneta Zebala recently completed the conservation treatment of 7 painted diorama backgrounds at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Painted in the late 1920s and early 1930s by prominent landscape painters, the murals depict local vistas. Treatment was necessary because the murals had been damaged by water leaking through an unsound roof (replaced before conservation treatments began). The painted canvases were marouflaged to the concave walls, then were retouched to conceal the seams and to make necessary compositional changes.
Jesuit Temba, conservator at the National Museum of Tanzania (in Dar Es Salaam) visited the J. Paul Getty Museum for 3 weeks in March. Temba worked with the staff of the Antiquities Conservation Department on problems in the consolidation of polychromed low-fired clay artifacts, the desalination of stone and ceramics, and the treatment of fossilized bone. Temba's visit was sponsored by the Getty Museum and the Getty Conservation Institute.
Jeffrey Maish made a presentation on the radiography of ancient bronzes at the Los Angeles section of the American Society for Non-destructive Testing, Inc., in November 1995.
Bob Siegar and Will Thorton traveled to Scotland in March to assist the Museum of Scotland Project for the National Museums of Scotland. They consulted with staff conservators and preparators for the unmounting, transport, and eventual reinstallation of several large carved-stone artifacts (1,200-3,000 lbs.), originally installed 50-60 years ago.
In January, Linda Strauss spoke on molding and electroforming in clock conservation to Chapter 81 of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors in Pomona, California. The presentation was based on work done for the National Trust of England in the Decorative Arts Conservation Laboratory at the J. Paul Getty Museum with the assistance of Abbey Hykin.
The National Trust of England has obtained permission to make two electroform replicas of the Kedelston Fountain, now owned by the J. Paul Getty Museum. Linda Strauss and Abbey Hykin made a 10-piece, fiberglass-backed, silicon rubber mold of the large silver fountain; this mold will be used by BJS Limited, an English silversmith, for the actual electroforming. The replicas will be placed in the dining room at Kedelston, in the location designed for them ca. 1760 by Robert Adam.
South Coast Fine Arts Conservation Center (Santa Barbara) was commissioned by Mission Santa Barbara to provide a conservation survey of their art collection. As a result of the survey, conservation of the altar, mensa, and tabernacle created for the original mission church has begun. Built by the Chumash under the guidance of the Franciscans in the 1780s, these pieces represent a significant portion of the remaining religious articles made by neophytes for the California missions. Upon completion of their conservation, the works will be installed in a side chapel of the main church.
Alison Luxner, a Mellon fellow at the Boston MFA, worked at the Aitchison and Watters studio for 2 weeks in January, learning various photograph and paper conservation techniques. Laura Downey from the Balboa Arts Conservation Center will be spending a week in March working on photographic conservation techniques with Robert Aitchison.
In conjunction with a Matisse exhibition at the UCLA Armand Hammer Museum, Mark Watters presented a lecture on the IMS-sponsored conservation of Matisse prints from the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts. Mark is currently working with Maureen McGee on the proper rehousing of the Grunwald Center's Cruikshank collection.
Preprogram intern Paul Pihl has relocated to the Los Angeles area from Seattle; in March, he will start an internship with Jo Hill at the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. Paul's primary projects will include assisting in the preparations for exhibitions of African dolls, and of textiles from Borneo. New volunteer intern Linda Clougherty has joined the conservation staff at the Fowler as a transplant from the UCLA Institute of Archaeology; she will be working with postgraduate intern Anna Thomson and intern Bata Unkovic on a collection of Amish quilts.
As part of a series called "Preserving Your Family Heritage," conducted by Rancho Los Cerritos in Long Beach, a presentation entitled "Photos, Letters, and Treasures on Paper" was given by Jonna Larson, conservation intern, and Gerri Ann Strickler, conservation technician, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). The presentation included a hands-on session on how to encapsulate a paper object, and how to mount a photograph using paper corners.
Marie Laibinis, who is completing her 3rd-year internship with Wharton & Griswold Associates, is researching the failure of artist-applied coatings on a large Frank Stella mixed media sculpture, Long Beach. The sculpture was treated in February by a team headed by Marie, working in conjunction with Steve Colton.
In March, John Griswold and Julie Unruh traveled to Memphis to treat two outdoor sculptures (not of Elvis) belonging to the Dixon Gallery.
Glenn Wharton has recently returned from a 1-month sabbatical in Australia. In addition to snorkeling and trekking, he spent time working on a manuscript concerning the design of criteria for public art projects.
Gene Karraker, conservator of frames in the paintings conservation studio at the J. Paul Getty Museum, is spending a 3-month period perfecting his skills with Arnold Wiggins & Sons, Ltd., the fine framing firm in London. Gene will be away until the end of May.
Rembrandt's Old Man in a Military Costume (at the Getty) is the subject of an autoradiography study to be carried out at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, MD. Mark Leonard will coordinate the study, and in March, he will take the panel to NIST's research reactor. The project should shed some light on the presence of another painted image under the visible one, and help settle issues of date and authorship.
Scott M. Haskins and FACL (Fine Art Conservation Laboratories, in Santa Barbara) are pleased to announce the hiring of Gary Wade Alden as a paintings conservator. Gary was formerly the director of the Balboa Art Conservation Center. Giancarla Zanardi, formerly on the staff at FACL, returned to Italy in August 1995. FACL is also pleased to announce the hiring of Farrah Bertuccio as administrative assistant, replacing Janice Isemoto Fitzpatrick. FACL has been involved in several projects lately: Murals damaged by water and earthquakes at the Dana Middle School in San Pedro were treated in February 1996. The murals were painted by Adrien Machefert in 1939.
The FACL's work continues at the Mission Inn in Riverside. In December 1995, Scott M. Haskins supervised the installation of approximately 50 statues, most of which were polychromed Spanish Colonial pieces. Collaborating on this project was Scott Reuter of Exhibit Safety Services and his team of helpers. Fiesta, a 5' x 25' mural painted by Jose Garcia in 1945, also was reinstalled. The detached and forgotten mural was recently discovered in a storage facility in poor condition. It was consolidated on its plywood and 2 x 4 support structure, cleaned, inpainted, and varnished. A custom frame of quarter-sawn oak was also made and installed. In March, work began in the Inn's St. Cecilia Chapel. Paintings and polychromed and gilt artifacts are being conserved, including an 18th-century Spanish Colonial carved altar and ceiling medallion. Richard Salas is collaborating on the project.
FACL is also collaborating on the seismic work being done in St. Andrew's Church, in Pasadena. Two damaged sections of the murals that depict the 12 stations of the cross were removed for the engineers to repair structural damage in the walls. Besides removal and reinstallation, the murals (oil-on-canvas, marouflaged) have required rip repairs, lining, cleaning, filling, inpainting, and varnishing. Bryan Cooke of Cooke's Crating collaborated on the removal and storage of easel paintings along the nave which were removed for the work period. Additional work will be done over the next 6 months.
WAAC welcomes Raef William Chartier born to Susie and Dwayne on April 13, 1996 at 7 1/2 lbs. and 20 in. Congratulations!New Regional Reporter, SB area:
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