2017 Presentation Titles and Abstracts

These titles are in alphabetical order by first author. The abstracts are below, in the same order. (Check back for updates!)


Hidden Discoveries: A Conservator’s-Eye View of Japanese Armor from the Collection of Gary Grose. 
Betsy Allaire, Allaire Fine Art Conservation, LLC. abstract

A Codicological Inventory, Condition Survey and Preservation Needs Assessment of Pre-Modern Codices and Incunabula in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Collection of the OSU Libraries. Danielle Demmerle, The Ohio State University Libraries. abstract

Preserving the Functional Past: Conservation of Decals on a 1920 Case Steam Engine. Stephanie Guidera, Midwest Art Conservation Center. abstract

Madame Manet in the Conservatory: A Comparison between Two Versions. Diana M. Jaskierny, Saint Louis Art Museum. abstract

A Summer with George Vancouver. Christine Manwiller, University of Iowa Center for the Book. abstract

United Daughters of the Confederacy Time Capsule Contents: Response and Recovery. Johanna Pinney, Abby Schleicher, Tomas M. Edmondson, and Nancy Heugh, Heugh-Edmondson Conservation Services. abstract

Frankenstein Ceramics: Unexpected Discoveries during the Treatment of 8th–13th Century Islamic Ceramics. Kelly Rectenwald, Cincinnati Art Museum. abstract

The Art of Control: Health Hazards in Art Conservation and Methods for Reducing Risk. Melissa Rupert, SevenGenHSC. abstract

An Alternative to the Oddy Test:  Instrument-Based Evaluation of Pollutant Offgassing from Materials used in the Museum Environment. Gregory D. Smith, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Catie Liggett and Michael J. Samide, Butler University, Chemistry Department. abstract

Cradle Removal & Conservation of a Thinned 15th c. Spanish Panel Painting. Serena Urry, Cincinnati Art Museum. abstract

Criteria for Selecting an Appropriate Light Source for Conservation Activities. Steven Weintraub, Art Preservation Services, New York. abstract

—Tips Session—

Housing Broken Glass Plate Negatives, Basia Nosek, Northwestern University Libraries

Use of Gellan Gum, Dawn Heller, Heller Conservation Services

 


Hidden Discoveries: A Conservator’s-Eye View of Japanese Armor from the Collection of Gary Grose. Betsy Allaire, Allaire Fine Art Conservation, LLC 

Allaire Fine Art Conservation recently completed a year-long assessment and treatment of a private collection of eight full suits of Samurai armor. The armor was requested by the Cincinnati Art Museum for an exhibit entitled “Dressed To Kill” that was open to the public from February through May 2017. Working with both the owner of the collection, Gary Grose, and the Cincinnati Art Museum, an ethnographic approach to cleaning a preparing the collection was formulated. Treatment revealed a number of surprising discoveries that led to further research and consideration of the collection. The discoveries tell a story about each object’s history, use, manufacture or care, and are relevant to the interpretation of each suit of arms.


A Codicological Inventory, Condition Survey and Preservation Needs Assessment of Pre-Modern Codices and Incunabula in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Collection of the OSU Libraries. Danielle Demmerle, The Ohio State University Libraries 

For the Ohio State University Undergraduate Summer Library Research Fellowship, I conducted condition surveys, a codicological inventory and preservation needs assessment of 48 pre-modern codices and 98 incunabula in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library (RBML) of the OSU Libraries. In my proposal I planned to assess all physical features, general condition and the preservation needs of each item under the supervision and guidance of OSU Libraries’ Book and Paper Conservator, Harry Campbell and the OSUL RBML Curator, Eric Johnson (my advisors). I researched the fundamentals of building and operating a condition survey by reaching out to those who have had years of experience in conservation. I quickly became accustomed with the subject matter and created a reference document of descriptive elements that guided me through each evaluation which I adapted into my condition survey design.

Upon the completion of the condition surveys I created a catalogue that would help organize 146 bound items from the RBML and guide faculty and students through the data. While it is designed to provide concise information, the individual condition surveys of each item can provide greater (or additional) detail.

Condition work for special collections often go overlooked, but I was able to create a strong foundation for the recorded conditions of bound medieval manuscripts and incunabula in the RBML. I look forward to assisting with the hands-on conservation work that Harry Campbell has pre-approved for the manuscripts and incunabula that are in need of attention as part of my job as a student assistant technician in the Conservation Unit. I am hopeful that the condition and needs assessment survey I designed specifically for the RBML will become standard practice, and continue to be used to record physical aspects for future acquisitions, as well as provide an informative source for augmenting item records in the OSUL online catalog.


Preserving the Functional Past: Conservation of Decals on a 1920 Case Steam Engine. Stephanie Guidera, Midwest Art Conservation Center

This presentation covers the unique treatment of the steel cab of a vintage steam engine. Dissimilar to institutional conservation treatments, this engine is utilized by its owner twice a year and is not stored in a climate controlled environment. The treatment was designed to clean and stabilize the cab overall while addressing the branded water-transfer decals and hand painted details which adorn the surface. This presentation will outline observations of the materials and research into the methods of manufacture and decoration of this equipment. It will explain the steps and results of the treatment as well as recommendations for ongoing maintenance and preventive care. The presentation will explore the discord between preservation and continued use while addressing material challenges discovered during and after treatment.


Madame Manet in the Conservatory: A Comparison between Two Versions. Diana M. Jaskierny, Saint Louis Art Museum

Madame Manet in the Conservatory is a privately owned painting that was treated and part of an in-depth technical study at The Courtauld Institute of Art from 2015 to 2016. This painting is a near identical version of an Édouard Manet painting of the same name located in the National Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design in Oslo, Norway, and was once owned by Suzanne Manet, Édouard Manet’s wife. This technical study is an investigation into the relationship between the two versions of Madame Manet in the Conservatory, using historical research and technical analysis to determine answers to some key questions: How does the privately owned painting’s history relate to the signature version housed in Oslo? Can historical and technical analysis better determine who created this painting and the relationship of this artist to Manet? Under what circumstances was this privately owned version made?

The hypothesis presented in this study is that an artist who knew the Manet family and had access to the signature Manet version, created the privately owned version for Suzanne Manet. An historical and material comparison of both the privately owned version and the signature Oslo version provides evidence which supports this hypothesis.

The research conducted in this study was a collaboration between Diana M. Jaskierny (PgDip, Conservation of Easel Paintings, 2017) and Samantha Roberts (MA, History of Art, 2016), as part of the 2016 Courtauld Institute of Art Sackler Research Forum series, “Painting Pairs”. This series aimed to expand the understanding of how conservation and art history often rely on one another to gain a more rounded analysis of paintings, both within the historical timeline and material timeline of the painting.


A Summer with George Vancouver. Christine Manwiller, University of Iowa Center for the Book

This past summer I completed a ten-week internship at the University of Washington Suzzallo Library Conservation Center working under head conservator Justin Johnson. My main treatment project during this time was a six-volume set entitled A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean and Round the World by George Vancouver. George Vancouver (1757-1798) was an English navigator that surveyed and mapped the Pacific coast of North America from southern California to what is now British Columbia. He wrote a six-volume work summarizing his explorations. The University of Washington owns several copies of this six-volume set and uses them for classroom teaching purposes. The copy I worked on was the only complete copy and was in poor physical condition. Many former repairs to the set were deteriorating, resulting in continuing damage. These repairs were done over the course of decades, and were distracting to the overall appearance of the set. Conservation treatment was necessary to ensure stability of the volumes during classroom handling, and to restore the cohesive aesthetic of the set. This set served as a great teaching tool, as I could see the effects of very different repairs on the same bookbinding structure. The main challenge with this treatment was the removal of the previous repairs while preserving as much of the original material as possible. As a part of this treatment project, a model of the set’s binding structure was made. This model, a smooth full-calf tight-back, was completed to understand the binding structure of the set. My presentation will cover the treatment process and the making of the model. I will speak of my experience working in a pre-program internship, and the challenges and successes I experienced.


United Daughters of the Confederacy Time Capsule Contents: Response and Recovery. Johanna Pinney, Abby Schleicher, Tomas M. Edmondson, and Nancy Heugh, Heugh-Edmondson Conservation Services

This paper presents the actions taken to address the problems encountered when asked to undertake the recovery of the contents of the time capsule embedded in the Memorial to the Soldiers and Sailors of the Confederacy (erected by United Daughters of the Confederacy) that had been waterlogged for an unknown period of time. There will be a brief discussion regarding the current activities of disassembling Confederate memorials and statuary, the history of this memorial’s troubled past, followed by the steps that were taken to open the time capsule that had been embedded in the center of the Memorial’s base, drain it, and retrieve and recover as much of the contents as possible. Heugh-Edmondson Conservation Services worked in conjunction with the Executive Director of the Missouri Civil War Museum to retrieve the most important material and stabilize it for future consideration and/or action.


Frankenstein Ceramics: Unexpected Discoveries during the Treatment of 8th–13th Century Islamic Ceramics. Kelly Rectenwald, Cincinnati Art Museum

The Cincinnati Art Museum holds a large collection of Ancient Islamic ceramics acquired between 1947 and 1953. From internal records and visual appearance, it was clear that all of these objects had been restored sometime before acquisition. While on display, many of these objects began to fall apart as their old adhesives began to fail. In addition to failing adhesives, old inpainting had become hazy and discolored, and plaster fills were becoming detached from the surrounding ceramic body. A conservation plan was made to methodically remove all old restoration and conserve each piece to current conservation standards. Once treatments began, it was discovered that many of the ceramics were extensively painted over to hide that they were composed of fragments from multiple objects that, though similar in appearance, did not belong together. In some cases, the removal of extensive overpaint revealed a completely different original design, and in others there were not enough fragments present from the same vessel to conserve a complete object. This presentation will discuss the unique and unexpected issues discovered in these ceramics and how they altered the original conservation plan and informed the treatments that followed. It will also present the results of research carried out to understand these old treatments and who did them, and to identify how common Frankenstein ceramics are in similar collections around the world and how they are being conserved.


The Art of Control: Health Hazards in Art Conservation and Methods for Reducing Risk. Melissa Rupert, SevenGenHSC

The health hazards present to art conservators are varied and many, but tend to be understood by conservation professionals. However, many times, these professionals lack the means to invest in state of the art control measures to help reduce exposure risk. In an era of shrinking budgets, this presentation will take a look at the hazards in art conservation and focus on methods for controlling those hazards. Participants will gain an understanding of the hierarchy of controls and will be able to apply this hierarchy to their own work.

 


An Alternative to the Oddy Test:  Instrument-Based Evaluation of Pollutant Offgassing from Materials used in the Museum Environment. Gregory D. Smith, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Catie Liggett and Michael J. Samide, Butler University, Chemistry Department

The preservation of cultural heritage in museums requires that only non-corrosive, non-polluting materials be used in proximity of artwork. Materials suitability testing in museums has historically used subjective microchemical and accelerated corrosion methods to determine the off-gassing potential of construction materials. In this 2 year NEH-funded study, GC methods coupled to mass spectrometry have been investigated as an alternative for rapidly detecting, identifying, and quantifying pollutant emissions from sample materials.

The IMA Conservation Science Lab working with Butler University’s chemistry department has developed an alternative sampling strategy based on evolved gas analysis (EGA) to monitor VOCs emitted from materials. The goal of this work is to link the identity and possibly the quantity of VOCs generated by a material under accelerated emission conditions to visual evidence of material suitability provided by Oddy tests and microchemical tests.

Twenty materials commonly used in museums were selected for study. The emission profiles were determined using typical volatile sampling techniques for GC-MS including EGA, headspace analysis, and SPME. The same materials were also assessed by traditional Oddy testing and microchemical methods. The comparison of EGA to other sampling techniques and the predictive ability of the method compared to traditional testing were evaluated. Rapid analysis by EGA proved to be particularly effective at predicting the visual results of Oddy tests. EGA-GC-MS has proven to be a fast, sensitive, and comprehensive method for assessing construction materials’ emissions. This talk will summarize the research protocols, results, and future work.


Cradle Removal & Conservation of a Thinned 15th c. Spanish Panel Painting. Serena Urry, Cincinnati Art Museum

Saint Paul Visiting Saint Peter in Prison by Fernando Gallego (c. 1440-1507) is a ~ 4’ x 2’ thinned panel painting that was cracking severely due to the stresses of a heavy cradle and numerous restrictive frame members. Both panel and cradle were damaged by worm tunneling. Losses and deterioration due to wood movement, abrasion and previous restorations disfigured the composition. While its gallery at the Cincinnati Art Museum was renovated, the painting underwent a full conservation treatment, including removing the framing and cradle, applying an auxiliary fabric support, cleaning, filling and inpainting, and re-framing the panel in a palliative manner that allows it to move. Seasonal observations since completion of the conservation treatment support the treatment approach.


Criteria for Selecting an Appropriate Light Source for Conservation Activities. Steven Weintraub, Art Preservation Services, New York 

Traditionally, many conservators have preferred daylight, and specifically northern daylight, as the preferred source of illumination for treatment and especially for inpainting. However, the limited availability of northern daylight makes it necessary to use supplementary and alternative sources of illumination. What are the essential properties that make northern daylight a preferred source for a range of conservation tasks and how can these advantages be included in an electric light source? In general, what are the essential properties that should be considered when selecting a conservation work light? This presentation examines these key criteria for selecting an appropriate illumination source for conservation activities. It is based on extensive research by the author that culminated in the development of the Connolux Studio Lamp.

An overview and an analysis of lamp properties such as color temperature, color rendering, intensity and light distribution will be provided, with a focus on appropriateness for conservation activities. Practical concerns such as lamp size, weight, and placement will also be considered. The discussion will be supplemented by visual demonstrations of lamp properties.

The following topics will be examined:

  • Color temperature and how appearance is altered at different color temperatures.
  • The selection of a “preferred” color temperature for inpainting.
  • Methods for reducing the risk of metamerism.
  • Concerns regarding the use of a high color temperature light source for conservation treatment and a low color temperature for exhibition.

The goal of the presentation is to suggest that there are underlying cognitive and technical reasons for selecting specific lamp properties. An understanding of these criteria will allow the conservator to select an illumination condition that provides the best level visual comfort and clarity for conservation activities.

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