The Conservation Course Syllabus Pages

Course:The Care of Outdoor Bronze Sculpture
Date Offered:August 1998
Location:New York, NY
Instructors:John Scott, N Y Conservation Center
Joan Pachner, PhD, Storm King Art Center
and others
Institution:New York Conservation Center
John Scott, Director
PO Box 20098LT
New York, NY 10011-0008U
212 714 0620
714 0149 fax


"The bronze course" is in two parts, each a five-day week. The logistics of field work limit the second week's registration.

This introductory course is designed to convey basic technical, logistical, historical, ethical, professional, and administrative elements of conservation practice in the care of outdoor bronzes.

Week one, historical and technical contexts:

a. Lectures, discussions and exercises.
b. Field demonstration: survey, documentation, site scouting.
c. Field tour: NYC monuments differently conserved.

Week two, a hands-on field exercise conserving an aesthetically and historically important bronze monument:

a. Gear, transportation, site setup.
b. Cleaning, stabilization, coating.
c. Breakdown, site clearance, documentation.

The first week provides a conceptual and technical context comprising historical and contemporary significances of sculpture and monuments, historical and contemporary foundry practices, bronze sculpture's diversity of structure and finish, environmen- tal factors for deterioration, and a review of past and current restoration practices. The lecture format is "slide talk." Discussion is open.

We proceed along a balanced path to convey the diversity of situations and conservation approaches. Different degrees of intervention are shown for different states of condition. We discuss professional and business practices, including pertinent agencies and institutions, and securing and administering public- and private contracts.

We go onsite to survey, document and scout the monument to be conserved in the second week. We prepare the examination report and treatment proposal (provided mid-September in final form with basic photographs, to all participants). We review and apply our first-week topics in a tour through New York City's Chelsea and Greenwich Village districts, where we note and discuss the con- dition, apparent conservation histories, and future needs of several city monuments.

The second week's hands-on field exercise gives participants exposure to basics of field logistics and practice, as well as experience in preparing project documentation including photo- graphs. The documentation is finished in our office after the course concludes, and a copy with photographs is forwarded to each participant for study and qualified portfolio use.



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