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Subject: Conservation treatment

Conservation treatment

From: Niccolo Caldararo <caldararo>
Date: Saturday, April 29, 2000
Pete Sixbey <psixbey [at] max__state__ia__us> writes

>Barbara Appelbaum's assumption (Conservation DistList Instance:
>13:52 Friday, April 21, 2000) that it is becoming a more common
>attitude "that ideas about how to treat something come only from the
>treatment  of the exact same kind of object" is perplexing. Of
>course it is not always necessary to know all about the technology
>of objects we treat. It, however, can be very helpful to know what
>technologies and materials were involved especially if one is not
>familiar with a particular type of artifact. Ms. Appelbaum may feel
>over-burdened by the idea that we should know all about the
>technology of objects we treat, I certainly don't. It comes with the
>territory. It may or may not be relevant to the treatment of the
>object. However, I would rather err on the side of too much
>knowledge than too little. As we all know, treatments usually come
>from general conservation expertise, but are oftentimes guided by
>knowledge of a specific object or types of objects.

I agree with Mr. Sixbey here and have done so in print, most to the
point was in a response to David Carrier that appeared in the McKay
Lodge Conservation Report in 1991 (my comment in 1992).  Carrier was
criticizing some of Gerry Hedley's views ("Long lost relations and
new found relativities: Issues in the Cleaning of Paintings" (1989
lecture) and "On Humanism, Aesthetics and the Cleaning of Paintings"
(1985 lecture), both later published by the UKIC 1990.  I refer
anyone interested in the subject to Gerry's lectures which were
centered on Western art while mine were concerned with non-Western

Niccolo Caldararo
Director and Chief Conservator
Conservation Art Service

                  Conservation DistList Instance 13:54
                  Distributed: Wednesday, May 3, 2000
                       Message Id: cdl-13-54-008
Received on Saturday, 29 April, 2000

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