Conservation DistList Archives [Date] [Subject] [Author] [SEARCH]

Subject: A death

A death

From: Debra Hess Norris <dhnorris>
Date: Wednesday, May 31, 2000
Anne F. Clapp 1910-2000

Anne Fanshaw Clapp was born on November 1, 1910 in Cambridge,
Massachusetts and taught seven years of students in the
Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation with
immense dedication, concern, and experience.

Anne had painted in  watercolors since childhood (both of her
parents were artists),  studied fine art at Radcliffe College, and
in 1941 enrolled in a short course "to prepare women to be aviation
engineers' assistants," involving subjects such as aerodynamics,
mechanical drawing, and advanced math.  Following work at the MIT
patent office, she applied for an opening at the Fogg Art Museum,
Harvard University which she thought would provide an interesting
combination of art and science.  >From 1946-1950, Anne apprenticed
and worked at the Fogg under the guidance of Richard Buck and Minna
Horowitz where she focused her study primarily on the treatment of
oil paintings and wood panels. It was during her subsequent work at
the Worcester Art Museum, under George Stout, that Anne became
interested in paper conservation.  Anne was invited to establish a
conservation laboratory at the Institute of Jamaica where she worked
from 1950 to 1954 sharing her expertise in treating works or art on
paper and paintings in a tropical climate. While Anne truly loved
her time in the tropics, she yearned for increased professional
contact and work in an art museum. In an interview with Carl Grimm
in 1977, Anne described. " I began to dream about entering an art
museum and just living there and never coming out."

Upon her return to the States, Anne worked for the National Park
Service where she established a conservation laboratory at
Philadelphia's Independence Hall, treated paintings and pastels by
Charles Willson Peale, Stuart, Copley, and Sully, and assisted
historic architects with the paint analysis for Congress and
Independence Halls.  Anne joined the staff at the Intermuseum
Conservation Association in Oberlin, Ohio in 1959, where she
carefully tracked billable hours and spent most her time treating
paintings, "because paintings could pay for themselves whereas paper
could not."

In 1970, Anne accepted a position as the Print and Paper Conservator
at the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum where she worked
until 1981, caring for  the museum and library collections and
teaching the fundamentals of paper conservation to graduate students
in the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art
Conservation. Her first year lectures, clearly ahead of the time,
focused primarily on issues of preventive conservation, including
the effects of  relative humidity and  light on paper artifacts and
the importance of  proper housing. Students in the second year of
our Program documented and treated objects of all kinds--including
watercolors, traditional prints, collage, papyrus, architectural
drawings, band boxes, and wallpaper-- under Anne's careful guidance
and constant encouragement.

Anne's  monograph, Curatorial Care of Works of Art on Paper
(published in 1973, 74,78, and 87),  became our textbook. This
single publication influenced a generation of paper conservators,
introducing  them to the field  and serving as an invaluable and
indispensable reference guide. For many of us, this book now serves
as  a cherished treasure of memories reminding all of us of Anne's
lectures and demonstrations on the flattening of crumples, fiber
analysis, beta radiography, magnesium bicarbonate deacidification
techniques, and proper framing procedures.

Following retirement from Winterthur, Anne  continued to care for
paper as a volunteer in the manuscript collection at the Winterthur
Library. She maintained until late last year an active private
laboratory, meticulously  equipped and located in the second bedroom
of her apartment, where she worked diligently for many museum and
private clients. She continued to read conservation publications and
strongly encouraged our move toward professional certification.

Anne cared about  her professional colleagues and  many students
deeply. She was the surrogate grandmother for our children and she
followed  our professional careers with great interest and
concern--constantly worrying about our ability to balance work and
parenthood and admiring our accomplishments. She had our respect,
loyalty, and love. We will all miss her greatly. As we continue  to
analyze, document, treat and care for works of art on paper and art
and artifacts of all kinds, she will live in our hearts and our
minds forever.

Anne is survived by five nieces and nephews: Dr. James Ford Clapp of
Cleveland, OH; Susan Clapp Colannino of Cambridge, MA; Anne F. Clapp
of Washington, DC; Deborah Clapp Redfern of Quincy MA; and John M.
Clapp of West Hartford, CT.  Donations can be made Anne's memory to
the Anne F. Clapp Fund for Conservation Education and Research, c/o
the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation,
303 Old College, University of Delaware, Winterthur, DE 19716.  A
Memorial Service for Anne will be held on Sunday, July 9th at 10 AM
at Winterthur.

Debra Hess Norris

                  Conservation DistList Instance 13:61
                   Distributed: Monday, June 5, 2000
                       Message Id: cdl-13-61-001
Received on Wednesday, 31 May, 2000

[Search all CoOL documents]