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Subject: Exhibition on conservation

Exhibition on conservation

From: Ann B. N'Gadi <ngadia>
Date: Wednesday, May 31, 2000
Beginning Fall 2000, museum visitors can experience a
conservation-based exhibition created by the conservators and
scientists of the Smithsonian Center for Materials Research and
Education (SCMRE). SANTOS: Substance and Soul is the culmination of
several years' scholarship, conservation, technical studies, and
public outreach by SCMRE.  The exhibition is a bilingual national
traveling show that interprets the artistic and cultural character
manifested in the creation and use of santos.

Exhibition curator Jia-sun Tsang, SCMRE Paintings Conservator,
describes santos as, "Painted wood carvings of saints, reflecting
one of the oldest living traditions of religious devotion practiced
by Hispanic Americans. Santo making has flourished in the United
States from the 16th century to the present."

The exhibition will integrate materials science research with the
study of santos creation and use, and will present an interpretation
of these cultural icons through their examination by chemical
analysis, X-ray imaging, microscopy, and other technical studies
typical to conservation.

SANTOS: Substance and Soul features artifacts from New Mexico and
Puerto Rico, but will also include santos from Central and South
America, and the Philippines, to celebrate a living cultural
heritage reflecting both traditional and contemporary materials and
techniques in santo making.

Bilingual text panels with graphic illustrations and photographs
will complement 40 objects from the National Museum of American
History, the de Saisset Museum, the Albuquerque Museum, the Museo de
Arte de Ponce, the Spanish Colonial Arts Society, and the Millicent
Rogers Museum of Northern New Mexico.

In addition, proposed interactive bilingual computer displays will
allow exhibit viewers and Internet browsers to view further
information on preservation and santo materials, including paint,
gold leaf, and wood; the techniques of creating and conserving
santos; technical and analytical research; microscopic images;
historical research and context; religious and devotional meanings;
and much more.

SANTOS: Substance and Soul will be augmented by educational
programs, demonstrations by santeros (santo makers) from Puerto Rico
and New Mexico, and will feature presentations and lectures on the
technical and scientific techniques used for characterization and

SANTOS: Substance and Soul premiers at the Smithsonian's Arts and
Industries' West Gallery,  before going to the National Hispanic
Cultural Center in Albuquerque, and finally the Museo de Arte de
Ponce, Puerto Rico.

The exhibit is also sponsored by the Smithsonian Center for Latino
Initiatives (SCLI).

Tour Schedule:

    Smithsonian Institution
    Washington, DC, Arts and Industries Building,
    September 17, - March 31, 2001

    National Hispanic Cultural Center
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    June 22 - November 4, 2001

    Museo de Arte de Ponce
    Ponce, Puerto Rico
    December 14, 2001 - March 3, 2002

SCMRE is a specialized research facility dedicated to the technical
study and preservation of museum artifacts and their component
materials. SCMRE assists museums in the United States and abroad
with issues of preservation and conservation of artistic and
historic objects.  Research is performed in the areas of material
technology, art and cultural history, and preservation. SCMRE offers
educational programming in the same areas of interest to growing and
diverse audiences, including professionals in the cultural
disciplines, and to the general public.

For more information please see

                  Conservation DistList Instance 13:61
                   Distributed: Monday, June 5, 2000
                       Message Id: cdl-13-61-003
Received on Wednesday, 31 May, 2000

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