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Subject: Human skin

Human skin

From: Sandrine Decoux <sdecoux>
Date: Tuesday, March 12, 2002
Our museum was lent for exhibition a work by Donald Rodney, an
artist who died of sickle cell anemia in 1998. The artist used his
own skin to make a small house (20 x 30 x 20 mm), held together by
pressure-sensitive tape and metal pins.

As far as we know, the skin was never treated. It was removed in
1996 and stored in an airtight container until it was made into the
skin house in 1997.

We are treating the work as a light-sensitive object and monitoring
it for changes. A made-to-measure conservation quality box will also
be provided by the museum for storage.

I have found references to the use of tanned human skin for
bookbindings and other objects, but nothing like this work. We
would like to know if anyone has come across anything similar, and
be very grateful for what conservation advice you can give us.

Sandrine Decoux
Paper Conservator
National Museums and Galleries of Wales

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:62
                  Distributed: Tuesday, March 12, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-15-62-017
Received on Tuesday, 12 March, 2002

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