Volume 4, Number 2, May 1982, pp.2-3

Conferences in Summary

IIC Washington Congress, September 3-9, 1982

The theme of the Washington meeting, jointly sponsored by the AIC-IIC and with generous assistance from the Washington Conservation Guild was "Science and Technology in the Service of Conservation."

The thirty-eight papers covered the entire range of conservation. Norbert Baer and Franz Mairinger each discussed advances in scientific instrumentation and new methods of analysis. Three papers discussed environmental problems and four studied the deterioration of stone. Of particular interest with regards to stone conservation was a paper presented by W.D. Robertson which sought to correlate the known durability of certain limestones with the size distribution of their open pore structures. Dr. Robertson described his methods of pressurized mercury intrusion to characterize pore sizes.

Ten papers covered cellulosic degradation. James Reilly discussed albumin prints, Vincent Daniels covered color changes in watercolor pigments due to paper deacidification, and Francoise Flieder described her work on pastels. An excellent paper was presented by Helen Burgess on the use of gel permeation chromatography in investigating the degradation of cellulose during conservation bleaching. The case for and against alkaline rinses for textiles was presented by Ira Block and another paper on the same subject by Nancy Kerr.

As is often the case, the largest share of papers were presented on the problems of paintings, which saw such subjects as enzymatic consolidation of painting structures and stress measurements and the consequences of stress/strain on paint films.

Of interest was the paper presented by Colville, Kilpatric and Mecklenberg. Dr. Colville began by indicating that their paper had been awarded the first prize for "being the most incomprehensible to the conservators," the title being "A Finite Element Analysis of Multi-Layered Orthotropic Membranes with Application to Oil Paintings on Canvas."

Other papers covered high-stiffness lining supports (G. Hedley), neutron activation autoradiography (P. Meyers), image processing (G. Thomson, S. Staniforth) and pigment analysis (F. Billmeyer).

Each day papers were presented between 9:00 and 12:00 with the afternoons set aside for field trips to the Washington area museums and conservation labs. Receptions were held at the Dunbarton Oaks, National Museum of American History, and the National Gallery.

The most memorable part of the meeting for many people was the labyrinthian convolutions of the Sheraton Hotel. Without directly experiencing it, no description will suffice. Those that attended the opening address need only to remember Paul Perrot's apologetic remarks. Fortunately, all the papers were presented in the same room which greatly facilitated the rote memorization of the path to get there.

A very pleasant surprise was the number of WAAC members able to attend the meeting. Teri Oikawa-Picante, Bruce Miller, Jim Bernstein, Robert Futernick, Scott Haskins, Gary Wade Alden, Elizabeth Court, Inge-Lise Eckmann, Betty Engle, William Leisher, Yoshi Nishio, Barbara Roberts, Elizabeth Mention, Andrea Rothe, Mark Kotansky, Zdravko Barov and James Druzik to name a few.

Tape of the conference are available from: Instant Replay Cassette Services, 760 South 23rd Street, Arlington, VA 22202. $7.00 for each cassette, $138.00 for entire series.

Twelfth International Sculpture Conference

August 6-15, 1982, The Twelfth International Sculpture Conference was held in Oakland, Calif. Since its inception 22 years ago this organization has expanded in size and scope, meeting every two years.

During the ten day conference there was a series of parallel programs which ranged from technical demonstrations and workshops to panel discussions and presentations. Artists, curators, dealers, architects, critics, and conservators participated. Several museums, parks, and outdoor sites in San Francisco and Oakland had special exhibitions of sculpture.

There were two panels where conservators were asked to participate. One was on the conservation of bronze and the other was on the question of responsibility when a work of art begins to deteriorate. Overall, the conference was a tremendous success.

For the ISC publication and further information contact: Mr. David M. Furchott, International Sculpture Center, 1800 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007. (202) 965-6066.

Conservation Awareness Seminar

On June 10th and 11th, with a grant from the Institute of Museum Services to the Museum of New Mexico, the Rocky Mountain Regional Conservation Center produced a Museum Seminar at the University of New Mexico.

The project was designed as a learning experience for both the participants and faculty since this was the first seminar of this type produced by the RMRCC. Evaluations of the seminar indicate that the lectures and accompanying workbook were well received. Future seminars are planned for 1983 and an improved workbook should be available from the RMRCC in 1984.

Topics covered in the Seminar were:

  1. Care of Collections: The Curator and Conservator
  2. The Museum Environment
  3. Exhibitions: Keeping within Conservation Parameters
  4. Storage: Utilizing Available Space
  5. Recognizing Conservation Problems: Paintings, Textiles, Photographs, Works on Paper, Objects
  6. Documenting Conservation Problems: Condition Reports and Photo-Documentation
  7. Planning and Funding Conservation
Sixth Annual Meeting of the Harpers Ferry Textile Group

The Harpers Ferry Regional Textile Group held its sixth annual symposium on September 10 and 11 in Arlington, Virginia. The topic of this years symposium was "Methods of Mounting Flat Textiles." The two day conference covered a wide range of topics such as the properties of adhesives and fibers, different techniques for mounting flags and banners, and the preparation of textiles for exhibitions and storage. The lectures were taped and may be purchased from: Richard Todd, Cassette Recording Company, 1444 Third National Bldg., Dayton, Ohio 45402, (513) 223-5380.

American Chemical Society, Kansas City, MO

The Seventh Symposium on Archaeological Chemistry, Kansas City, MO, September 14 & 15, 1982, was organized by the Division of the History of Chemistry jointly with the Division of Analytical Chemistry. Some of the outstanding papers included: "X-Ray Diffraction Analysis of Ancient Glass," by M. Ripinsky; "Analysis of Exudate Plant Gums in Their Artistic Applications," by J.W. Twilley; "Radiocarbon Dating by Particle Accelerators: An Archeological Perspective," by R.E. Taylor. There were several papers covering the subject of the Shroud of Turin. These included: "Formation of the Image on the Shroud of Turin by X- Rays: A New Hypothesis," by G.F. Carter and "A Comprehensive Examination of the Various Stains and Images on the Shroud of Turin," by E.J. Jumper, A.D. Adler, J.H. Heller, S.F. Pellicori, J.P. Jackson, and J.R. Druzik. Postprints of all papers presented will be published by the American Chemical Society.

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