Volume 10, Number 3, Sept 1988, pp.11-12

AYMHM: Articles You May Have Missed

Rosanna Zubiate, column editor
"Leningrad Library Fire", Ellen McCrady Ed., The Abbey Newsletter, Vol 12, no 4 (June 1988), pp 59-61.

This article discusses the early reports and subsequent coverup of the Leningrad Library fire on February 14 of this year. The fire destroyed 400,000 books of the 12 million housed in the building, two to three million more were heat and smoke damaged, making this the worst library fire in history.

"Confessions of an Art Cop", by Milton Esterow, Art News, Vol 87, no 5 (May 1988), pp 134-137.

The art cop concludes, "Art thievery has become the second biggest international criminal activity after narcotics. Probably five to ten percent of all stolen art ever finds its way back to the rightful owner."

"The Moral Rights (and Wrongs) of Public Art", by Sylvia Hochfield, Art News, Vol 87, no 5 (May 1988), pp 143-146.

The controversies continue, and many problems are still unresolved concerning the defining of the concepts of private-property, when the government is involved in owning public art.

"Three Cheers for Albuquerque!", Newsbrief, Archaeology, Vol 41, no 4 (July/August 1988), p 18.

The city of Albuquerque, New Mexico has passed into law a quarter-cent sales tax "...to provide $193 million for conservation projects, including the purchase of archaeological sites."

"Stained Glass and their Conservation", by Ernst Bacher, ICOMOS Information, No. 1/1988 (January/March 1988), pp 3-9.

The ICOMOS International Specialized Committee on Stained Glass was formed in 1985 to 'act as a working group on the problems of stained glass conservation and restoration'. This article gives an account of the many problems encountered when dealing with stained glass of Medieval date to painted glass of our century.

"La Conservation des vitraux anciens, les travaux au Laboratoire de Recherche des Monuments Historiques", by Jean-Marie Bettenbourg. ICOMOS Information, No. 1/1988 (January/March 1988), pp 10-12.

A brief description of choice of treatments in the conservation of stained glass, as governed by environmental conditions and chemical composition of the glass, is given.

"Stability of Black-and-White Photographic Images, with Special Reference to Microfilm", by James M. Reilly, Douglas W. Nishimura, Kaspars M. Cupriks, and Peter Z. Adelstein, The Abbey Newsletter, Vol 12, no 5 (July 1988), pp 83-88.

"Recent research at the Image Permanence Institute has shown that sulfiding treatments give excellent protection for microfilm against red spots, and that gold and selenium treatments only are effective to the degree that the silver image is converted to gold or silver selenide. Planned new research may result in the redefinition of archival processing for all types of silver images to include sulfiding treatments to resist oxidation."

"The Vinland Map", by Walter C. McCrone, Analytical Chemistry, Vol 60, no 10 (May 15, 1988), pp 1009-1018.

This is the first published report of the analysis carried out by McCrone Associates in the authentication of this 1440 map belonging to the Yale Beincke Library. The ink used to create a yellow shadow next to the drawing lines contains titanium dioxide (Anatase), which has only been produced since the early part of this century. The various methods of testing are explained.

"Weathering of a Metal Artifact in a Saharan Environment: Evidence for a Novel form of Desert Varnish", by John W. Eastes, Paul P. Hearn Jr., Caron S. Breed, and John McCauley, Applied Spectroscopy, Vol 42, no 5 (July 1988), pp 827-831.

The weathering of a WWII metal fuel can found in an Egyptian desert has been analyzed and proves to be very similar in mineral composition to the varnish which occurs on desert rocks. It is surprising that the short exposure of only 40 years should lead to the formation of this varnish. Analysis (x-ray diffraction, infrared spectroscopic work, scanning electron microscopic studies, and x-ray fluorescence) shows that the assemblage of minerals of the varnish is similar to that of rock varnish, yet the metal substrate would require that this formation occur by a different process than that which occurs on stone.

"Staff Training", Museum No. 156/1987 (Vol. 39, no. 4). This quarterly review published by UNESCO offers 12 articles on the topics of museum and conservation training. Following are the article titles and authors:

"Museum training: status and development", H.R. Singleton;

"Museum training: a central concern of ICOM for forty years", P.J. Boylan;

"The conservator-restorer: a definition of the profession", ICOM;

"Training in the conservation and restoration of movable and immovable cultural property", G. de Guichen and C. Rockwell;

"Museum education - a continuing challenge", F. Schouten;

"Canada: great distances require distance training...", M. Segger;

"Museum studies training in Australia", J.C. Hodge;

"Survey of training for museum professionals in a country that covers a vast area - Brazil", F. de Camargo e Almeida-Moro;

"Museum, profession and university: museum studies at Leicester", G. Lewis;

"New museum training proposals for the United Kingdom";

"Postgraduate course in museography and museology in the Faculty of Architecture of Milan", F. Fedi;

"The Louvre Museum School", J.-P. Sainte-Marie;

"Museum studies in the United States: coming a long way for a long time", J.R. Glaser;

"The balance between domestic needs and international aid in museum training", F.T. Masao;

"Training in African museums: the role of the Centre for Museum Studies, Jos", E.N. Arinze;

"The museum training situation in India", V.H. Bedekar;

"Museum training in China", Liang Jisheng; and

"The training of museum personnel: the Ukranian State Museum of the Great Patriotic War", by V.A. Kozlov.

"Damaged Goods", by John T. Bethell, Harvard Magazine, July-August 1988, pp 24-31.

This lengthy account of the creation of the suite of five paintings for Holyoke Center, Harvard, by Mark Rothko, carefully analyzes the artist's state of mind at this period in time. Only a brief description of the tests carried out by the Center for Conservation and Technical Studies is given. The author sums up the view and understanding taken by the University, "Mark Rothko unintentionally created a set of paintings whose coloration did not last. But accident often figures importantly in the process of creativity. Whatever he meant when he painted them, Rothko's Harvard murals are now a statement about mortality and impermanence. That this should have been accidental adds a certain grim force to the statement."

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