Volume 11, Number 3, Sept 1989, pp.10-14

Regional News

Mark Watters, column editor
San Diego

On May 10, Frances Prichett, Paper Conservator at the Balboa Art Conservation Center, BACC, delivered a slide presentation, "Conservation of Prints," to the 1989 Annual Conference of the International Society of Appraisers in Long Beach.

Janos Novak, Preparator at BACC, attended two weeks of courses including a "Gilding Workshop" and the "Conservation of Gilt Surfaces" at the Campbell Center in Illinois.

Alfred Antognini, Paintings Conservator at BACC and recognized artist as well, recently had a one-man exhibition of his "Tango" paintings at the La Jolla Playhouse.

Rocky Mountain Region

Lenny Evans, former General Technician at Rocky Mountain Regional Conservation Center, has joined the staff of the Western Center for the Conservation of Fine Arts in Denver. Nancy Carabel has joined the RMRCC, at least for the summer, as Staff Photographer. Carribeth Bliem has joined RMRCC as Textiles Handsewing Assistant.

Jeanne Brako, Art Conservation Services of Colorado, Inc., has moved her conservation studio to: 2555 Walnut Street; Unit G; Denver, CO 80205; (303) 295-7166.

Laura Wait has recently relocated from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Denver, Colorado. Her fine bookbinding and conservation studio will be housed temporarily with Art Conservation Services of Colorado, Inc., at the above address.

Frank Fields, owner of Gemini Gallery in Denver, announces restructuring of his custom framing and conservation studio as a Colorado Corporation.

Carmen Bria, Western Center for the Conservation of Fine Arts, will spend several days this August in Glenwood Springs, CO, to conserve a large mural in the Federal Building under a General Services Administration contract. The mural is a view of Glenwood Springs created in 1937 by Jennie Magafan and Edward Chavez under the WPA.

Mr. Bria will also travel to Ponca City, Oklahoma, this summer to survey 54 European and American paintings for the Ponca City Library. The collection, which was a 1950 bequest of Richard Gordon Matzene, includes works by well-known southwestern artists such as Nicolai Fechin, Birger Sandzen and E. Martin Hennings.

San Francisco Bay Area

The Asian Art Museum will be moving in seven to ten years to the old main public library in San Francisco, which is three times as large as their present space. The Planning Phase for the move will begin next year. The conservation staff at the Asian will be contacting colleagues for ideas, advice, and recommendations. If anyone has had experience moving a museum, please call Linda Scheifler at (415) 668-8921. Linda would like to start establishing resource files now in preparation for the move.

The Textile Lab at FAMSF (Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco) is hiring a new assistant, Nancy Love to work on the preparation of the textiles for the 1990 Anatolian Kilim Exhibition.

Vicki Cassman has just finished her work for the IMS survey of ethnographic textiles at FAMSF.

Meg Geiss-Mooney completed her work on the "New Look to Now" Exhibition, which is currently showing at the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco.

Elizabeth Cornu has completed removal of the Spanish ceiling, which is now in the objects conservation lab at FAMSF undergoing treatment.

Also in the objects conservation lab at FAMSF, Leslie Bone started work on Greek painted terra cotta figures, which are to go out on loan later this year.

At the Oakland Museum, Abby Hykin has completed her project of removing hide glue from several 18th and 19th century samplers using enzymes, while John Burke and Therese O'Gorman recently reshaped a rawhide Petaca, or trunk, once belonging to the founder of Santa Fe. The reforming was accomplished by placing the object in a chamber with ethanol/water vapor for several days and then clamping the lid over a form. The Petaca will be put on permanent exhibit in the History Gallery in September.

Nancy Sloper Howard attended the International course "Chemical Background to Conservation of Textile, Leather, and Metal Threads" held in Budapest, Hungary from April 16th to the 30th, 1989. [See "Conferences in Review".]

Mark Harpainter is spending seven weeks at the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities in Waltham, Massachusetts. He will be assisting with a special grant project working on furniture from the U.S. State Department.

The Western Regional Paper Conservation Laboratory (WRPCL) has a summer intern, Ethan Wilde, from U.C. Santa Cruz. Ethan is working with Bob Futernick on the development of Bob's Supercard program (an interactive database) for condition and treatment reporting.

Maria Alexiou, a paper conservator from Greece, formerly at the Fogg Art Museum, will be working at WRPCL for the month of August.

Robert Espinosa, conservator at Brigham Young University, spent two weeks at WRPCL in July. One of Robert's projects was an adaptation of Japanese screen hinges for use in construction of special mats.

Several conservators interested in computerized record keeping for conservation, including John Burke, Debra Evans, Robert Espinosa, Bob Futernick, and Walter Henry, met at WRPCL on July 20th to exchange information.

Jill Sterrett, Getty Fellow at WRPCL, has been working with Bob Futernick to develop a feasible means to monitor color shifts in paper tone and media, using a Minolta compact tristimulus color analyzer.

Bob Futernick is instructing sessions at the Book and Paper Intensive (which consists of resident workshops in advanced paper and book crafts) being held in New Mexico in August.

Leslie Kruth is working at WRPCL one day a week. Leslie continues in her term as Director of AIC and Specialty Group Liaison. She reports that the Board is continuing to refine the strategic plan for the AIC and is currently working on a plan for FAIC.

Julie Goldman is back to work at WRPCL after six weeks of contract work at the Los Angeles County Museum and Pacific Regional Conservation Center.

Joan Wright has begun a survey of the Northern European prints in the Achenbach collection of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.


All of us at PRCC are busy making plans for WAAC's annual meeting in paradise. We're planning a lovely luau and some kamaaina tips for fun in the sun, local restaurants, and places of beauty. On the side, we've also been busy with a variety of projects:

Dale Kronkright spent one week at the Brooklyn Museum in New York working with Ellen Pearlstein on a basketry survey project supported by the Institute of Museum Services, While there, Dale also gave a talk to the New York Conservation Guild entitled "Ethics of Ethnographic Conservation". Dale also gave a talk at the AIC meeting on developments in ethnographic conservation.

All of the labs have been involved with conservation surveys of the member museums on Oahu and on the outer islands. Most recently, this has included the Lyman House Museum in Hilo on the Big Island and the Hana Cultural Center on Maui.

Julie Goldman, a paper conservator in San Francisco, has returned to PRCC for a 3 week contract in the Paper Lab. In 1981-82, Julie was a pre- program intern with us for a year and a half. She is working on a project to conserve an early missionary family's letters and papers which form an important collection in the Bishop Museum's Library.

Irene Brückle, our intern from Germany, is busy with many diverse projects. She has offered invaluable skills and diligence in treating both works of art on paper and rare manuscripts.

When Janice Schopfer isn't busy canoe paddling on the Lanikai Canoe Club's team, she can be found working on surveys, treatments and all that's necessary to manage the busy Paper Lab.

The objects lab is, as usual, extremely busy with an amazing variety of work: we find ourselves more involved with natural history conservation as we are doing a survey of the Bishop Museum's Zoology collections. We are looking into skin repairs on mammal specimens, mammal bone deterioration and consolidation (two whale skeletons and a rare Hawaiian bat), and the correlation between jar seals, alcohol density and preservation in wet ichthyology collections. In addition, the special storage needs for various collections are being investigated in preparation for new storage including the fur and feather, skeleton, egg and nest and mounted specimen collections. The Objects lab is also preparing for a survey of selected sculptures and artworks located on the island of Oahu, both indoors and outdoors, which are part of the State's Art in Public Places collection.

We are sadly getting ready to say good bye to Jennifer Dickens who has been an intern with us for the past 6 months. She is departing to undertake excavations in Italy and Greece.


Nancy Odegaard, Objects Conservator at the Arizona State Museum has just been awarded a NSF grant for her archaeological textiles. The money will be used to document previous treatments of several large and important pieces, for the treatment of others, and for a storage cabinet for oversized pieces. She also reports that the University of Arizona regents are moving forward with funding for renovation of the Arizona State Museum in time for its centennial year, 1993. This will mean greatly expanded and improved storage and lab facilities!

In May, a group comprised of Nancy, Jim Roberts, Vicki Cassman, Jeff Maish, Bettina Raphael, and Landis Smith (better known as CACA or Concerned Archaeological Conservators, etc.) met in Tempe, AZ for a strategy session. The group is working on conservation suggestions that could be developed into handouts for archaeologists and for archaeological repositories and processing labs in the Southwest. Odegaard gives kudos to Jayne Fife, her super volunteer who has been more than a right hand. (By the time this notice gets out to members, Nancy may have divided. This will make #2 child for her and spouse.)

When we last left Lorraine Daly-Jones, conservator at the Arizona State Museum, she was personally fending off wood beetles--just having arrived in a display from Mexico--at the loading dock of the museum. (She had to leave in the middle of our conversation to prevent the material from entering the museum, so you'll have to wait until next time to find out how it all turned out.)

This July, Laura Downy, will begin an internship for at least a semester with Gloria Giffords. Laura is a senior chemistry major at the University of Arizona. Work has begun on yet another attempt to secure the dome and vaults of Mission San Xavier del Bac, near Tucson. An acrylic seal applied in 1984 is now being sandblasted from the lime and brick roof and a new coating applied from alternating layers of solutions made from alum and jabon blando, a neutral soap. This old formula has been used successfully on mission structures in Mexico and has been documented in an 1867 architectural encyclopedia published in England where it was used to seal stone and brickwork. After this treatment, another old desert formula consisting of lime and prickly pear juice will be used to plaster and then whitewash the exterior walls. The Patronato, the group responsible for the restoration of the structure, just recently had air conditioning consultant Carolyn Peterson examine the structure to consider the feasibility of air conditioning the building for the parishioner's comfort--as well as the potential effect on the murals and statuary. Ms. Peterson has done preservation work on two other Spanish colonial missions, Concepcion and Espada, both in San Antonio, Texas.

Greater Los Angeles/Santa Barbara

Shelly Svoboda from the University of Delaware/Winterthur Museum Art Conservation Program will be interning in the Paintings Conservation Laboratory at LACMA beginning in September 1989. The 11 month internship will complete the final year of the three year graduate program.

James L. Greaves and the staff of Conservation Services in Santa Monica have been contracted to conserve 40 paintings on the Picture Bridge belonging to the Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, CA. The covered bridge is one of the few remaining original structures of the historic hotel, which is being rebuilt. Painted by Santa Barbara artist Frank M. Moore in the early 1930's, the paintings' conditions range from fairly stable to nearly destroyed.

Carol Johnson began a four month internship in Textile Conservation at LACMA in June 1989. The internship is part of her coursework at the University of Alberta at Edmonton where she will receive a B.Sc. degree in Textile Conservation in conjunction with the Textile Science Department. Welcome to a native of Calgary to the "wilds" of Southern California!

Robert McGiffin, Catherine McLean, and Gloria Scott presented a 1 day conservation symposium at the Riverside Municipal Museum on 10 June 1989. The symposium focused upon the preservation of family heirlooms and antiques with an emphasis on the proper handling, storage and display of furniture, textiles, documents and photographs. The event was free of charge and was attended by over 100 museum professionals and interested members of the public.

Michael Duffy, Getty Intern in Paintings Conservation at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, has accepted a position as Assistant Conservator, Paintings, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City starting on 1 September 1989. A graduate of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Art Conservation Program, Michael has spent the past two years at LACMA. His friends and colleagues in LA wish him all the best!

Robert Aitchison and Victoria Blyth Hill conducted a one- day seminar on Friday 28 July 1989 for the Registrar's Committee-Western Region Workshop at the Wight Art Gallery, UCLA. The slide presentations and demonstrations focused on the care, handling, and storage of historical documents, photographs, and works of art on paper.

Birgit Kantzenbach from the Bayerisches National Museum in Munich has spent the summer working in Objects Conservation at LACMA. She was trained as a painting conservator at the Istituto per l'Arte e il Restauro in Florence. For the past year and a half she has been working primarily on polychrome sculpture conservation in Germany. Birgit found that her interests expanded while at LACMA where she worked not only on polychrome sculpture but also on ethnographic materials and contemporary works of art including a work by Frank Stella.

The Objects Conservation Lab at LACMA also has a summer intern, Jeff Gilson. Jeff, a recent graduate of UCLA, has just returned from a six month stint at the Centro di Conservazione Archeologia in Rome where he worked with Roberto Nardi. At LACMA, he is working with Jo Hill on the large Roman mosaic project and other on-going treatments for antiquities.

Camilla van Vooren will be spending her third year internship in Paintings Conservation at The J. Paul Getty Museum. Camilla is a graduate student in the Winterthur Conservation Training Program. Her internship will begin 1 September. Welcome back to the West Coast, Camilla!

Eric Zytowski, of Glenn Wharton's sculpture conservation studio, has been accepted to UCLA for the fall quarter. Eric will be finishing his undergraduate work at UCLA in art history. John Griswold has been given the position of Associate Conservator in the studio.

Maya Elston, Associate Conservator of Antiquities at The J. Paul Getty Museum, spent 2 weeks in the Antikenmuseum in West Berlin. She gave a presentation and a demonstration of a technique for compensation of ancient ceramics and terra cotta objects at the Symposium for Ceramic Conservation held on the 20th-21st of April 1989. The Symposium was sponsored by the Antikenmuseum. The Coordinator of the symposium was Herman Barn.

Jeff Maish, Assistant Conservator of Antiquities at The J. Paul Getty Museum, presented an update talk at the recent AIC meeting entitled "Archaeology and Conservation: Bridging the Gap." Jeff spent 6 weeks during July and August as Conservation Coordinator for the site of Tiwanako.

Lisbet Thoresen, Assistant Conservator of Antiquities at The J. Paul Getty Museum, spent July and August working at the Agora in Athens with Alice Paterakis.

Pam Hatchfield, Objects Conservator from the MFA in Boston demonstrated techniques of consolidation of polychrome wood with cellulose ethers for two days during July at The J. Paul Getty Museum.

Madeleine Hexter, Graduate intern from the Winterthur Program at the Antiquities lab at The J. Paul Getty Museum, traveled to Italy in May. The focus of her visit was collections of Etruscan and Roman jewelry which relate to her research on ancient gold.

Glenn Wharton would like to announce his new Los Angeles Studio address: 12617 Venice Blvd.; Los Angeles, CA 90066. His Los Angeles telephone number remains the same: (213) 397-4077.

Nancy Turner, Conservation Assistant for the Manuscript Department at The J. Paul Getty Museum, will be on a 9 month long internship starting September at Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland. She will be studying with Anthony Cains, Chief Conservator of Rare Books and Manuscripts. Nancy will be concentrating her studies on conservation of parchment and manuscript illumination. She will be returning to the Getty in June, 1990.

Tatyana M. Thompson and staff including Mary Hough, Aneta Zebala, and Debra May, and Rosamond Westmoreland and her staff of Carolyn Lehne have recently completed a recleaning of 6,000 square feet of ceiling stencils at the Los Angeles Central Library which were damaged by yet another fire in the Fall of 1988.

Tatyana M. Thompson and Associates, Inc., have begun treatment on four Rothkos from the Panza Collection at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles funded by a National Endowment for the Arts Grant.

In a collaborative effort, Sharon Shore, textiles conservator, Glenn Wharton, objects conservator, Mark Watters and Paula Volent, paper conservators, and Tatyana Thompson, paintings conservator, have begun treatment of Robert Rauschenberg's "Untitled (Man in the White Shoes)," 1955, a so- called "combine painting" from the Panza Collection at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. "Untitled" is a seminal piece from a key period of the artist's output. Again, the treatment is being funded, in part, by a National Endowment for the Arts Grant.

Carol Crilly, Curator; Diane Becker-Reilly, Registrar; and Sharon Gordon Donnan, Textile Conservator for the Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum formed a panel for a morning session during the American Association of Museums annual meeting held in New Orleans, June 17 to 23, "Expanding Collections Care - Volunteers in the Workplace".

El Pueblo Historic Park, which includes Olvera Street in Downtown Los Angeles, is presently involved in four conservation projects. Local private conservators have been contracted to provide conservation for the antique Fireman's badges (Glenn Wharton), Indian Baskets (Rosa Lowinger), and outdoor sculpture (Billie Milam). In-house conservator, Sharon Gordon Donnan, has assessed the needs of the textile collection and is developing a volunteer program to provide the much needed care. John Coghlan, Collections Manager, is overseeing this continuing program at the Park.

Photographs by Linda Shaffer have been included in the group show entitled "People, Places and the Environment" curated by Noiko Fujinami. The show also includes work by Robert Glenn Ketchum and Leland Rice and is on display 7 days a week, 8 July to 4 September, at the Transamerica Gallery, Transamerica Building, 1150 S. Olive, in downtown Los Angeles.

James Corwin has been appointed Principal Manuscript Conservator at the Huntington Library. He takes over from Ron Tank who retired after 36 years of service to the institution. Susan Rogers has been hired as the new Manuscript Conservation intern.

WAAC Regional Reporters

Regional News is gathered by the WAAC Regional Reporters listed below. Individual WAAC members are encouraged to contribute regional news items, or items for "Technical Exchange", "Conferences in Review", or any of the other regular WAAC columns. Please contact a regional reporter, the Column Editor / WAAC vice-president, Mark Watters, 6277 Ivarene Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90068, (213) 463-0822, who coordinates this section of the newsletter, or the Editor.

The WAAC Regional Reporters are:

San Diego
Marc Harnly, BAAC, P.O. Box 3755, San Diego, CA 92103, (619) 236- 9702.

Rocky Mountains
Connie Mohrman, WCCFA, 1225 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204, (303) 573-1973.


David A. Shute, RMRCC, University of Denver, 2420 South University Blvd., Denver, CO 80208, (303) 733-2712.

San Francisco Bay
Therese O'Gorman, Oakland Museum, History Dept., 1000 Oak St., Oakland, CA 94607, (415) 273-3806.


Judith Ann Reiniets, 2936-B Lyon St., San Francisco, CA 94123, (415) 931-5346.

Jane Bassett, PRCC, Bishop Museum, P.O. Box 19000-A, Honolulu, HI, 96817, (808) 848-4113.

Gloria Fraser Giffords, 2859 N. Soldier Trail, Tucson, AZ 85749, (602) 749-4070.

Greater Los Angeles/Santa Barbara
Catherine McLean, Conservation Center, LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036, (213) 857-6169.


Glenn Wharton, Private Conservator, 549 Hot Springs Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93108, (805) 565-3639 or (213) 397-4077.

Oregon & Washington
Jack Thompson, Thompson Conservation Lab, 1417 N.W. Everett, Portland, OR 97209, (503) 248-0046.

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