Volume 12, Number 1, Jan. 1990, pp.21-26

Regional News

Glenn Wharton, column editor

All of us at the Pacific Regional Conservation Center would like to thank the WAAC Board and membership for your efforts in bringing the annual meeting to Honolulu. Our new labs will be completed soon(!); please visit us in your future travels.

Conservators in the objects and paper labs recently spent a week at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the island of Hawaii stabilizing six large 19th century Hawaiian kapa (barkcloth) belonging to the Lawrence Rockefeller Pacific Collection. (Having a lovely time in a luxurious hotel with room service, wish you were here.) The tissue-thin pieces which had suffered from over twenty years of harsh environmental exposure in the hotel's outside corridors were fully lined in preparation for hanging within buffered shadowbox frames.

Debra Evans celebrated the end of her term as WAAC President by working for six weeks in the PRCC paper lab on a variety of projects.

The Mellon Fellowship in Ethnographic Conservation has been awarded to Jeffrey Kimball. Originally an archaeologist working throughout the United States, Jeffrey received his conservation training at the Institute of Archaeology in London.

All labs at PRCC are presently involved in a survey of 60 major works belonging to the Art in Public Places division of the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. Located throughout Oahu, the survey includes many of the most prominent pieces in the Capital area. We're still busy doing surveys, currently for the Hawaiian Mission Children's Society, the Maritime Museum, the Makiki Christian Church in Honolulu and the Kauai Museum.

PRCC is also doing many workshops for museums and the community. Janice Mae Schopfer will be presenting a workshop to the Honolulu Printmaking Workshop on the Enemies of Paper. Dale Kronkright and Janice will be giving workshops to train Collection Management Assistants at the Maui Historical Society in Maui and the Kona Historical Society on the island of Hawaii.

San Francisco Bay Area

The Asian Art Museum reports that twenty-five pieces from their collection of over twelve thousand objects were damaged in the October 17 earthquake. The earthquake prevention measures taken during installation kept damage to a minimum. A team of private conservators will be contracted to handle the restoration. The Asian Art Museum reopened to the public on October 25th.

Thanks to an earthquake prevention grant two years ago, the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco had anchored shelves and objects in their storage spaces. Preventive exhibition mounting techniques resulted in minimal damage to the collections on view. All of the small objects and paintings are fine, while some damage occurred to top heavy sculptures. Object conservators Elisabeth Cornu, Leslie Bone and Tracy Power are concentrating on improving mounting and exhibition techniques and working with other museum installation technicians.

Mark Minor, a new third year intern, formally of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Furniture Lab, is working in the Objects Lab at FAMSF.

Debra Evans spent the month of October working in the paper conservation lab at the Pacific Regional Conservation Center in Honolulu.

Mark Harpainter, Furniture Conservator, Berkeley, CA, recently took a two month "working vacation" in Massachusetts at the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities. There he worked with the eleven other conservators assembled by head conservator Robert Mussey on a large year-long contract SPNEA had undertaken on the U.S. State Department's collection of decorative arts.

San Diego

David Brock, formerly Senior Book Conservator at the Library of Congress is now working privately in San Diego: David Brock, Rare Book Conservation, Ltd., 4369 Argos Dr., San Diego, CA 92116, (619) 282-7062 or (619) 282-5155.

Betty Engel and Gary Hulbert of Engel and Hulbert, Inc. spent the month of August in Buffalo, New York conserving murals at the City Hall and the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society. Annette Rupprecht and Joan Samuels participated in the project.

Cecile Mear has begun a year of internship in the Paper Conservation Laboratory at the Balboa Art Conservation Center (BACC). This year will complete Cecile's academic program training at the State University College at Buffalo Art Conservation Department.

In October BACC had the pleasure of hosting a visit from Soviet art conservators Vadim Legoshin, head conservator at the Kremlin Museum, Juri Osipov, managing restorer at the Kremlin Museum, and Svetlana Kovarskaya. The conservators were traveling with exhibits from the Soviet Union, including the Faberge Eggs, which had come to San Diego as part of its Soviet Arts Festival.

Betsy Court, Chief Paintings Conservator at BACC, attended the two-week "Workshop on New Methods in the Cleaning of Paintings" taught by Richard Wolbers in August at the Getty Conservation Institute.

Alfredo Antognino, Paintings Conservator at BACC and successful painter, traveled to Paris for the November exhibition of his "Tango" paintings at the Galerie Tribeca.

Rocky Mountain Region

Carmen F. Bria, Jr. and Connie Mohrman, Western Center for Conservation of Fine Arts (WCCFA), Denver, were presenters in an art history symposium offered jointly this fall by six colleges and universities throughout Colorado and presented at the Denver Art Museum. Bria and Mohrman discussed the background and treatment of a 17th c. Dutch history painting by Moeyaert conserved at WCFA in 1987 and now on view at the museum.

Carl Grimm, Director, WCCFA, is taking leave from the art history PH.D. program at the University of Delaware, to accept a one year grant for a guest conservator position at the Doerner Institute in Munich beginning in October. Prior to that, he will be in the USSR for two weeks, inspecting icons to be loaned by Tbilisi in Georgian Russia to the upcoming show at the Timken Museum in San Diego.

Carmen Bria, Jr., Chief Paintings Conservator at WCCFA, presented a day-long seminar in September entitled "Conservation of Fine Arts". The seminar was hosted by the Thomas Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and was sponsored by the Field Advisory Services, a program of the Oklahoma Museums Association and the Oklahoma Historical Society.

Connie Wanke, Colorado Conservation Center, has been asked to be on the Advisory Council for the Colorado Center for the Book. The center, chaired by Tim Wirth, U.S. Senator from Colorado, brings public awareness of the importance of books and literacy in our culture. It is affiliated with the National Center for the Book in Washington, D.C.

Judith Southward, Director of Conservation and Registration at the Colorado Historical Society, Denver, presented a paper entitled "Collections Management: Successes Through Grants" at the annual meeting of the Society for American Archivists held in October 25-29 in St. Louis.

Frank Fields, Gemini Gallery, Denver, held a presentation and demonstration on proper mounting and display of textile art on November 5. His activities were sponsored by the Creative Needle Shop and directed to a craftsperson audience.

Laura Wait has established Laura Wait Fine Book Binding and Conservation at: 2555 Walnut St., Studio D; Denver, CO 80205; (303)292-4462. Ms. Wait is also fabricating custom archival book boxes.

Richard Tella, Chief of Conservation, Brigham Young University, reports that he is currently working on designs for a new art museum scheduled for ground breaking as early as March 1990. Trela is also preparing over 100 American paintings from the university's permanent collection for the inaugural exhibition space. (In his spare time) Trela is also working on a design for a new moisture/vacuum tabletop for the treatment of paintings.

Greater Los Angeles/Santa Barbara

Bradywicks announces the following new employees: Carla Stellwagen and Elaine Martin, full time furniture restoration trainees, Sharon Dal Pozzo and Axel d'Anthes, full time Ceramics Conservation Trainees, and Candice Stuart part time Furniture Restoration Trainee.

Graham Powell has left his position as Furniture Conservator at The J. Paul Getty Museum to open a private practice in Santa Monica.

After three intensely successful years spearheading the development and implementation of the Conservation Information Network, John Perkins has left the GCI for Auckland, New Zealand. There he has joined Vernon Systems Ltd, a group of professionals responsible for the development of the collections management system, COLLECTION. Among other duties, John will be working on adapting this system to address conservation management needs and will also be consulting periodically with the GCI Documentation Program on further Network development. While John is keenly missed, the GCI has the good fortune to welcome Kathleen McDonnell as the new manager, Conservation Information Network. Previously the Systems Analyst for the GCI, Kathleen is already well acquainted with the Network and brings much valuable experience to this project.

Jerry Podany, Head Conservator of Antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum, presented a talk October 19 on the conservation of the Aphrodite sculpture which was recently placed on exhibition. In addition to the structural and aesthetic work presented, Jerry described the earthquake isolator (designed by Preparator Wayne Haak) on which the sculpture is mounted.

Jerry and Bruce Metro recently traveled to San Francisco to review some of the earthquake damage sustained by museums in the Bay area.

Assistant Conservator in the Antiquities department, Lisbet Thoreson returned from Athens where she was Guest Conservator at the ancient Agora. Along with Alice Paterakis, and Olympia Theofanadopoulo, Lisbet worked on excavated material from the past field season.

Katharine Untch is beginning her 3rd year internship in the Getty's Antiquity Conservation department. Katy is a graduate student in the Art Conservation Department, Buffalo State College. She comes to the department after spending her summer working in conservation at a site of Kavousi, Crete.

The 3rd Archaeological Conservation Newsletter is out. The subscription rate remains $10 and can be obtained by writing to: ACN; PO Box 1105; Pacific Palisades, CA 90272. This issue features an interview with Cypriot conservator Andreas Georgiades.

Robert Aitchison, Aitchison and Watters, Inc., and Jimmy Evans, Getty Museum, Department of Photography, lectured on November 9th at a GCI sponsored course on the History and Conservation of Photographs. Led by Debbie Hess Norris from Winterthur/University of Delaware Art Conservation Program, the one week course was offered to interested museum professionals.

Teresa Knutson began a one year Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Textile Conservation at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on November 1st. Teresa trained at the Textile Conservation Workshop in South Salem, New York, and with Harold Mailand. Most recently she worked on the tapestry conservation project at the Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina. Her fellowship at LACMA will focus on the conservation of costumes.

Eric Zytowski is now a work study student with Robin Chamberlin, Ethnographic Objects Conservator, at the Museum of Cultural History, UCLA.

Claudia Rubin is currently working as a volunteer intern in objects conservation at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She plans to apply to graduate programs in art conservation this coming spring.

Cara Varnell, textile conservator, recently returned to California after four years in New York City. During that time she received her MFA from NYU, worked as a contract conservator for the National Museum of African Art in Washington, and just completed a one year contract with the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She will be working as a textile conservator in private practice in Southern California. Her area of specialization continues to be costumes with a particular interest in performance costumes. She can be reached at: 235 Belmont Street #7; Long Beach, CA 90803; (213) 434-5032.

Rosa Lowinger, of Sculpture Conservation Studio, is working with Eric Hansen and Eileen Sadoff, both of the GCI, and Sue Walston of Australia to find suitable consolidation of Painted Ethnographic Artifacts at the Getty Conservation Institute.

Brian Considine, Head Conservator of Decorative Arts at The J. Paul Getty Museum, helped with the recent translation of Marquetry by Piere Ramond. The new English edition has been published by Taunton Press in Connecticut.

The conservation of the fire damaged art at the First Interstate Bank has been completed. The acidic soot was removed from 255 paintings, prints, textiles and sculpture by a team of Los Angeles based conservators over a period of 12 months. The coordinating conservator for the project was Glenn Wharton. Other participating conservators were Robert Aitchison, Victoria Blyth Hill, Denise Domergue, Sharon Shore, Mark Watters and Rosamond Westmoreland.

Louise Coffey, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Costumes and Textiles at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, has transferred to the Museum's Conservation Center for a period of four months beginning December 1989. Louise will perform the duties of Conservation Technician under the direction of Catherine McLean, Conservator of Textiles.

Chris Stavroudis has volunteered to serve on the Hazardous Wastes and Artist's Materials subcommittees of the West Hollywood Environmental Task Force. Rosanna Zubiate, Textile Conservator, previously at the Textile Conservation Center at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, announces the opening of Textile Conservation Studio at 827 Berkshire Avenue; La Cañada-Flintridge, CA 91011; (818) 790-7055.


Lorraine Daley Jones, conservator with the Arizona Historical Society, just completed a fiber dyeing class conducted by Linda Knutson and sponsored by a local spinning and weaving business. The AHS is also using a recent IMS grant in early December for a survey of their building's condition.

On October 24, Nancy Odegaard (Arizona State Museum), Elizabeth Welsh (private practice, Phoenix), Jim Robertson (Western Archaeological Conservation Center), and Lorraine Daley Jones (Arizona Historical Society) participated in a pre-conference seminar on conservation awareness for objects at the Western Museum Conference, Phoenix.

Jim Robertson reports that the conservation staff at Western Archaeological Conservation Center has been working on a collection of willow mats from Chaco Canyon. Conservation treatment consists of mechanical cleaning and the preparation of storage/travel containers.

Gloria Fraser Giffords and Robert Vint (architect in charge of the restoration of San Xavier del Bac, Tucson) conducted a "walk-through, over and around" at the mission for 20 members of the Associates of Art History, University of Arizona, explaining the problems with the site, its conservation needs, and the recent work being done at this late 18th century site. A fee was charged and the proceeds split between the Associates of Art History and the Patronato - the group responsible for the care and conservation of the structure.

Pacific Northwest

Barbara Roberts has spent most of the summer in New York surveying and rehousing the collections of the New York Historical Society under an IMS grant, including emergency planning and disaster preparedness. In August Barbara was designated chairman of the newly-formed ICOM Ad Hoc Committee on Disaster Reduction, and is hoping to assist in the organization of committees in member countries to share ideas and exchange information on disaster mitigation. Barbara has also started, with Patricia Tuttle-Leavengood, an informal discussion group for conservators in the Northwest or those interested in the conservation field. For more information about the next meeting contact Barbara at (206) 281-9090 or Patricia at (206) 587-3725.

Jack Thompson hosted the 9th Annual Standards Seminar of the Guild of Book Workers on October 27th. He attended the American Library Association's Binding Institute Workshop the weekend of Nov. 3-4. Jack is pleased to announce the birth of his first grandchild, Kayla.

Sonja Sopher and Elisabeth Chambers attended the 20th semi-annual Pacific Region meting of the CGI-CG at the Royal British Columbia Museum on Nov. 4. It is hoped that participation by U.S. conservators in these meetings will generate interest in regional conservation problems and concerns that bridge national boundaries.

Jack Lucas, of the Lucas Conservation Laboratory, is working on two 4' x 22' WPA murals by artist C.S. Price. The canvases are being cleaned and prepared for remounting on stretchers. The project was sponsored by a grant from the Fred Myer Co., which covered all but $2,000 of the treatment costs, with the stipulation that the remaining $2,000 come from the public in increments of $25 or less, thus generating wide local support. The paintings are currently located in Pendleton, Oregon.

As Associate Director of Museum Services, Gail Joice is supervising a program of remounting and rehousing sculpture and objects in the collections of the Seattle Art Museum for seismic stabilization. Consulting conservators for the project are Jerry Podany, Patricia Tuttle-Leavengood and Barbara Roberts.

New Mexico

The U.S. Information Service has invited Bettina Raphael to lecture on issues in archaeological and ethnographic conservation at the Conference on the Restoration of Cultural Patrimony sponsored by the Guatemalan government in Guatemala City, November 28 - December 1.

Claire Munzenrider, Patricia Morris and visiting conservator, Dan Kushell, have completed an IMS-funded computer-based survey of the paintings and works of art on paper at the Museum of Fine Arts in New Mexico.

Steve Prins has been awarded a contract by the city of Albuquerque to conserve paintings by Taos Indian artist, Pop Chalee; they are to be exhibited at Albuquerque's newly renovated airport.

At the request of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, Claire Munzenrider continues to serve on the Commission for Historic New Mexico Churches. She has been advising on the conservation of interior contents in relation to adobe architectural preservation.


Paper conservators Lisbeth Pederson and Karen Potje, and paintings conservator Catherine Rogers have joined the staff at Perry Huston & Associates, Inc. in Fort Worth.

Perry Huston is supervising 8-12 conservators during the first phase of a mural project for the Library of Congress. Perry Huston & Associates also recently completed a survey of approximately 260 paintings in the State Capital collection in Austin, and are working on approximately 60 paintings from the West Point Military Academy Museum.

Linda Ervin is working with paper conservator Cheryl Carraba at Carraba Conservation in Austin and volunteering in the Conservation Department of the Huntington Art Gallery at the University of Texas in Austin with paintings conservators Sara McElroy and Mark van Gelder.

In October, Mark van Gelder gave a seminar at the Cowboy Artists of America Museum in Kerrville, Texas, providing basic conservation information for the staff of numerous small museums in central Texas.

Objects Conservator Marilyn Lenz joined the staff of the Texas Memorial Museum and Balcones Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin in November. The Texas Memorial Museum plans to hire a second objects conservator soon.

In September, directors, archivists, and conservation administrators from the National Archives of 10 Latin American countries attended a conference of the Latin American Archives Preservation and Conservation Institute hosted by the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas in Austin. Speakers at the conference included Paul Banks and Carolyn Harris from Columbia University, Sally Buchanan from the University of Pittsburgh and Karen Garlick from the National Archives of the United States.

WAAC Regional Reporters

Longtime WAAC regional reporter, Jack Thompson has turned over his reporting duties to Patricia Tuttle-Leavengood. Jack has been a regional reporter since May 1984. The Board and editorial staff wish to thank Jack for his years of contributions to the Newsletter. WAAC also wishes to herald and welcome Mark van Gelder and Landis Smith as our new Regional Reporters covering Texas and New Mexico, respectively. 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: Glenn Wharton; 549 Hot Springs Rd; Santa Barbara, CA 93108; (805) 565-3639 or (213) 397- 4077, who coordinates this section of the newsletter, or the Editor.

The WAAC Regional Reporters are:

Mark van Gelder; Conservation Dept.; Huntington Art Gallery; University of Texas; 23rd & San Jacinto; Austin, TX 78712-1204; (512) 471-9294.

New Mexico
Landis Smith; Museum of New Mexico; 208 Gonzales Road; Santa Fe, NM 87504; (505) 989-9379.

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
Patricia Tuttle-Leavengood; Art Conservation Services; 215 2nd Avenue So.; Seattle, WA 98104; (206) 587-3725.

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