Volume 12, Number 2, May 1990, p.15
"At Boston's Gardner Museum, behind-the-scenes conservators are in a race against time to save a unique collection". Unfortunately, the Gardner Museum's founder Isabella Stewart Gardner's mandate dictates that the collection of almost 2,000 objects on display may never be added to, rearranged in any way or put into storage. Changes to the building are apparently also out of the question, making the environment a constant problem causing rapid deterioration to the entire collection, thus making the conservation treatments an ongoing process.
In 1980 the Shell Oil Corp paid a fee of $3500 to East Los Angeles Streetscapers, a prominent Los Angeles muralist group, to have a mural painted on a wall adjoining a gasoline station in Boyle Heights. In 1988 the mural was painted over. Superior Court Judge Harvey A. Schneiderman recently ruled "that the landmark California Art Preservation Act--enacted a decade ago to protect artworks from unauthorized alteration or destruction--is powerless to prevent demolition or painting over of murals". Schneiderman held that, "based on a review of the legislative history of the art preservation act, Sacramento lawmakers apparently left a loophole by failing to specifically identify murals as artworks that enjoy legal protection. The law cites sculpture, drawing, original work in glass and paintings--but not murals".
DIED. Georges de Mestral, 82, stick-to-itive Swiss inventor of Velcro; in Genolier, Switerland. In 1941 after a walk in the woods near his Geneva home, the engineer observed that his wool socks and jacket and his dog's fur were covered with burrs. By 1948 he had found a way to duplicate the grasp of the burrs with nylon. Since then Velcro has been used in the making of countless items, from children's clothing to heart valves.