Volume 15, Number 1, Jan 1993, pp.11-17

Regional News

Lesley Bone, column editor
San Francisco Bay Area

At the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Objects Lab, Lesley Bone is winding up the Stanford Memorial Church restoration project. Elisabeth Cornu is recommencing work on NEA-funded efforts to conserve a 16th-century gilded polychrome Spanish ceiling with the help of conservators Alejandro Reyes Vizzvett, Krassimir Gatev, and conservation assistants Angela Sinicropi and Bob Rosenberg.

Lesley, Jo Hill, and Michele Derrick (Getty Conservation Institute) are starting the next phase of the Binding Media Project which is a joint collaboration with the Ethnographic working group-ICOM. This involves the collection, documentation, and analysis binding media used to fabricate painted ethnographic artifacts. Kress Fellow Chris Augerson is starting a private practice. Pre-training intern Tracy Radeff is working in the lab on an ivory project.

The Textiles Lab, with Sarah Gates at the helm, is continuing work on an IMS-funded grant to improve ethnographic textile storage as well as conservation of objects for the "Unraveling Yarns" exhibition. Sarah is also trying to combat an infestation of odd beetle and an outbreak of mould in storage. Pre-training interns include: Alys Larsen (a recent transplant from Albany, New York), Joanne Hackett (survey of the de Young collection of shoes), and Cameron McNeil (a costume design student from Tennessee). Other Textile Lab projects include the analysis of weave structure, by several local weavers, of a recent Bolivian textile acquisition. Volunteer Suzanne Stassevitch (San Francisco Opera Wardrobe Mistress) is reorganizing the costume collection.

At the Western Regional Paper Conservation Laboratory (WRPCL), they are busy making plans for the reconstruction of their lab at the Legion of Honor. Sarah Melching, formerly with WRPCL, has moved to Seattle where she is setting up a private practice in the conservation of paper and photographs. WRPCL welcomes Alison Luxner, a third year intern from the Winterthur program. Leslie Kruth, a contract conservator a WRPCL, has been appointed Vice President of the American Institute for Conservation. Debra Evans and Leslie have taken over from Bob Futernick the editing of paper conservation articles for the AIC Journal. In October, Bob met with a small group of conservators at the Art Institute of Chicago to discuss the use of digital imaging in conservation.

Dale Kronkright has conducted four volunteer training sessions for the Save Outdoor Sculpture program, (SOS!). Dale also conducted an integrated pest management training session for the Pomo Tribal Museum at the Army Corp of Engineers Visitor Center at Lake Mendocino. Dale and Ron Harvey (Maine) worked for a month developing a set of earthquake and exhibit supports for a collection of ancient ceramics and glass which secure the wire mounts to neodymium rare earth magnets.

Therese O'Gorman received a grant from the Kress Foundation to attend one of the recent courses at the Institute of Archaeology in London called "Materials for Conservation."

Mark Harpainter is nearing the completion of the treatment of the arts and crafts period collection by Lucia and Arthur Matthews from the Oakland Museum. Kathy Gillis, currently a third year intern from the Winterthur program, spent her summer work project studying furniture conservation with Mark.

Tony Rockwell, the founder of SFMOMA's Elise S. Haas Conservation Department in the early 1970s, returned to the museum in the summer of 1992. In collaboration with the staff paintings conservators and interns, Tony treated a Robert Motherwell "Elegy" painting with a long history of reoccurring cleavage due to the artist's materials. The paper and photographs conservation lab is very pleased to announce generous grant awards from both the Getty Grant Program and the IMS for an item-by-item survey of the museums vast photography collection. Jill Sterrett Beaudin and Theresa Andrews will be working with Debbie Hess Norris, Marc Harnly (BACC) and Pauline Mohr (WRPCL) in completion of this project. Will Shank and Theresa completed a CAP survey of Mills College Art Gallery in June.

Neil Cockerline spent a week in New York City in mid-August consulting, with the conservation team headed by Debra Selden, on the Old Custom House mural project. Ivan Rodenko, a pre-program student at the lab, has been working on a complex surface treatment of a painting by Odd Nerdrum. After 15 years of courtship, we are happy to announce that Paula De Cristofaro and Don Bartlett were married in Mendocino, in October.

Karen Zukor and Anita Noennig are pleased to announce the joining of their paper conservation studios in a new location. Zukor Art Conservation and Daedalus, both long established in Oakland, are moving in late November and plan to be re-established by the New Year.

Tracy Power has recently completed the conservation of several outdoor sculptures, for The Arts Commission.

Madeleine Fang, Hearst Museum, Berkeley, has been supervising several local conservators in the condition survey of many of the Hearst objects in the collection.

Regional Reporter:
Theresa Andrews
SFMOMA Conservation Department
401 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102

Rocky Mountain Region

Lori Mellon, Director of RMCC, recently addressed the Board of the Colorado Council on the Arts regarding proposed operating support grants for arts agencies throughout the State. She spoke on "Conservation's Constituency: Raising Awareness and Funds" at the annual meeting of the National Institute for Conservation (NIC) at the National Gallery of Art in Washington.

M. Randall (Randy) Ash, RMCC's head of paintings conservation, is chairing the Local Arrangements Committee for AIC's Denver meeting in June.

The Bay Foundation of New York has awarded the Association of Regional Conservation Centers, a national body of which Rocky Mountain Conservation Center is a founding member, a grant of $100,000 to raise awareness of art conservation through national marketing and fund raising efforts. RMCC will host an ARCC meeting in conduction with the AIC meeting next spring.

Judy Greenfield attended a series of conservation seminars at New York University in October about conservation environmental and security concerns.

A production crew from California recently filmed RMCC conservation work on a 15th century Chinese Temple Fresco belonging to the Denver Art Museum. The film will be a part of the Denver Art Museums Centennial Exhibition called "Collecting, Preserving, Interpreting," which will highlight their hundred year history.

Laura Wait announces the birth of Connor Wait Hagerty on September 27, 1992. Laura is temporarily working part-time in her Denver studio.

Terri Schindel relocated to South Pass City, Wyoming to work for the Friends of South Pass Historic Site. Her private practice will specialize in textile conservation. Terri presented a case history entitled "Conservation of a Spanish Colonial Burial Suit" to a November meeting of the Costume Society of America held in Indianapolis. In Saint Marys City, Maryland, she will consult as textile conservator on the three lead coffin excavations dating to the late 17th c.

Carl Patterson, Denver Art Museum conservator, has performed over 200 treatments on Spanish Colonial, pre-Columbian and Asian objects slated for reinstallation in renovated galleries. Carl also conducted surveys this fall for the Nez Perce Historic Park in Spalding Idaho and for the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe.

Faith Bad Bear, conservation assistant to Beverly Perkins, Buffalo Bill Historical Center, presented "Strategies for the Care and Maintenance of Cultural Objects." The workshop was sponsored by the Office of Museum Programs and hosted by the Lummi Indian Nation at Northwest Indian College, Billingham Washington. Faith is also working as a consultant for the Smithsonian with Wendy Jessup & Assoc., to develop storage units for sacred and ceremonial objects for the "Indian Peoples of the Three Americas."

David C. Bauer, Western Center for Conservation of Fine Arts (WCCFA), has accepted a position as head paintings conservator at Intermuseum Laboratory, Oberlin, Ohio beginning November.

Conservators Bob McCarroll and Camilla Van Vooren have completed CAP surveys this fall for World Figure Skating Museum in Colorado Springs, the University Museum, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, and the Turner Art Museum, Denver. Bob also conducted a one-day lecture/workshop on the care of paper at Old West Museum, Cheyenne as part of an IMS conservation grant.

Regional Reporters:
Constance Mohrman
1225 Santa Fe Drive
Denver, Colorado 80204
Diane Danielson
Rocky Mountain Conservation Center
2420 South University Boulevard
Denver, Colorado 80208


Ellen McCrady and Linda Agler, of Abbey Newsletter and Alkaline Paper Advocate, report that they have moved from Provo to Austin, Texas. The new address for Abbey Publications is: 7105 Geneva Drive, Austin, TX 78723; phone 512/929-3992.

In November, Michael Gallagher, graduate of the Hamilton Kerr program, joined the Kimball Art Museum as Assistant Conservator.

Judy Atkin, paper conservator from the Durham County Archives, England, recently began a 1 year internship in the Conservation Department of the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas,(UTA) Austin. Carolyn Harris reports that approximately 10-15, mostly part-time students enrolled in the preservation administration component of the new course at the University. A series of Forums, funded by the NEH, were conducted during the fall semester including speakers such as Gordon B. Neavill on electronic records preservation, Pamela Spitzmueller on binding techniques, Debra McKern on preservation assessment and William Lull on environmental control.

The Natural History lab at the Texas Memorial Museum has received an IMS-Conservation grant to assist with the condition and rehousing of their fluid specimen collections. David van Endt (CAL) will be sent samples for his study on this subject.

Perry Huston and his team are currently working on a project in Houston which involves the removal of a large Rufino Tamayo mural from a wall and its subsequent conservation.

Karen Potje recently completed a survey of the works of art and documents on paper at the Jake and Nancy Hamon Library at Southern Methodist University.

Sally Shelton has been serving since June as consulting conservator and expert government witness in a case involving a Tyrannosaurus fossil seized by the FBI. Recently, Sally participated as part of a crisis response team when vertebrate collections at Texas A&M University were flooded by a ruptured hot water line. She has also been working on a number of publications, including a chapter for the upcoming Butterworths volume on the conservation of fossil material co-authored with Jessica Johnson; two chapters for the Cambridge publication on vertebrate paleontology preparation techniques and a paper on the deterioration of the Glen Rose dinosaur track way which is to be published by the Collection Forum. Jessica has also began a project with Marilyn Lenz to identify alloys and corrosion products on historic coins and medallions in the Swenson Collection.

Marilyn, Sally and Jessica developed a temporary exhibit on conservation for a commercial exhibition space in downtown Austin, and are busy developing an introductory course on conservation for the UTA.

In November Paul Banks spoke on controlling the environment at the Amigos annual preservation conference.

Regional Reporter:
Mark Van Gelder
Huntington Art Gallery
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712-1205

Pacific Northwest

Peter Malarkey has completed building his new paintings conservation studio.

Chiara Carcano-Carl, painting conservation graduate from the Central Institute for Conservation in Rome; after 10 years in private practice in Rome, has relocated this year to Seattle.

Barbara Roberts lectured on developments within the Ad Hoc Committee on Disaster Mitigation (ICOM) and other related matters at the "Disaster Prevention, Response and Recovery" meeting held in Boston in October (see conference reviews). Her lecture will be published in the upcoming issue of Technology and Conservation. Barbara is presently working on a conservation treatment project in Montana, and will then be spending two months at the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, preparing objects for exhibition in a new gallery space.

Kjerstin Mackie reports that the presence of asbestos in the exhibits and curatorial buildings of the Royal British Colombia Museum necessitated a long and complicated project. The conservators mandate was to assess the state of the collections, stabilize artifacts so they could be safely moved and oversee packing so that the asbestos could be removed. Articles on some of the textile moving methods have been submitted to the publication Textile Conservation Newsletter.

Jonathan Taggart has been working on CAP assessments, including the Crook County Historical Society in Sundance, Wyoming, the Wade House Historical Site in Greenbush, Wisconsin, and the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle, Washington. He is the exhibit conservator of "Sacred Encounters" and is beginning the mount-making and traveling crate fabrication for this show. Additionally, he is preparing to de-install and conserve the bronze sculpture known as "The Elk" from Portland, Oregon.

Jack C. Thompson videotaped the presentations at the Guild of Book Workers Annual Standards Seminar, in San Francisco, in October. He also went to the NPS site on Alcatraz Island to scout locations for placement of DataBear data loggers to record temperature, relative humidity, lux, and energy (w/m3) incident on the site, with DataBear manufacturer Leon Langan. For the medieval-style papermill in Idaho, new hammer faces for the papermill have been cast from manganese bronze. They will be put into service by April 1993. The first paper completely processed at the mill was manufactured during July 1992.

Regional Reporter:
Patricia Leavengood
215 Second Avenue South
Seattle, Washington 98104

Greater Los Angeles and Santa Barbara

Rosamond Westmoreland attended the IIC Congress in Madrid and presented a paper on the examination and treatment of a 17th-century Spanish polychrome sculpture from the J.Paul Getty Museum.

Robin Chamberlin has recently married and is now known as Robin Chamberlin Milburn. She reports that the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History opened in September with four inaugural exhibitions. She is supervising an IMS Conservation Project grant working with part-time conservation assistants Claudia Irmas, Maggie Dennis and Rowanne Henry on the vacuuming and storage in polyethylene bags of fur and feather artifacts.

Robert Portillo at the Eric Lachmann Coll. of Musical Instruments at UCLA spent 2 weeks visiting musical instrument collections on the East Coast, gathering information on sibling instruments to those in his care.

Tanya Thompson and Peter Lodato announce the arrival of their son Nicholas William on November 14th; he weighed 8 lbs, 1 oz.

Mark Watters, Robert Aitchison, Glenn Wharton, Sharon Shore and Tanya Thompson will be guest lectures in a series of public lectures concerning the handling and treatment of contemporary artworks at MOCA in January, 1993.

Aitchison & Watters Inc. and Lisa Foreman are relocating to Yucca St. in Hollywood.

Mary Holmes recently cleaned and repaired five rooms of wallpaper in an historic Pasadena house.

Mark Leonard and Andrea Rothe from the J. Paul Getty Museum surveyed and reported on the paintings collection at the Huntington Library in collaboration with Barbara Roberts and other conservators mentioned in the last WAAC Newsletter.

Jerry Podany gave a one day seminar, in September, on the conservation of stone at the University of Canberras Conservation Training Program, Australia. On October 16, he organized a session on the conservation of mosaics at the North American branch of the Association Internationale pour L'Etude de la Mosaique Antique (AIEMA) in Virginia where Claire Dean presented a paper on "On-Site Care of Archaeological Mosaics." Jerry was also a speaker at the Indiana State University Chemistry "Departments Chemistry and Society" lecture series.

Alvaro Rodriguez and Eduardo Carrasquillo, preparators at the African American Art Museum, will be spending several days a month working with mount makers Wayne Haak and Bob Sieger learning mount making techniques.

Irena Calinescu, Buffalo Art Conservation Program, is doing her third year internship in the Antiquities Conservation Department. Initially she worked with Lisbet Thoresen on the conservation of Egyptian sarcophagi, on loan from the LACMA, for the exhibition In the Tomb of Nefertari, Conservation of Wall Paintings. The exhibit opened in November and is being hosted by the Getty Museum in collaboration with GCI. Last summer Irena was doing field conservation in Mochlos, Crete.

Eduardo Sanchez, taking advantage of his recent trip to Spain visited the conservation laboratories of the Instituto de Conservacion y Restauracion de Bienes Culturales, in Madrid.

John Griswold has settled in to his masters degree at Queens. His thesis topic is: A Study of Some Aspects of Pigmented Silicate Materials in the Conservation of Stone. This will include a study of the history of the use of pigmented silicate materials in conservation and a practical investigation into the abilities of two ethyl silicate-based binders to carry pigments into the matrix of four different stone substrates.

The Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) is pleased to announce that Valerie Dorge, formerly of the Canadian Conservation Institute has joined the staff as Senior Coordinator of the Training Program.

Dr. Dusan Stulik is now the new acting Director of the Scientific Program at GCI. He steps up to this position after serving four years as the Head of the Analytical group. Michele Derrick has been promoted to the position of acting Head.

The Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) and the Egyptian Antiquities Organization have announced that they will undertake scientific study and conservation treatment of the tomb of Tutankhamun. The project will address deteriorating wallpaintings in the burial chamber and will develop a conservation training and site protection plan.

The GCI also will collaborate with the Office of the President of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic on the conservation of the 14-century "Last Judgment" mosaic of St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague. The mosaics glass tesserae have acquired a whitish, opaque surface which spoils the translucency of the glass.

Regional Reporters:
Catherine McLean
LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Sasha Stollman
Glenn Wharton & Associates
549 Hot Springs Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93108


The conservators at the Pacific Regional Conservation Center (PRCC) have been very busy with the aftermath of Hurricane Iniki on Kauai. Anita Manning, Tracie Mackenzie, Marion Lee, Melissa Arnold, Downey Manoukian, Susan Sayre Batton, Linda Hee, and Diana Dicus have been coordinating the emergency conservation effort for cultural institutions and historic sites on the island of Kauai. Many conservators, preservationists, and administrators on the mainland gave invaluable assistance sending handout materials, and advising on emergency funding and resources. This professional link with the mainland was important to the recovery process, culminating in a team of four conservators coming from the mainland to work with us for two weeks. Our disaster response work, supported by the NEH emergency fund, has included damage assessment, stabilization recommendations, limited retrieval and treatment, and longer term planning for treatment of selected artifacts and for staff and volunteers training in collection care procedures related to disaster recovery. Due to limited facilities on Kauai, work days on the island include a round trip air flight from Oahu. The visiting conservation team consisted of Jane Bassett, Randy Silverman, Debra Evans and Alison Luxner. Diana Dicus and Linda Hee accompanied the team to Kauai. Diana Dicus will soon be publishing an article about the relief effort. Despite the long hours and difficult circumstances, the aloha spirit prevailed.

Linda Hee with the help of technician Melissa Arnold have been working on the treatment of a Royal Hawaiian feathered kahili. Linda attended the WAAC meeting in Santa Fe and the Harpers Ferry Textile Conference in November. She continues her work for the anthropology collection move into new storage. An area of research related to the move is Linda's investigation of the use of nitrogen or carbon dioxide fumigation as an alternative to freeze sterilization for some materials.

Downey Manoukian with the help of Susan Sayre Batton and Honolulu Academy of Arts technician Susan Thompson have been conserving a collection of Japanese woodblock prints. Downey was the only PRCC staff person to have her home touched by Hurricane Iniki; her house suffered some structural damage and loss of vegetation.

Janice Schopfer spent the months of November and December working at the PRCC.

Anita Manning, Assistant Director of Collection Management, Bishop Museum, continues as Acting Director of PRCC.

Jeffery Kimball, objects conservator, has resigned to accept a postion with the new National Postal Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.

Diana Dicus has completed her Mellon Fellowship in Ethnographic Conservation and has been hired as an objects conservator at PRCC.

Paintings conservator Larry Pace, now in private practice in Honolulu, is doing contract work with PRCC.

Those who know PRCC secretary Julie Ancheta will be saddened to learn of the death of Julie's husband Pedro "Boy" Ancheta, in an industrial accident on Oahu, October 29, 1992.

Regional Reporter:
Diana Dicus
Pacific Regional Conservation Center
Bishop Museum
P.O. Box 19000-A
Honolulu, Hawaii 96817

San Diego

Gary Alden had initiated a compliance training program for the new Occupational Safety and Heath Administration Pathogens Standard. Conservators in the Paintings Lab are working on Thomas Moran's painting Mountain of the Holy Cross (1885) which belongs to the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum. The project was funded by an IMS Grant and the Getty Grant Program.

Frances Prichett has taken over from Marc Harnly as regional reporter for the San Diego area.

William Chandler has been appointed Project Historian for the reconstruction of the National Landmark building, House of Hospitality in Balboa Park, by the Preservation Architect in charge of the project, M. Wayne Donald.

Regional Reporter:
Frances Prichett
5235 35th Street,
San Diego, CA 92116
619/282 0368

Arizona & New Mexico

Richard Bauer (Tempe Historical Society) recently completed work on a new exhibit that illustrates the History of Barrios in Tempe. He has moved into the new remedial conservation and photo reproduction labs.

Gloria Fraser Giffords, paintings, reports that a new revised edition of her book on Mexican Folks Retablos is available from the University of New Mexico Press.

Martha Grimm, has been working on projects for the Missouri Historical Society and as a consultant for the Arizona Quilt Project. In November she gave a public lecture and conservation workshop on quilts at the Arizona State University Art Museum. Martha reports that the book, Hand Stitches Used in Textile Conservation, written by a committee from the Textile Conservation Group, NY, will soon be available.

Linda Morris has been working on several Hurricane Andrew projects.

Elizabeth Welsh enjoyed a visit from Ellen Pearlstein of The Brooklyn Museum, in Phoenix to oversee installation of Objects of Myth and Memory, and from Miriam Clavir of the University of B.C. Museum of Anthropology, in Phoenix as part of a project to study relations between museums and Native Americans.

Nancy Odegaard, recently taught in the "Strategies for Care and Maintenance of Cultural Objects" course offered by the Smithsonian's American Indian Studies Program held at the Lummi Reservation in Washington. Getty Fellow Jo Willey made a site visit and has begun analysis for a research project concerning the soluble salts and stabilization methods for the ceramics from Casas Grandes in the Arizona State Museum collection. ASM Interns: Scott Carroll (Carnegie Museum) made a presentation about ASM exhibit case and microclimate studies at the AASLH Miami meetings; Michelle Hebert has joined the staff at the New Brunswick Museum at St. John; Rebecca Snyder has relocated to San Diego and is interested in conservation opportunities there. Mary Gissing, (Power house Museum-Sydney), Miriam Clavir, (UBC Museum-Vancouver), and Jessie Johnson, (Texas Memorial Museum-Austin) recently collected research information at ASM.

Jim Roberts, (NPS-WACC) was part of a collection management team from NPS centers at Sunset Crater, Wupatki National Monument and Walnut Canyon. Gretchen Voeks is the new Assistant Conservator. She and Jim were sent to Channel Island National Park, CA in September to work on a flooded storage disaster. They also completed the 1,800-item WACC ceramic survey.

Regional Reporters:
Nancy Odegaard
Arizona State Museum, Univ. of Ariz.
Tucson, AZ 85721
Landis Smith
208 A Gonzales Road
Santa Fe, NM 87501

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