Volume 16, Number 2, May 1994, pp.9-12

Regional News

Pauline Mohr, column editor

In response to an increased membership scattered ever farther from the founding WAAC epicenters of Los Angeles/San Diego/San Francisco, I'd like to address the intent of this column. The thrice-yearly Newsletter is our principal source of communication about all our concerns and the "Regional News" column about our daily activities. Over the years it has lengthened considerably. The regional reporter system was initiated to facilitate the gathering of personal and professional news. It remains, however, the responsibility of the individual members to generate news to be included in the column. As might be imagined it is impossible for any regional reporter to contact each individual to solicit news. Please remember that the Newsletter has for years had a January, May and September publication schedule. That means that any news must be given to the regional reporter approximately eight weeks before the first day of each of those months (ie. the first of November, March and July). This permits the reporter to forward regional news to the vice-president who collects and edits as necessary all the regional contributions to be sent to the editor. Note that each regional reporter's address and telephone appear at the end of his/her section. Although some may feel that those in print are only touting themselves we do want to hear what everyone is doing. Because of our very large membership and the risk of transforming the Newsletter into People magazine, please use judgment in your submissions. Keep in mind the personal and professional value your news could provide to other colleages and friends. Not everyone needs to appear every issue but if the news warrants it please send it in. We want to be as inclusive as possible and assure all members of the value we place on everyone's work.

Pauline Mohr, Column Editor
Pacific Northwest

Barbara Roberts spent three weeks in Croatia in October of 1993 as a consultant to ICOM (International Council of Museums) to assess war damage to movable cultural property and what measures could be taken by the international community to assist colleagues and collections there. A report is currently being edited for publication by ICOM.

Peter Malarkey and Jodie Utter removed two early 20th c 8' x 9' painted murals from St. Mary's Cathedral in Mt. Angel, OR following a 1993 earthquake that caused structural damage. The murals were cleaned, faced and then removed and are awaiting reinstallation after structural reinforcements are put in place.

Troy Lucas has recently completed treatment on a large copy of Murillo's Immaculate Conception for the St. James Catholic Church Historical Society. Three large paintings by Seattle artist Susan Singleton were also treated and installed in a local hospital.

Alice Bear finished a year-long project conserving 68 pencil portrait sketches by Gustav Sohon documenting the 1855 Blackfoot Treaty in Walla Walla.

Jack Thompson completed an NIC survey of the Palm Springs Historical Society and completed a one-year survey of temperature, RH, light and energy at the NPS site of Alcatraz. With Roger Marin, he is developing a line of dataloggers to measure UV, temperature, RH, and acceleration for works of art in transit. With Jim Croft, he is dismembering linen fire hose for making paper pulp using the water-driven stamp mill they have built in Idaho. With Jeff Cawley, he has begun designing a modern version of a Catalan furnace for the production of wrought iron from ochre. The wrought iron will be use in his forges in Oregon and Idaho to manufacture parts for the planned expansion of the paper mill in Idaho, and tools, as required.

Regional Reporter:

Alice Bear
Conservation of Works of Art on Paper
P.O.Box 24262
Seattle, WA 98124

Texas and Oklahoma

Preservation and Conservation Studies (PCS), Graduate School of Library and Information Science, The University of Texas at Austin is currently providing two graduate level study tracks: Library and Archives Conservation and Preservation Administration. The staff of Paul Banks, Roberta Pilette and Bonnie Orr are currently teaching, editing the Conservation Administration News and organizing the weekly Forum on Conservation and Preservation.

Staff at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center attended a one-day workshop on gold tooling presented by Don Glaister, design bookbinder from Massachusetts.

Jessica Johnson gave a talk to the Texas Archaeological Research Laboratory entitled "Recent Archaeology and Conservation at Gordion, the City of Midas".

Sandra Blackard conducted assessments for three different National Park Service sites and a CAP assessment for the Great Plains Art Museum.

Csilla Felker-Dennis recently conducted three CAP surveys for museums in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.

Richard Trela attended the "Art in Transit" workshop in Oberlin, Ohio. He and John Dennis lectured at a one-day workshop for the Collection Managers Committee of the Texas Association of Museums on the care of outdoor art and artifacts.

The Thomas Gilcrease Museum of American History and Art was awarded an IMS Conservation Project Support Grant for 1994 to assist in a comprehensive assessment of the museums's environmental conditions and pest management program. The Gilcrease Museum's conservation department under the direction of Gayle Clements is preparing oil paintings and watercolors by George Catlin for a traveling exhibition. Another project of the lab is to create a database on artists represented in the museum's collection. Gayle also prepared a technical bulletin, "Guidelines for Framing Canvas Paintings in Traditional Frames without Glazing, Part I" published in the January 1994 issue of MuseNews, Oklahoma Museum Association's newsletter.

Mark Van Gelder has established a new private practice in Austin: Art Conservation Services, 4604-B Evans Avenue, Austin, TX 78751, phone 512/458-9809

Regional Reporters:

Jessie Johnson
Materials Conservation Laboratory
Texas Memorial Museum
10100 Burnet Road
Austin, TX 78758

Gayle Clements
Gilcrease Museum
1400 Gilcrease Museum Road
Tulsa, OK 74127-2100

Rocky Mountain Region

Judy Greenfield recently presented a seminar on "Housekeeping Techniques for Historic Sites" held at the Hiwan Historical Museum.

Teresa Knutson performed a survey of the Southwestern rug collection at the University of Southern Colorado. Lori Mellon attended the Association of Regional Conservation Centers (ARCC) meeting held in San Diego in February.

Paul Messier presented a seminar to the University of Denver Chemistry Department concerning "Chemistry in Conservation". One highlight of his talk focused on electrochemical removal of corrosive residue from a daguerreotype. He and Jeff Wells attended the NARA Annual Preservation Conference in Washington, DC in March.

With five other Fulbright honorees, M. Randall Ash reviewed Fulbright applications in Washington, DC. She has recently completed conservaton on several WPA murals originally painted for the Ft. Lutton High School. When renovation took place several years ago they were removed and stored. Now they grace the walls of the new library that was designed to house them.

The name of the Ordway Artifact Conservation Center, a partnership project of the Colorado Historical Society and the Colorado Department of Corrections has been changed to Colorado Artifact Conservation Services. The grand opening of the facility was December 14, 1993. For more information regarding this project please contact Jeanne Brako at 303/866-4693.

Robert McCarroll has recently become a docent for the Hiwan Homestead Museum in Evergreen, CO. His vast knowledge of the area and conservation experience of Western art will add greatly to their tours.

Camilla Van Vooren spoke to the docents and volunteers of the Denver Art Museum concerning the conservation philosophies and methods used by Western Center for the Conservaton of Fine Art (WCCFA) over the past ten years in the treatment of the museum's Spanish Colonial collection.

The Ponca City Library's "Adopt a Painting" program of the Robert G. Matzene collections has been completed and was commemorated at an opening on March 13, 1994.

Pre-program intern at WCCFA, Rundi Wichers, is participating in the mass treatment of smoke-damaged works of art from a historic home in Georgetown.

Karen Jones, Preservation Officer at Jefferson County Public Library, received the Gaylord Collection's Conservation Award, permitting her to attend the AMIGOS Collections Conservation Training Class in Austin, March 14-19.

Regional Reporter:

Diane Danielson
Rocky Mountain Conservation Center
2420 South University Blvd.
Denver, CO 80208

San Francisco Bay Area

Genevieve Baird completed surveying all the 38 monuments in Golden Gate Park for the Arts Commission of San Francisco. The Art Commission has established an "Adopt a Monument Program" and the survey will set up guidelines and costs for the conservation and ongoing maintenance of the monuments for prospective donors or contributors. In June Genevieve and Larry Rief will be in Truckee undertaking maintenance work on the Pioneer Memorial in Donner State Historic Park. In April and May they will be doing maintenance on the eight monuments on the Market Street corridor in San Francisco. Genevieve is designing and implementing an ongoing and consistent maintenance program for the monuments owned by the San Francisco Art Commission.

Theresa Meyer Andrews has commenced private practice in paper and photograph conservation. She can be reached at 4341 Edgewood, Oakland, CA 94602, 510/482-4698

Liz Crumly is again accepting large textiles for conservation. During the past two years her studio and home have been undergoing extensive remodeling and her practice has been limited to consultation concerning textile conservation and smaller conservation mounting projects. She has most recently been working with silk embroideries, American circa 1810 along with the mounting of several Peruvian archaeological textiles, circa 500 AD.

The Asian Art Museum completed a year-long computerized condition survey of its collection funded by the Getty Grant Program. Katharine Untch co-ordinated the project and surveyed the objects. Working with her were Julie Goldman, project paper conservator, Meg Geiss Mooney, consulting textile conservator and Philip Hofstetter, photographer and Linda Scheifler Marks, project supervisor. A three year treatment plan was devised based upon the survey findings. Katharine also initiated conservation services on an archaeological site in Turkey near the Euphrates River. Pending funding, she will be returning there this summer, supervising two summer interns. Philip was the project videographer this summer and fall in Yaxuna, Yucatan, a Mayan archaeological excavation where he documented two pyramid tomb discoveries. The footage appeared in a report on the National Geographic Explorer television program. Julie Goldman and Bob Rosner are thrilled to announce the arrival of their son, Jacob Gabriel Maxwell, from Bahia, Brazil. Linda attended the conference "Conservation of Urushi Objects", the 17th International Symposium on the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Property sponsored by the Tokyo National Research Institute of Cultural Property from 10-12 November 1993. Postprints from the conference will be published.

In October Jane Klinger hosted the visit of Youg Sook Lee, Archivist from the National Archives of Korea. Ms. Lee was on an extended visit to the United States to learn about archival practice and preservation of archival records in this country. Jane took Ms. Lee on field trips to the California State Archives, and Stanford University Libraries Conservation Laboratory and the Hoover Institution Conservation Laboratory where she met with Eleanor Stewart, Walter Henry and Maria Grandinette. Jane attended the annual meeting of Friends of Dard Hunter in Atlanta where she also attended a special opening reception for the American Museum of Papermaking at the Institute of Paper Science and Technololgy. In mid-February Jane went to the National Archives Alaska Region to train archives personnel in disbinding techniques and in humidification and flattening. She also became quite an expert at imitating a human icicle. Jane also taught for the Society of American Archivists Preservation Management Training Program, an NEH funded program fostering a core of ongoing preservation programs across the country and pioneering the concept of preservation as a function of overall archival management. The program consists of three weeks of intensive training. Jane also taught the second week of the Western Series which was held in Palo Alto.

Caitlin Jeffrey spent one week at the Stanford University Libraries Conservation Lab training in construction phase boxes under the guidance of Walter Henry.

Michael Sandgren, packer at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, retired after 14 years of fabulous packing, crating, and 3-d design. He will be sorely missed by all, especially the conservation staff who have relied on him to keep the permanent collection and loans safe whenever the works travel. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is pleased to welcome pre- program intern Amy Meyer who will be working in the painting conservation lab one day per week. Objects conservator Glenn Wharton from Santa Barbara is conducting an item-by-item survey of the sculpture collection of SFMOMA which is funded by grants from the NEA and IMS.

In November 1993, James Bernstein was Guest Lecturer for the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University and the Buffalo Conservation Program at Buffalo State College. Jim gave presentations on the Special Problems in the Conservation of Modern Art and Compensation Techniques, including studio demonstrations on pigments, inpainting materials and methods. Bay Area collections of contemporary art have kept Jim busy with a challenging spectrum of collections care and treatment problems. Pauline Mohr, working with Jim part-time in addition to her WRPCL position, has been active with an interesting variety of treatments for paintings by William Coulter, Childe Hassam, Thomas Hill and John McLaughlin. Ria German, third year Buffalo Program conservation intern with Jim this year, has been studying and conserving paintings and mixed media/paper works by Elmer Bischoff, Wallace Berman, Chris Brown, Theodore Butler, William Coulter, Sam Francis, Mike Henderson, Charles Wilson Peale, Rembrandt Peale and Ed Ruscha, as well as historic wallpapers "Les Incas" by Dufour.

Mark Harpainter has just completed a large furniture project consisting of 14 reproduction hybrid English Regency chairs with Chinoiserie surface decoration. His concern was to translate traditional materials into modern ones providing better aging characteristics and practical use for the client. The chairs were built by furniture maker, Richard Gatti, and finished and decorated by Mark using water-based lacquers and synthetic gesso.

Chris Augerson is no in private practice at: Augerson Art Conservation Services, 1762 Church Street, San Francisco, CA 94131; phone 415/824-1293

Regional Reporter:

Theresa Andrews
formerly: Paper Conservation
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

new address: Photograph Conservation
4341 Edgewood Avenue
Oakland, CA 94602

Greater Los Angeles and Santa Barbara

Elizabeth Mention is taking a three month renewal leave in the hills of Tuscany from her position in the J. Paul Getty Museum Paintings Conservation Department.

Holger Manzke is a guest conservator from Berlin at the Getty Museum Paintings Conservation Department. He is spending three months conserving a Carlo Dolci painting from the Bode Museum in Berlin.

Yvonne Szafran and Andrea Rothe from the Getty Museum spoke on paintings conservation techniques at the The San Diego Museum of Art in January.

Ernie Mack from the Getty Photographic Conservation Department reports there was no real damage due to the Northridge earthquake. Their prevention measures worked well. Glenn Wharton & Associates, Inc. would like to announce John Griswold as a new partner. The business name has been changed to Wharton & Griswold Associates, Inc. John has been working with Glenn Wharton since 1988. He is currently finishing his masters thesis for the Art Conservation Program at Queens University. John's area of specialization is the conservation of inorganic materials, including sculpture, architectural elements and archaeological materials. Wharton & Griswold Associates, Inc. has been asked to serve as conservation consultants for California SOS!. Glenn and John will conduct training sessions for volunteers over the next two years to help them identify sculpture materials and signs of deterioration.

John Griswold and Blanche Kim are assisting Eric Hansen at the Getty Conservation Institute with research on preconsolidation and desalination of salt-contaminated stone.

Sharon Blank has established a private conservation practice specializing in ethnographic and contemporary objects: 2325 32nd Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405; 310/450-4575

Jerry Podany traveled to Conimbriga, Portugal to attend the 5th conference of the International Committee for the Conservation of Mosaics. During the meeting he was elected as a new member to the ICOM Board of Directors. Research on a new reburial technique being researched by Jerry, Neville Agnew and Martha Demas, both of the Getty Conservation Institute, was presented by Jerry.

Laurie German is in private practice specializing in furniture and wooden objects: 951 Hauser Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036; 213/934-4261

Wayne Haak will deliver a paper explaining how the isolation device functions for the Getty s limestone 5th century B.C. Aphrodite cult figure at the 5th U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering, July 10-14, 1994 in Chicago, Il. Wayne and Bob Sieger will be working for two days with Jack Mackey and Gordon Lambert, mountmakers at the Seattle Museum of Art. They will be evaluating the work that has been done in Seattle to secure the collection from earthquakes at the Volunteer Park Site. This is an ongoing cooperative effort of mutual support between the two museums. Bob will also visit Portland, Vancouver and Anchorage, meeting museum mountmaking staffs.

Kate Duffy is an NEA/Mellon Fellow this year at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in conservation science, working with John Twilley. Kate came to Los Angeles from a two-year internship at the Boston MFA working with Richard Newman on projects including studies of paintings by Martin Johnson Heade and Tibetan thangkas. Kate is working on routine studies and analysis of objects from the permanent collection at LACMA. John Hirx is at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for a split NEA/Mellon fellowship for one year. His time will be divided between work in the objects conservation lab under the supervision of Steve Colton and a project involving the scientific study of traditional conservation treatments used for archaeological silver under the supervision of Pieter Meyers. The goal of the study will be to evaluate the appropriateness of former treatments and to develop alternative treatment procedures.

Denise Domergue participated in a lecture/seminar entitled "Managing Your Personal Art Collection" in November, 1993 at the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University. In January Denise delivered a lecture to members of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's Art Museum Council and to a class from Pepperdine University entitled "Art and the Law".

Suzanne Friend and Duane Chartier recently completed a site project at the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Alhambra, which was damaged in the Whittier Narrows quake in 1987. They cleaned the entire interior that is decorated with oil on canvas paintings marouflaged to the wall and oil paintings executed directly on the plaster. Assisting in the project were Viviana Dominguez and Debra May.

Robert Aitchison, Mark Watters and Lisa Forman completed a conservation survey with recommendations for a preservation plan for the Art Library of the Visual Art Services Department of Walt Disney Imagineering.

Victoria Blyth-Hill was an invited speaker to a small symposium on the conservation of Matisse decoupage organized by the Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart that coincided with their exhibition of Matisse's work in this medium. Museum directors, curators and conservators whose collections represent major Matisse decoupage attended. Participants included the director of Musee Matisse, Shelley Fletcher from the National Gallery in Washington, the curator and paper conservator from the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and a conservator from the Pompidou. Victoria presented an illustrated talk on the conservation treatment of "La Gerbe", a large decoupage owned by UCLA and displayed at Wight Gallery, and a small maquette owned by LACMA, designed by Matisse for a lithograph entitled "Madame de Pompidour". The symposium focused on deterioration and possible avenues of treatment. The proceedings were taped and will be transcribed and published by the Stattsgalerie.

Regional Reporters:

Virginia Rasmussen
Conservation Center
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Sasha Stollman
Wharton & Griswold Associates, Inc.
549 Hot Springs Rd.
Santa Barbara, CA 93108

Arizona and New Mexico

Abigail Mack, third-year intern at the Denver Museum of Natural History, completed her twenty day research option at the Museum of New Mexico's Conservation Section. In collaboration with various conservators and curators, she explored options for the storage of Zuni and Hopi kachina dolls. Cultural and physical aspects of preservation were considered in her development of a new mounting system for the museum.

In early April Bettina Raphael departed for Rome where she will spend six months at the American Academy. During this time she will develop educational materials for teaching preventative conservation, particularly in Latin American countries.

David Rasch is working with the New Mexico SOS! project coordinator, Richard Hooker, to provide training of volunteers for a survey of the state's public sculpture. The project has been extended for another year to include the design of a statewide maintenance plan and conference.

Regional Reporter:

Landis Smith
208 A Gonzales Rd.
Santa Fe, NM 87501


Conservation Services (formerly the Pacific Regional Conservation Center) is now on-line. The e-mail addresses for Laura Gorman and Linda Hee are: lagorman@bishop.bishop.hawaii.org and lindahee@bishop.bishop.hawaii.org. Linda continues her supervision of the Bishop Museum anthropology collection move. The Bishop Museum is searching for a Collection Care Intern who is a Native Hawaiian. The intern will train in a variety of departments at the museum, including Conservation Services, and will also travel to Australia and New Zealand for additional training.

Laurence and Carolyn Pace have completed conservation treatment of the first of three large mural paintings which were painted as a collaborative effort by local artists active in the 1920's. It has been delivered to its new home in the recently completed headquarters buildings for the Joseph Campbell Estate in Kapolei. The remaining two will also be installed there upon completion. Larry now has a fax machine hooked up to his present telephone line and can be sent faxes using the same number.

Regional Reporter:

Laurence Pace
2109 A Liliha St.
Honolulu, HI 96817

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