May 1998 Volume 20 Number 2

Regional News

Jill Sterrett, Column Editor


ConservArt Associates, Inc. will be spending the months of May and June in Keystone, South Dakota finishing the conservation and installation of objects in the Mount Rushmore Interpretive Center. Dr. Duane Chartier co-chaired a symposium with Dr. Walter McCrone on Scientific Detection of Fakery in Art at Photonics West in San Jose, CA on January 29 & 30. Speakers were invited from around the world, including Alexander Kossalopov from the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. The symposium was sponsored by SPIE (the International Society for Optical Engineering). There will be a publication of all the papers given and it is planned that this conference will be repeated on a bi-yearly, bi-coastal basis.

Annamaria Neves joined the Paintings Conservation lab at LACMA in January for a ten month fellowship funded by the Lampadia Foundation and the Getty Grant Program. Annamaria teaches painting conservation at CECOR - The Fine Arts School of the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil. One of Annamaria's projects at LACMA will be the restoration of "Holy Family" by John Trumbull. It is a pleasure having her with us. After eight years, Shelley Svoboda has left LACMA to become Associate Paintings Conservator at the Baltimore Museum of Art. We will miss her and wish her good luck! In April Elma O'Donoghue accepted LACMA's position as Assistant Paintings Conservator. Elma held internship positions in paintings conservation at LACMA in 1995-96 and we welcome her back!

Chail Topping, began as the Paper Conservation Technician at LACMA on January 20, 1998. Chail is a native of Santa Barbara and recently relocated back to California after graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Chail's work in Paper Conservation with Victoria Blyth-Hill will not only give her the opportunity to work on LACMA's vast permanent collection and rotating exhibitions, but it will also allow her to gain experience in preparation for application to conservation graduate programs. Chail has worked with Wharton and Griswold and Graphic Conservation of Chicago, in the past few years. Not even El Niño could keep Jane Smith from leaving California! Unfortunately for us, love is deeper than water and she returned to Pennsylvania at the end of April to be married in May. Victoria and Chail will miss her greatly, not only for her positive attitude and excellent work, but as a dear friend and happy spirit. We wish her all the best in her new life as Mrs. Stewart (move over Martha!)

The Objects Conservation lab at LACMA has been busy, as usual. Maureen Russell recently completed the examination, survey and treatment of 280 objects for the next phase of the Far Eastern Art permanent galleries. The Ming Dynasty objects treated included ivory, lacquer, jade, ceramic, glass, bronze, bone and horn. The next exhibitions she will be working on are Harlem Renaissance, Ancient West Mexico and Body and Soul; The Afterlife in Egypt and Africa. Maureen will be attending the 3 day UKIC Weekend Conference on Modelling, Moulding and Casting at The Conservation Centre, Liverpool, England followed by a 5 day workshop on 3 step Colouring and Casting Techniques of glass. John Hirx continues work in LACMA's Conservation Research Department working on problems related to the examination, analysis and treatment of silver and gold objects. Marco Leona periodically emerges from the Thermo-Luminescence Laboratory to contribute to the scientific examination of artifacts. He has recently completed a scientific study of LACMA's collection of bronze medals by French 17th C. master Guillaume Dupré. Jean Neeman, using her carpentry skills, has been requested to improve artifact storage in several departments of the museum.

Aitchison and Watters is working with U.C. Santa Barbara on the treatment of a collection of graphics by WPA artists. Aitchison and Watters is also working on a large Ansel Adams photo mural screen for the Stanford Univ. Art Museum.

Joanne Page was recently featured in an LA Times Magazine article (December 21, 1997), about pop-up books for children. The article described Joanne's area of specialty in treating pop-up books, which are becoming increasingly popular among collectors.

Jo Hill, UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, recently returned from her second trip to Suzhou, China; her preparations for the Fall 1998 exhibition of silk embroideries include contributions to the book to be published on the topic. Pre-training intern Batyah Shtrum is completing her final round of internship activities in the lab as she prepares her portfolio and other materials for a Buffalo interview - good luck, Batyah! And Tania Collas, Kress Postgraduate Intern, is in her final months of her internship, but looking forward to her archaeological site work with Liz Carter in Turkey.

John and Stephanie Griswold have announced the formation of Griswold Conservation Associates, LLC, in Los Angeles, specializing in the conservation of objects, artifacts, and architectural materials. They will also provide consultation services and expertise with regard to environmental and seismic stabilization of collections, condition assessments, general conservation surveys, long range conservation planning, and technical specifications. Their new facilities will open in May. At present they can be reached at (310) 275-5255, GCAJG@aol.com, or GCASG@aol.com.

Regional Reporters:
Virginia Rasmussen
Conservation Center
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(213) 857-6168

John Griswold
Griswold Conservation Associates, LLC
2054 Coldwater Canyon
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 271-5255


RMCC has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for Conservation Outreach Services. The $18,500 grant will bring conservation services to small, emerging rural museums throughout the Rocky Mountain states. Only nineteen organizations received grants under the Heritage & Preservation category. The participant museums will be selected through an application process.

Matthew Crawford, RMCC Object Conservator, will be teaching a class at the University of Denver on "Materials And Their Maintenance". This class is being offered through DU's Anthropology Dept. for graduate students with an emphasis on Museum Studies.

Teresa Knutson, Textile Conservator, is planning to conduct a mannequin workshop at the Golden Pioneer Museum in June. Staff from several small museums in the area will attend this informative workshop.

John Kjelland, Furniture Conservator and new WAAC member, recently treated furniture for the Museum of the Rockies, Montana State U., for an upcoming May show. John will be attending Part II of the CAL course in "Decorative and Protective Coatings" in April.

Carolyn Leckie, Conservation Department Manager at Denver Museum of Natural History, has resigned to pursue her career as a mother and a conservator in private practice. Jude Southward is now Acting Conservation Department Manager. IMLS funds are being used to rehouse oversize minerals and complete a conservation survey of Native American collections.

Regional reporter:
Diane Danielson
Rocky Mountain Regional Conservation Center
2420 South University Blvd.
Denver, CO 80208
(303) 733-2712


Laura Downey has received the Ansel Adams Graduate Internship at the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona where she is a student of Art History-History of Photography. She also has a private paper conservation practice.

Nancy Odegaard, Arizona State Museum, has been awarded a Kress Conservation Publication Fellowship for the manuscript on Spot Tests. She will work part-time at the museum for the remainder of the year. Marilen Poole has joined the Arizona State Museum as the NEA post-graduate Fellow in a mentoring project with Navajo students Audrey Harrison and Travis Lane.

Gloria Fraser-Giffords is the coordinator and author for a special issue of Artes de Mexico on tin arts. She recently led an art history tour to Oaxaca for Tubac Center for the Arts and is involved in a large mural project for the NW Neighborhood Center in Tucson.

Terri Schindel has joined the Arizona Historical Society-Central division as Conservator. She will be providing lectures to the Central Arizona Museum Association on preservation aspects of museum mission statements and to the Museum Association of Arizona on non-toxic pest management.

Regional reporter:
Nancy Odegaard
Arizona State Museum
Tucson, AZ 85721
(520) 621-6314


Seattle paintings conservator, Chiara Carcano-Carl, has moved into a new home and studio and can be reached at: 2915 Warren Av. N., Seattle, WA 98109.

Elizabeth Darrow writes of impending events including the expected completion of her dissertation in Summer/Fall 1998 on Pietro Edwards called "Necessity Introduced these Arts: Pietro Edwards and the Restoration of Painting in Venice". She will also be presenting a paper at NW Renaissance Conference at Western Washington in Bellingham in April 1998:"For Whom the Word is the Making of the World: The History of Restoration of the Mosaics of San Marco, Venice." She, too, has a new address: 603 West Babcock, Bozeman, MT 59715.

In February, Claire Dean spent 2 weeks at the Galeria de Arte Nacional in Caracas, Venezuela, working on a number of pre-hispanic ceramic artifacts preparing them for an upcoming exhibition. While there she also held a workshop on the conservation of archaeological ceramics for employees of various museums in Venezuela. In addition, as local coordinator for this year's WAAC meetings, she has been busy over the winter working with John Griswold searching for a suitable meeting site in the Portland area.

Last November, Rebecca Pavitt, skillfully and enthusiastically organized an eight day workshop, "In Praise of Japanese Scrolls: A Call for Conservation," which was held at the Asian Center on the beautiful University of British Columbia campus. Three days were devoted to constructing a karibari board which is traditionally used for making folding screens and hanging scrolls. Carol Yamamoto, Vancouver, was the instructor. Under the supervision of Jackie Elgar, Boston, MA, the participants assembled a hanging scroll. Elgar also addressed the various types of Japanese scrolls and conservation issues. Participants included Genevieve Baird, Robert Espinosa, Peter Lee, Sarah Melching, Mary Murphy, Karen Potje, Terry Rutheford, Mary Todd, Jean Topham, Alexandra Von Hawk and Karen Zukor. Original calligraphy used in the scrolls was generously donated by Ichikawa Sensei and Atsusa Shodokai of Japan.

Miriam Clavir, Senior Conservator at the UBC Museum of Anthropology, recently received her doctorate in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester, England. The title of her dissertation is "Preserving What is Valued: An Analysis of Museum Conservation and First Nations Perspectives".

Regional reporter:
Jamie Hascall
Hascall Museum Services
2335 N. 61st
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 525-6941


Objects Conservator, Lourdes Bates, recently assisted with the translation of abstracts of paper by Latin American authors for the forthcoming AIC Conference in Washington, D.C. The translation of abstracts was organized by Amparo Torres on behalf of the organization "APOYO".

In March Betty Engel and Frances Pritchett gave a talk to the International Society of Appraisers 19th Annual Conference, San Diego, entitled, "What's Wrong with This Art Work?"

Regional reporter:
Frances Pritchett
5235 35th Street
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 283-0368


On May 8, 1998, OCC sponsored a workshop on Disaster Recovery/Salvage at Gilcrease Museum's Department of Conservation. Oklahoma Museum Assn. of Historic Sites, the Oklahoma State Fire Fighters Assn., Oklahoma Fire Chiefs Association and selected museums statewide attended. The workshop was conducted by Helen Alten of Northern States Conservation Center.

Gayle Clements presented a talk at the American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, on "Climate Control in Museums: A Raging Controversy?" in March 1998.

Oklahoma Conservation Congress co-sponsors a workshop with Oklahoma Museums Association on "Preservation of Paper" at the Cowboy Hall of Fame, Oklahoma City. Eileen C. Clancy, a private paper conservator in Denver, will conduct the workshop.

Regional reporter:
Gayle S. Clements
Thomas Gilcrease Museum
1400 Gilcrease Museum Road
Tulsa, OK 74127
(918) 596-2780


In July 1997, Conservation Services was reorganized into Cultural Resources and Collections Care with Anthropology Management staff. Valerie Free is the Unit Manager and acting Senior Objects Conservator. Laura Gorman left the Museum in October 1997. Melissa Arnold was rehired in December 1997, to work as a Conservation Assistant. Beverly Lambert, an Objects Conservator from Canada, was hired in January 1998. We are in the process of advertising for a full-time Paper Conservator.

The Honolulu Academy of Arts' conservation and matting room is up and running thanks to the hard work of Paper Technician Susan Thomas and Asian Art Curator Julia White and grants from the Robert F. Lange Foundation. Providing a secure work space for all matting and hinging in-house has been a long-time goal for the Academy, and future improvements will also include additional environmental controls and water filtration. The facility is shared by the Asian & Western Art Department including frame storage for both departments.

Susan Sayre Batton is a frequent working visitor, continuing the Japanese print collection conservation project, as well as Asian Mounter Ephraim Jose, who recently treated two modern Japanese paintings from the Pat Salmon collection on-site. In addition, paper conservator in private practice Downey Manoukian will begin examination and treatment of old master prints for the Western Art Department using the workspace.

Regional reporter:
Laurence A. Pace
Pace Art Conservation Enterprises, Inc.
1645 Haku Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96819-1648
(808) 833-1999


The Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco received a large grant from the Kress Foundation to treat a large altarpiece by Cesare da Sesto. Ulrich Birkmaier, from the Paintings Conservation Lab, will be working on the project for a year. Joanne Barry, a conservation student from the Winterthur program, is completing part of her third year internship in the paintings lab. She has spent half the year at the Pennsylvania Acad. of Fine Art in Philadelphia and will work with the Fine Arts Mus. of San Francisco until August.

In the Objects Conservation Laboratory Elisabeth Cornu has just returned from Melbourne, Australia, where she helped install the Austrian Arts & Armor Exhibition from Graz at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. This exhibition will take her back to Australia and the Far East periodically over the next years. Lesley Bone has completed her work with "Ancient Peru: Treasures from the Larco Museum", and is moving on to new exhibition projects, among them the Thracian Gold Exhibition from Bulgaria.

Fine Arts Museums assistant objects conservators Natasa Morovic and Bonnie Baskin, with input from Elizabeth Cornu, are also aiding with exhibition conservation work at the San Francisco Airport Museums: an Art Deco Exhibition, a Circus Exhibit from Paris, an exhibit from the National Museum of the American Indian, and an African Barber Shop Sign Exhibit from an American collection. The unusual museum setting of an airport provides interesting preventive conservation challenges to museum conservators.

The conservation staff of the Asian Art Museum and the FAMSF Textile Lab have joined together to host James Martin from the Williamstown Art Conservation Center, to teach us a weeklong course in microscopy.

Tracy Power has gone back to private practice and can be reached at her old business address, Power Conservation, 1717 Seventeenth Street, SF, CA 94103. Tracy and Michelle Barger are working on conservation treatments of objects intended for display in the renovated Stanford University Museum of Art.

The conservation department at SFMOMA is very pleased to announce that Theresa Andrews has joined the conservation staff as Associate Conservator of Photographs and Works on Paper. She worked at SFMOMA from 1991-1993 as an NEA fellow; from 1993-present, she worked in private practice in the Bay Area. After ten years at SFMOMA, Neil Cockerline has left the conservation field to join the circus. He is Assistant General Manager Controller of Circus Chimera, which will be traveling the West Coast this summer. We wish Neil well in his new career.

Regional Reporter:
Paloma Garcia-Anoveros
Lucasfilm Archives
P.O. Box 2009
San Rafael, CA 94912
Tel: (415) 662-1650
Fax: (415) 662-1553
e-mail: paloma@lucasfilm.com

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