May 1999 Volume 21 Number 2

Regional News

Antoinette Dwan, Column Editor


Dr. Pieter Meyers has resigned as head of the Conservation Center at LACMA, but continues his work as Senior Conservation Scientist.

In January 1999 Victoria Blyth-Hill was appointed by the Director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to a one year position as acting Head of the Conservation Center. Joe Fronek presented a talk at the annual meeting of the College Art Association, held in Los Angeles last February. The talk was on the painting techniques of Fauve artists. Joe also co-chaired with Andrea Kirsch a gallery discussion about artists' techniques at LACMA.

In March, Rocio Boffo joined the Paintings Conservation lab at LACMA for a 10-month internship, with funds provided by Lampadia Foundation and the Getty Grant Program. Rocio will be working on a variety of treatments while at LACMA.

Lucia Militello, recently relocated to California from New York City, is looking forward to establishing professional collaborations with Los Angeles area conservators. She specializes in the conservation of archaeological metals, ceramics and stone. She left her position at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City after the birth of her daughter and went into private practice, focusing her work on consulting and conserving antiquities, modern, contemporary objects and sculptures for foundations, museums and collectors. Her telephone/fax number is (310) 826-1261.

Glenn Wharton has recently coordinated the production of a set of ten leaflets on archaeological conservation, through the Japanese Institute of Anatolian Archaeology. The authors are conservators who work in Turkey, including WAAC members Scott Carroll, Tania Collas and Catherine Sease. The leaflets were designed by Lilly Colton. Written in both English and Turkish, they provide basic information to archaeologists and conservators on field conservation, as well as sources for supplies, Turkish legislation, and educational opportunities in Turkey. Anyone interested in receiving a set may contact Glenn Wharton at g.wharton@ucl.ac.uk. In the future they will be distributed from the JIAA office in Ankara, at Resit Galip Cad. 63/5, Gaziosmanpasa, Ankara, Turkey.

The Sculpture Conservation Studio has been very busy trying to bring back historic downtown Los Angeles. They recently finished work on the front facade of the Los Angeles Times-Mirror Building and are awaiting the second phase on this project. They are currently consulting conservators on the restoration of the 1910 USC Medical old Administration Building and are about to start a restoration project on the Washington Street Bridge. As well, they are finishing the restoration of the Jackson life size bronze sculpture of John Wayne in front of the Flynt Publications building in Beverly Hills.

They will be going to Vanderbilt U. in late March to work with Shelly Paine on the restoration of 8 sculptures on the campus. Rosa Lowinger just returned from doing a survey of public art for Dade County, Miami.

Linda Clougherty, conservation assistant at the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, will serve as Registrar / Small Finds Manager at the new excavation of Horace's Villa in Licenya, Italy during August and September. Most recently at the Fowler she performed pre-exhibition examinations of silk embroideries from Suzhou, and assembled a Suzhou embroidery frame for teaching purposes.

Gassia Armenian has joined the Conservation Department at the Fowler as an intern. She has a teaching background in World Cultures and World History. Her responsibilities include the examination, documentation, and repair of ethnographic objects and textiles. Her most recent project was to clean and repair Bogolanfini mud cloths from Bali.

Ulrich Winkelmann, a conservation student from the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne, Germany, has started his 6-month advanced internship at the Fowler (supervised by conservator Jo Hill). For the tenure of his stay he will be examining and repairing African musical instruments and ceremonial costumes from Sumatra, as well as assisting in the venue installation in Miami of the Fowler's Yoruba beadwork exhibition.

Another main emphasis of the internship (which occurs mid-way in a 4-year study of the conservation of art and cultural property) will be interdepartmental projects and a view of American museology.

Carolyn Tallent has received a contract from the California Dept. of Parks and Recreation to examine and treat thirty paintings in the Boggs Collection at Shasta State Historic Park near Redding. The job will require two weeks on-site. Carolyn is also working with Donna Williams to review the condition and maintenance plans for the artworks located in the MTA Headquarters building in downtown Los Angeles.

Sharon Shore and Ann S. Perlman completed a condition survey of tapestry woven covers for a suite of thirteen pieces of 18th C. french furniture belonging to the Huntington Art Collection. The tapestry covers were reputedly owned by Madame du Pompadour.

Linda A. Strauss attended the Canadian Conservation Institute's workshop on "Adhesives for Textile and Leather Conservation" in Ottawa in early May. The workshop drew participants from both North and South America and Europe. The Autry is currently preparing two exhibits: a photographic exihibit on California deserts and one focusing on Woodie Guthry.

Regional Reporter

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


David Rasch is very pleased to announce that he has accepted the position of Conservator & Collections Manager with the Spanish Colonial Arts Society. The Society was founded in 1925 to revitalize and preserve the traditional arts and crafts of Hispanic culture. While the Society is most noted for sponsorship of the annual Spanish Market in Santa Fe, it has also been amassing a premier collection of artifacts.

Another chapter in the Society's legacy has begun with the inauguration of a new museum to open in 2001. It will be housed in a beautiful 5,000 square-foot Pueblo Revival adobe home, designed in 1930 by the acclaimed architect John Gaw Meem. David is presently involved in plans for a 6,400 square foot addition to this historic house which will function as the collections storage, research, and conservation center.

The Society has embarked on a $7 million capital campaign. Donations to equip and stock the laboratory would be greatly appreciated. Please contact David Rasch, Conservator and Collections Manager, Spanish Colonial Arts Society Museum, P.O. Box 1611, Santa Fe, NM 87504.

Dr. Susan Barger attended the AIC-Photomaterials Group Winter Meeting in Boston in March.

Regional Reporter

Dr. Susan Barger
3 Moya Lane
Santa Fe, NM 87505
(505) 466-3709


The Gilcrease Museum Department of Conservation hosted a site visit for Entrepreneurs of Tulsa during their February meeting to introduce the lab facilities to local business owners. Brian Howard & Associates, Inc. of Carlisle, PA treated marble busts of Houdon's George Washington and Ceracchi's Alexander Hamilton for Gilcrease Museum's Department of Conservation.

Duane Chartier of ConservART Associates, Inc. Culver City, CA treated marble busts of Houdon's General Lafayette and Power's Benjamin Franklin for an in-house exhibition. Cara Varnell of Textile Conservation, Long Beach, CA will visit the Tulsa Performing Arts Center to treat a textile mural.

Regional Reporter

Gayle S. Clements
Gilcrease Museum
1400 Gilcrease Museum Road
Tulsa, OK, 74127-2100
(918) 596-2780


The Pacific Conservation Group of Vancouver held their spring meeting on April 23 at the Vancouver Art Gallery. We are an informal group of conservators and interested individuals, students etc. who meet twice a year, in the Fall in Victoria, Spring in Vancouver. We would like to extend an invitation to anyone who would like to attend, and at the moment are soliciting for speakers on conservation related topics. Anyone who is interested can e-mail Beth Wolchock at: bwolchoc@vanartgallery.bc.ca.

Jack C. Thompson completed a CAP survey for the Churchill County Museum and Archives in Fallon, Nevada.

In September 1998, J. Claire Dean went to China to assess the condition of a collection of archaeological material destined to travel to the USA for exhibition in the year 2000. After that it was back to field work in the Mojave Desert, Arizona, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas. In November of last year she was also asked to join the Wana-pa Koot Koot - a local Federal interagency/intertribal working group who advise on cultural resource management issues centered on the lower Columbia River area.

The Portland Art Museum is undergoing a huge renovation. Upon completion of the work, the Museum will have an additional 50,000 square feet of new exhibition space plus a new conservation studio. During this renovation, which is expected to take approximately 1-1/2 years to complete (begun last Oct.), the Museum's conservation studio is relocated to a large building in Northwest Portland 2 miles from the Museum.

The building was the former home of a well known Portland framer and as such, it suits the needs of the conservators quite well with good lighting, a relatively clean work space and a good security system. Other temporary spaces under consideration included warehouse-type buildings with no light and rather bleak atmospheres. So the conservators, Sonja Sopher and Elizabeth Chambers, are enjoying this temporary space but look forward to their new facility when it is completed at the Museum in the year 2000.

Regional Reporter

Peter Malarky
P.O. Box 9682
Seattle, WA 98109
Phone (206) 409-7672


In March, the Conservation Department at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRHRC), University of Texas at Austin, participated in a campus-wide open house called "UT Interactive". Conservation Department events included lab tours, presentations on recent treatment projects, and department staff provided information to visitors on the care of home collections.

HRHRC Conservation Department conservators Barbara Brown, Stephanie Watkins, and intern Clara von Waldthausen recently attended a symposium on the recent bequest of the Horblitt photographic collection to Harvard University. The symposium was followed by attendance at the AIC Photographic Materials Group Winter meeting held at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston [see Conference Review]

Jiuan-jiuan Chen, a first-year graduate student in the SUNY College at Buffalo Art Conservation Program, will be working with Barbara Brown in the Photograph Conservation Lab at the HRHRC for her summer work project.

Karen Pavelka reports that the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at the University of Texas at Austin is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. David B. Gracy II, the Governor Bill Daniel Professor in Archival Enterprise, as Interim Director of the Preservation and Conservation Studies (PCS) program.

Dr. Gracy succeeds Karen Motylewski who will join the Institute for Museum and Library Services in Washington, D.C. The search for a permanent director will be initiated upon completion of the current dean search of the GSLIS.

Karen also reports that the PCS program third year students have begun their internships at the following locations, Beth Doyle at Widener Library, Harvard; Leslie Long at the Library of Congress; Kristen St. John at the Indiana Historical Society and Kevin Turner at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Laura Larkin has completed her internship at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and will graduate at the end of May, 1999.

The Austin area also marked the passing of Booklab, which closed its doors in January. An article in the local weekly newspaper, the Austin Chronicle, related the experiences of several of the employees of Booklab. Their reminiscences outlined the history of a unique enterprise that provided innovative book preservation and conservation services to clients nationwide for the past 14 years.

Craig Jensen, former president of Booklab, continues to work in the Austin area as vice president for imaging for Acme Book Binding based in Boston, Massachusetts. Book conservator Gary Frost, who worked at Booklab for 10 years, continues as a lecturer at the Preservation and Conservation Studies program at UT Austin.

Rob Proctor and Jill Whitten report that they have completed renovations on their new studio for Whitten & Proctor Fine Art Conservation in Houston, Texas. Rob and Jill are also preparing for a varnish workshop to be held May 24-26 at the National Museums & Galleries on Merseyside, Liverpool, England. Rob, as Chair of the AIC Paintings Specialty Group, is also busy preparing for the upcoming meeting in St. Louis.

Regional Reporter

Ken Grant
Conservation Department
Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
University of Texas at Austin
P.O. Box 7219
Austin, TX 78713-7219
(512) 471-9117, fax (512) 471-9646


In an effort to block the Asian Art Museum's plan to remove the historic Gottardo Piazzoni murals from the Old Main Library, the preservation group, San Francisco Architectural Heritage, filed suit on Feb. 17th against the City of San Francisco, the City Planning Commission, and the Board of Supervisors. In a March 3rd hearing, the proposed removal was suspended, pending the judge's ruling on the matter.

The fourteen historic murals were painted by depression-era landscape artist, Gottardo Piazzoni, specifically for the second floor loggia site of the Old Main Library. The Asian Art Museum's current plan calls for the removal of the murals since, according to the museum, the structural changes are necessary, and the murals are not appropriate for a space dedicated to Asian art.

The San Francisco Planning Commission voted in December to approve the Asian Art Museum's plan to remove the murals. The proposed removal has caused outcry amongt many notable art historians, conservators and preservationists.

The San Francisco Architectural Heritage lawsuit argues that the Asian Art Museum project does not conform to the City's Planning Code which protects historic buildings, and violates the city statute to protect "Exceptionally Significant Interior Spaces"--an official designation assigned to the Old Main Library, and only two other Civic Center buildings.

Thank you to Jim Bernstein for providing the articles relevant to this important issue.

At the Oakland Museum of California Conservation lab, the restoration of Willis Polk's Sunol Water Temple is progressing. Technical staff on the Gladding McBean terracotta project include Bonnie Baskin, Julie Trosper, Martin Salazar, and Peng-Peng Wang. The lab is proud to welcome pre-program interns Peng-Peng and Martin, who also work at the Western Regional Paper Conservation Lab with Debra Evans.

The Lab is also working on three large wooden statues, carved in Oberammergau, Germany, that sat in niches on the outside facade of Mission Santa Clara, one of the original California missions. The statues are being fumigated using carbon dioxide, and will then be consolidated and finally replicated in bronze. The replicas will be placed on the mission facade, and the conserved originals relocated to the deSaisset Museum.

The lab also completed a comprehensive condition survey and treatment plan for three large dioramas at the Presidio Army Museum, undertaken by Kathy Gillis and Susana Zubiate, and written by Bonnie Baskin and Julie Trosper. John Burke conducted a conservation survey of the March Field Air Force Museum in Riverside, a project nostalgic of his USAF experiences in the 60's, and is now preparing for a CAP survey of the Riverside Museum. John is now working on a chapter on solubility parameters for an upcoming book on cleaning from CRC Press.

Julie Trosper also recently completed her role in the gold leafing project on the dome of the newly restored and seismically upgraded San Francisco City Hall, while Bonnie Baskin undertook treatments for collections on exhibit inside as part of an ongoing program of the San Francisco Airport.

Valerie Wolcott, the devoted Administrative Assistant in SFMOMA's conservation studio for the past nine years, has moved on to pursue other interests, including support for her husband Larry Hulse of Lawrence Fine Arts. The conservators at the Modern miss her terribly but wish her well. Audrey Larson, formerly the administrative assistant for the conservation department at San Francisco's Asian Art Museum, took her place at SFMOMA in April.

Conservator Lucy Pearce returned from the U.K. this spring to help SFMOMA with the preparation of a traveling exhibition of important permanent collection pieces as they tour to four museums in Japan this summer.

Anne Rosenthal and Gregory Thomas completed work last fall on a secco mural triptych in the corporate office and tasting room of the former Acme Brewery on Fulton Street in San Francisco, the subject being the cultivation of hops and the production of beer.

The mural was painted in 1935 by Jose Moya del Pino, whose work also appears at Coit Tower. The building is owned by the City of San Francisco, and now houses the Center for African and African American Art and Culture. The project was funded by the City, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Anne Rosenthal and Helen Houp (of Dallas) recently prepared an oversized painting for the Pacific Arcadia exhibition for the new Cantor Arts Center (formerly the Stanford Art Museum). Painted by Charles Nahl in 1856. The canvas is entitled Saturday Night at the Mines and is one of the few existing images of life in the gold rush era. The painting had suffered from poor handling and past restoration.

Anne Rosenthal and Gregory Thomas started work on the dismantled painted ceiling of the Sunol Water Temple. The ceiling is composed of figurative panels and decorative beams, and is approximately 1500 square feet of painted surface. Contracted with Carey and Company, an architectural conservation firm, the project is under the direction of the Utilities Engineering Bureau of San Francisco. Work is proceeding in tandem with structural repairs being made at the Oakland Museum Conservation Center.

The Painting Conservation Department at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco would like to welcome Charlotte Seifen from the Winterthur program from which she will be graduating after completion of the internship. We also welcome Julia Tholen who is joining us from the conservation program in Köln, Germany for the next six months.

Associate Paintings Conservators Patricia O'Regan, Tony Rockwell, and Ulrich Birkmaier recently completed major treatments on three large works by Nicolas Régnier, Francesco Guardi, and Carlo Dolci, respectively. The paintings are part of the collection of the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at the Stanford University.

Molly Lambert is working as conservator for Caltrans to protect the Chicano Park Murals located in San Diego. The murals are painted on the columns holding up the Coronado Bridge, on the San Diego side. The bridge is being seismicly retrofitted. Donna Williams and Aneta Zebala are working as conservators for the contractor.

Regional Reporter

Tammy Flynn Seybold
530 Hampshire St. #300
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 551-1600


Greg Thomas recently finished the treatment, lining and restretching of a nine foot by nine foot oil on canvas abstract painting, "Homage to Kilauea" by Lawrence Calcagno for the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts and installed it at the Hawaii Convention Center in Waikiki.

Greg continues to provide conservation services for his private clients, the latest being a treatment of a Jules Tavernier oil on canvas and a mural belonging to the National Park Service in the collection of the Arizona Memorial.

Larry Pace is currently involved in the conservation of a mural (oil on canvas mounted to the interior walls) located in the Ft. Shafter headquarters building. He will follow that project with the conservation of a pair of murals by Eskridge at McCoy Pavilion in Honolulu.

Prior to the filming of a TV movie at the estate of a client, Larry was responsible for the relocation, and wrapping (in preparation for crating and shipping) of a large collection of paintings and sculptures by artists including Picasso, Moore, Botero, Hacker and Chadwick. Crates are currently being designed for the shipment of these objects to New York and Europe for auction. Larry continues to be involved with projects for the Honolulu Academy of Art, The Contemporary Museum, and numerous individual and corporate clients.

Regional Reporter

Laurence Pace
Painting Conservator
(808) 833-1999


Tom Braun, ASM Third Year Intern and Mellon Winterthur/Delaware student, will be participating in the Harapa Excavations in Pakistan with the Center for Material Research and Education at the Smithsonian during April.

Laura Downey, photograph and paper conservator, recently gave a paper on photographic mounts at the AIC Photographic Materials Group meeting in Boston. She also attended the Horblit Symposium at the Houghton Library at Harvard University.

Gloria Giffords, painting conservator, is preparing to move to a new and larger studio at 3022 E. Country Club, Tucson, AZ 85713. She recently led an art and architecture tour of Mexico for the Tubac Center for the Arts. She recently published an article "Tin: A Noble Metal" in the tin crafts issue of Artes de Mexico magazine, No. 44, 1999. Sheila Hoyt is her new intern.

Tonja King, pre-program intern, participated in a Tucson SOS! sculpture maintenance project and Workshop with conservator Marianne Marti.

Marilen Pool, ASM Post-Graduate Conservation Assistant, recently completed the conservation treatments for "Walking the Desert: Prehistoric Sandals of the Southwest," an exhibit at the Arizona State Museum

Nancy Odegaard, ASM conservator recently conducted conservation workshops with the University of Arizona, Museum Association of Arizona, and Taliesin West. Nancy, Scott Carroll, Werner Zimmt and Dave Spurgeon recently submitted the spot test manuscript for publication through Archetype Books.

Terri Schindel formerly with the Arizona Historical Society, recently accepted a position with the Boulder Historical Society in Colorado.

Gretchen Voeks, National Park Service conservator, is working on several diverse projects including a fake 49er's gold rush trunk at Death Valley National Park, the archaeological material from Chrissy Field at the Presidio of Golden Gate National Park, the 7th Calvary archives, and a plastic and rubber materials storage project for the Western Archaeological and Conservation Center. Sharon Blank completed the survey and advised on that project.

Regional Reporter

Nancy Odegaard
Arizona State Museum
Tuscon, AZ 85721
(520) 621-6314


Engel & Hulbert recently completed treatment of six wall paintings by Wing Howard in the Whaling Bar & Grill at the historic La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla. The large painting behind the bar, depicting fisherman harpooning whales, was completed in 1947 and had not been seen for more than twenty years. In the mid-1970's, animal rights groups demanded that the whale hunt scene be removed, so the artist covered it with plywood and did a new painting that was more whale friendly. The original painting was uncovered as part of a major renovation of the bar.

Regional Reporter

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


Victoria Montana Ryan and D. Hays Shoop, Rocky Mountain Conservation Center Paintings Conservators, treated the Allen True murals in the Denver City and County Building.

Matthew Crawford, RMCC Objects Conservator, has embarked on a major repair project involving a 1:48 scale model of the USS WYOMING, a World War I era ship. The ship, belonging to the United States Navy Museum, is twelve feet long and over 250 lbs., and was severely damaged in transit.

Teresa Knutson, Textile Conservator, recently treated 4 large tapestries and wall hangings for the Denver Botanic Gardens House.

Heather Tudhope, Paper Conservator, is conserving a collection of 240 architectural drawings and plans for Denver Historical Parks.

In April, RMCC, along with the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities and the Molly Brown House Museum, will present a one-day workshop called "Preserving Your Family Treasures."

In May, RMCC will co-host a seminar, with the Denver Chapter of the American Society of Appraisers. Entitled "Conservation Matters." This unique and groundbreaking seminar will focus on "value", "worth", the effect of conservation treatment, the usefulness of appraisal, and the importance of communication among professionals.

John Kjelland has added extensive photographic capabilities to his Missoula, MT studio. John recently did a condition survey of Theodore Roosevelt's handcrafted, mission style lamp and will be conducting three workshops on Aged Finishes Care at the Santa Fe Furniture Expo to be held in Denver, CO April 30-May 2.

The Colorado Preservation Alliance will join several other library and archive centers in presenting a two-day workshop on the preservation of electronic records (i.e. eight-inch floppy disks, punch cards, etc.) and the use of digital imaging as a means of preserving paper-based materials. The class will be taught by Steve Smith, of AMIGOS Preservation Service, and will be held June 17 & 18. For more information contact Sharon Partridge: sharonp@jefferson.lib.co.us--registration deadline is May 15.

Regional Reporter

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

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