Conservation



 

While Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) does not conserve art objects, there are many resources for these services. Here is a referral list and handy tips for your consideration, plus other resources:

American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (1717 K Street N. W. Suite 301, Washington, DC 20006) is a professional membership organization for conservators. Their web site contains links to valuable information concerning conservation of art objects. See AIC's sections on "Caring For Your Treasures" and "Selecting a Conservator." Call the Institute at 1-202-452-9545 for names of local conservators.
 
"Preserving My Heritage" is a web site provided by the Canadian Conservation Institute. This excellent site contains in-depth sections on the care of 17 types of art objects
 
The Upper Midwest Conservation Association (2400 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55404. Tel. 1-612-870-3120) web site explains the conservation process for various media.
 
Western Association for Art Conservation, based in Los Angeles, CA. publishes the The WAAC Newsletter (ISSN 1052-0066). Back issues are located on their web site.
 
"What Can I Do -- To Protect My Water Color Paintings?" from the C. M. Russell Museum has many useful tips.
 
The University of Michigan Museum of Art has a web page that describes how to care for and conserve works of art on paper.
 
Tru Vue, Inc. provides further information explaining the role of glazing in protecting water color paintings and other works on paper.
 
The American Museum of Photography offers on its web site seven recommendations on the care of photographs
 
"How to Care for Original Oil Paintings" is an article by Robyn Bellospirito, PO Box 302, Locust Valley, NY 11560.
 
University of Delaware Library, Newark, DE, features on its web site "Library Networked Databases" on art conservation.
 
Caring for Bronze Sculpture from the C. M. Russell Museum has many useful tips.
 
The Polk Museum of Art has a web page "Care and Evaluation of Your Art." it says: "We all know that light makes colors fade, but it also deteriorates the materials used in a work of art or an antique. Keep sunlight exposure to a minimum by closing the drapes when you are not at home. Having your windows tinted will not only prolong the life of you art, it will also, in most cases, lower your energy bill. Avoid placing art in rooms with fluorescent lights. Fluorescent lights give off a lot of UV (Ultra-Violet) light which is especially destructive to the colored pigments and dyes used in art, fabrics and upholstery. " and "Temperature and humidity are the other major environmental factors that can lead to the destruction of art and antiques. In most instances, Museums try to maintain a temperature of 70º degrees and 50% humidity. This is ideal for most objects. At higher humidity levels, metals begin to rust or tarnish and mold begins to grow above 65%. At lower levels, paper becomes brittle and fragile and furniture joints may begin to loosen. Keeping your air conditioning on in the summer and using a humidifier in the winter (depending on the part of the country you live in) will go a long way to preserving your art. " The page offers six other important pointers on the care of art works.
 
The Indianapolis Museum of Art has a web page describing the conservation of a painting by Bellini. The Getty Museum's web site, as of April 2005, provides videos including: Conservation: Paintings (4:50); Conservation: Works on Paper (5:05); Conservation: Antiquities (5:10), and Conservation: Decorative Arts (5:17) in a "Video Gallery" that uses RealPlayer. IMA's Artbabble.org presents Conserving Norman Rockwell's "United Nations" from the Norman Rockwell Museum [0:14:19]
 
Staff at a local museum may be willing to share names of professional conservators. See Resource Library's Sources of News Articles Indexed by State within the United States for an alphabetical list of museums indexed by state.
 
The February 2004 issue of The Forbes Collector reports: "...consider the extra costs fund managers will incur in adequately storing, conserving and insuring the art. [Philip] Hoffman contends that his Fine Art Fund will hold these costs to a total of 2% of an investor's total contribution." Serious collectors need to budget for the ongoing costs of maintaining a collection. According to another article in Forbes magazine, (see the revealing June 16, 1997 article "Eternity is Delusional," by Doris Athineos) a conservator will write a report on a work's condition, propose treatment if needed and estimate cost and time for about $250 for each work of art. Conservators also render opinions on authenticity of art works.
 
On the topic of art storage, in a 6/14/07 article in the Wall Street Journal titled "Off-the-Wall (Storage) Sites for Art," author Daniel Grant says: "According to Tim Dietz, vice president of the Alexandria, Va.-based Self-Storage Association, the industry began in rural and suburban America, "clearing out stuff from the garage and making room for the car, or clearing out a bedroom so someone could sleep in it," eventually making inroads into cities over the past quarter-century. Fine-art storage has been principally an urban affair, and with it has come issues of environmental controls and enhanced security. The Self-Storage Association has no industry definition of some of the terms individual facility owners use -- "climate-controlled," "true humidity controlled," "museum-quality controls" -- and Mr. Dietz stated that "the courts are establishing the meaning of these terms." One of those courts, the Ohio Court of Appeals, ruled in April 2006 that the owners of a storage facility in West Geauga fraudulently represented their site as "climate-controlled" to a man who found his stored furniture and collectibles damaged."
 
Dr. Nancy Odegaard, Conservator, Head of Preservation at the Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona offers a page titled "Some Comments On The Care Of Navajo Textiles" in which she discusses several aspects of conservation of Navajo textiles.
 
In a 7/29/16 essay from CMA Stories titled "The Restoration that Revealed the Identity of an Artist" Columbia Museum of Art Chief Curator Will South writes about the subject of the painting Portrait of General Thomas Sumter, artist Johann Stolle and the restoration process. Accessed 10/16.
 
 
 
Suggested books:
 
An Ounce of Preservation: A Guide to the Care of Papers and Photographs, Craig A. Tuttle, 1994 (116 pages)

The Care of Prints and Drawings, Margaret Holben Ellis, 1995 (253 pages)

Care of Photographs, Siegfried Rempel, 1987 (184 pages)
 
Allworth Press has a helpful book titled Caring for Your Art: A Guide for Artists, Collectors, Galleries, & Art Institutions, 3rd edition, by Jill Snyder.
 
Matting, Mounting, and Framing Art, Max Hyder, 1986 (142 pages).
 
See the Print Council of America Book List covering the care of prints.
 
 
 
Suggested Videos:
 
Dr. Mark Sublette, owner of Medicine Man Gallery in Tucson and Santa Fe, has created a channel of YouTube online videos on topics relating to Native American baskets, weavings, pottery and carvings. Titles regarding authentication include:
 
What Not to do with your artwork if you want to have it evaluated
Tips on how Not to handle your Native American Art work
Proper Care Of Navajo Weavings
Navajo Rug and Blanket Restoration
Navajo Weaving and Moths
 
In April, 2009 the Indianapolis Museum of Art announced the launch of ArtBabble.org, an online community created to showcase art-based video content. The site allows visitors to explore works of art online through a collection of interviews with artists and curators, original documentaries and art installation videos. Incorporating cutting-edge technology, ArtBabble features high-definition video, full text transcription of all the videos on site and interactive features including viewer feedback and video sharing. One of the topics covered by ArtBabble is "Conservation."
 
Basic Art Handling: 15 minutes 1988."Have you ever pondered the proper procedure for moving a large sculpture from one place to another? Do you know the safest way to store paintings and prints? These and other art-handling questions are addressed in this videotape, produced by the Gallery Association of New York State. Professionals and private collectors answer questions about preserving precious objects, and a professional conservator demonstrates techniques designed to make art handling safe and effective. Recommended for classes in conservation and art handling, as well as for use by professional organizations." (Quotes are courtesy the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts)
 
The non-profit Exhibition Alliance created a video which, according to the American Association of Museums: "shows the best methods for handling artworks and artifacts, using demonstrations and a question-and-answer format. The 26-minute video is an excellent training tool for registrars, curators, art preparators, artists, students, shippers, or anyone responsible for handling works of art or historical artifacts." The Exhibition Alliance also has a web page containing "technical briefs" which are illustrated and helpful for learning how to prepare artworks for exhibition and shipping. They have prepared a page including a budget worksheet to help in planning and management of exhibitions.
 
Scott M. Haskins of Fine Art Conservation Laboratories presented as of June, 2013 95 YouTube videos on many conservation subjects and projects. Many videos cover American representational art paintings. As an example, Monterey Museum of Art and Fine Art Conservation Laboratories presented as of July 2011 "Cleaning a Painting by Armin Hansen From The Monterey Museum of Art" a 03:44 YouTube video by Scott M. Haskins.
 
Smithsonian Videos presentes the 04:04 video "The Art and Science of Conservation: Behind the Scenes at the Freer Gallery of Art," featuring staff of the museum. The Lunder Conservation Center of the Smithsonian presents 22 video interviews of leading art conservators on their work including remarks by Dr. Joyce Hill Stoner on her Maxfield Parrish project. Accessed May, 2015.
 
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center / DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum has posted 2 videos: "Painters and Paintings in the Early South" a 5 min video explaining how "preparation for a new exhibit unites artists and conservators" and "Conservation: Where Art and Science Meet" a 2010 5 min video explianing how "museum curators wage daily battle against 10 agents of decay." Accessed 11/16
 

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The above names and addresses are provided only as referrals for your further consideration. Please use due diligence in employing these or other consultants or vendors. Traditional Fine Art Organization, Inc. takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information herein. Information from the named firms may be inaccurate or out of date. Traditional Fine Art Organization, Inc neither recommends or endorses the above referenced organizations. Although Traditional Fine Art Organization, Inc. includes links to other Internet sites, it takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on those other sites, nor exerts any editorial or other control over those other sites. For more information on evaluating web pages see Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc.'s General Resources section in Online Resources for Collectors and Students of Art History.

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