Conservation & Design International
Chihuli artwork at Oklahoma City Museum of Art

By Ann Cieslak-Bukowinski

[...] The task of unloading eight semi-trailers filled with delicate glass was enormous. Chihuly Studio personnel, museum staff, and contract laborers ferried hundreds of coded and numbered boxes containing glass parts, sets of metal armature pieces, and various supplies to their appropriate installation sites, and then carefully unpacked them. This preparatory stage could have proved as daunting as the next: the actual installation of several thousand pieces of glass in intricate displays of artistic perfection.
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Photo: Dale Chihuly, Carmine Red Ikebana with a Single Flower, 2002

Chihuli artwork at Oklahoma City Museum of Art

By Bart Bjorneberg
Bernacki & Associates, Inc.

Gilt, or golden colored objects, can be beautiful and unique but also extremely fragile. They can last virtually forever or be damaged or destroyed in an instant. Totally impervious to light, chemicals, and time or wiped away with the briefest exposure to water. They are thoroughly understood by few and compromised by many.

Gilt objects are created by using various karats of gold leaf, metal leaf (primarily bronze), or various types of “gold” paint. They can be plated, water or oil gilded, and painted. Plating can be done using many methods from traditional ormoulu, using mercury and heat, to various electrically induced coatings.
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Photo: Gilded carvings of a giltwood console

Painting Conservation

By Peter Schoenmann
Parma Conservation, Ltd.

It is satisfying to take part in the preservation of artwork, particularly working as a conservator. We can and most often do reverse the damage caused by fire, soot, water and accidental damage. However, many of our clients have asked how they can do a better job safeguarding their artwork from future damage and catastrophe. A very good question, indeed!

No one wants to expect a disaster, but disasters do happen.  While it may be nearly impossible to predict a fire or flooded home, there are some practical things you can do right now to keep your artwork in stable condition.  Lets start with the basics!
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Photo: Elizabeth Kendall examines the remnants of a failed fresco painted in 1936 by Frederico Lebrun

Art Packing Lecture by Geoff Browne of Terry Doed, LLC

By Geoff Browne
Terry Dowd, LLC

When I began working in the field of fine art and artifact packing and crating in 1990, the information available regarding the correct application of packing foams, taking into consideration object fragility, weight, load bearing surface, and the likely drop height of a given package, existed almost entirely in hard copies in libraries or in corporate literature intended for industrial users, and was difficult to acquire even for those who knew exactly what they were looking for.

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Art Conservation at Columbia College

Photo: Three students from the first class, left to right: A. Cassidy, M. Philips, C. Clement working on a painting called "Lo Spirito Santo" from the 17th century. It belongs to the Pieve (Parish) di Carraia in Prato. The gesso layer has already been applied and the students are now applying a "background" layer of gouache.

In the fall of 2011, five students started their first year in the just approved, Arts and Materials Conservation Program, in the Science and Mathematics Department of Columbia College Chicago. Developed with the guidelines of the American Institute for Conservation, it also provides the kind of hands-on education one would expect in a degree at Columbia. The first such undergraduate program in the Midwest, and one of only a few in the U.S., the program in Art and Materials Conservation offers students intense training in chemistry, materials science, studio art, and the humanities, as well as a year of study and hands-on practice at the Lorenzo de' Medici Italian International Institute in Florence, Italy (a one year certificate program).
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A two-day hands-on workshop
designed for curators, collectors, antique dealers, appraisers, and woodworkers

Wood ID Workshop

Visit for more information and register.


Mount, Display, or Store your Artifact Clothing with Care . . . and Style!

Dorfman Museum Figures, Inc.

With any of our Conservation Forms, you can easily show your treasures while still caring for them. The work of mount-making is mostly done for you! Simply pad up or carve down to custom fit your garments.

Our clients include museums, historical societies, exhibit designers, libraries, and private collectors. We have a full line of Archival Conservation Forms, ranging from full mannequins to clothes hangers. Our Classic Adjustable Forms are designed for you to re-size and re-use for your costume collection that has a large range of sizes. Our Classic Economy Forms will save you money if you don’t need to change sizes. Our Ethafoam Man gives you more structure and realism. All are made with Ethafoam™ and without adhesives, glues, or resins.

All forms come with white 100% polyester covers. For your clients who need a color other than white, while not 100% archival, we offer Spandex™ covers (80% nylon/20% Spandex) particularly for short term display.

Find us at

Dorfman Museum Figures, Inc.

800-634-4873 phone
410-284-3249 fax

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