Pests, insects, bugs, creepy-crawlies…whatever you call them, they are not good for art collections! These tiny agents of deterioration can cause lots of damage quite quickly, and they may go unnoticed at first. Learn more about how conservators deal with these vicious vermin here.
With the research and professional development funds provided by the Mellon Grant, we were recently able to view an exhibition of artwork closely related to our own, which opened at Fisk University Galleries at the beginning of October. We also visited Frist Art Museum and other sites around Nashville, connected with colleagues, and explored the fabulous Music City!
At the end of September, I was able to attend the Annual Symposium of the Midwest Regional Conservation Guild (MRCG) in Detroit, Michigan. It was a great opportunity to give a presentation about the Mellon project to a group of friendly and insightful conservators. After lots of networking and nerdy conservation discussions, I made it back home, despite the best efforts of Hurricane Ian! Read more about the trip here.
In celebration of completing our survey, we are sharing some interesting statistics about the collection. In sharing these statistics, we hope to spread more awareness about the composition of this awe-inspiring collection of art.
Light is an unavoidable element of our environment, but it causes irreversible changes to artworks, and therefore is considered one of the agents of deterioration. Read more about how conservators address this paradox here!
In July, we had the opportunity to participate in Hampton University Museum’s Tree House Summer Camp, which this year was a virtual program for children ages 5-12. We described the basics of what a curator and a conservator do, and conducted several activities to help them practice each role.
Learn more about another of the Ten Agents of Deterioration: water! Its effects on artworks can be quite damaging when they are uncontrolled and unexpected. It can also lead to the growth of mold. But water can also be a useful tool for conservators who need to treat artworks. What’s the difference? Keep reading!
This collection of Modern African Art has much to teach us, and has led to some very interesting research “rabbit-holes”. Discover more about an important cultural element that is depicted in several of the artworks, and has a very broad history, from prehistoric times to the 21st century.
One of the goals of this grant project is to present outreach programs to the public, both virtually and in-person. So far, we have had the opportunity to participate in two such programs, partnering with The Links, Incorporated and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. In this post, we will be sharing the details of these programs, including feedback we received and our key takeaways.
Physical forces, like drops, scrapes, or bumps, may be what most people think of when it comes to damages to artworks, so this is the first Agent of Deterioration I am covering. There may also be inherent aspects which can cause cracks to form in paintings, and the consequences and treatment options for these can be quite different. Read more to learn why!