A Conference in Detroit: MRCG Symposium 2022

Article by Elizabeth Robson

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.

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Harmon Foundation Modern African Art Collection Statistics

Article by Tashae Smith and Elizabeth Robson

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. 

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The Paradox of Light: Necessary but Damaging

Article by Elizabeth Robson

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!

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Virtual Tree House Summer Camp

Article by Elizabeth Robson and Tashae Smith

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.

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The Dangers (and Usefulness) of Water

Article by Elizabeth Robson

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!

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Outreach Programs with The Links, Incorporated and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Article by Elizabeth Robson and Tashae Smith

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.

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Physical Forces and Inherent Vice

Article by Elizabeth Robson

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!

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Agents of Deterioration and Preventive Conservation

Article by Elizabeth Robson

Protecting collections starts with understanding the ways that damage can be caused to objects, often called the 10 Agents of Deterioration, as well as how to prevent their effects. Preventive conservation is the term used to describe the actions taken to avoid future interventive treatment and reduce risks. Learn more here about the upcoming conservation blog series!

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