There was a lot of talk this year about how we need to make poster content survive the conference. The poster format itself would require a certain amount of technology to translate to the internet. It might be easier to require posters to also be submitted in a web-friendly format, but posters are a lot of work as it is. Still, the authors might appreciate a way for the their work to live on. There were 37 posters this year. They were up for two days, and my attention was distracted by the coffee breaks, the vendors, and of course chatting with my colleagues. I had to return to the poster area four times to gather notes for this blog, and my brain hurt each time…there is so much information packed in there so densely, it is simply not possible to blog about it very well. I had intended to report anything of interest to ethnographic or archaeological conservators, but there was just no way I was going to pull that off. Here are some of the titles I found interesting, and some of the content that I found thought-provoking.
The Role of Static Charge in Dirt Accumulation on Painted Surfaces
Jamie Abbott and Dr Gregory Dale Smith
Apparently, static is not a serious issue after all
University of Delaware Art Conservation Undergraduate Education 2.0
Vicki Cassman, Jae Gutierrez, and Debra Hess Norris
This was a good way to get the word out about changes to the program. They no longer offer two concentrations (collections care and pre-program) but a single major called Material Culture Preservation. An applied chemistry elective has also been added. Stronger components of ethics and practice have been added to the traditional three legged stool.
Emerging Conservation Professionals Network: Emerging Conservators Using Emerging Technologies
Sherry DeFreece Emery, Laura Brill, and Anne M. Simon
Another example of using a poster to get the word out. The group is aimed at students and conservators who have been practicing less than 5 years (although elsewhere I’ve heard the number was seven years?) They look to use old and new technologies as well as a mentoring system.
A Cut Above: The Crayola Cutter as Conservation Tool
Lisa Conte, Lisa Nelson, Katherine Sanderson, and Eliza Spaulding
The Crayola Cutter is a toy, employing a pulsating electric stylus or needle to cut paper by perforating it. The method was compared to tearing along a wet line and using a scalpel. Can’t use it on a light table, and it can’t be on a hard surface…needs something like Volara behind it. The original version was blue and yellow, and the newer one in purple and orange pulsates faster.
African Beaded Objects: Characterizing Conservation Issues and Testing and Developing Cleaning Treatments
Maria Fusco, Stephen P. Mellor, and Robert J. Speakman
Study on this looks to be just getting underway, with the poster concentrating more on the findings of what kind of degradation they are seeing in which cultural groups. They looked at 344 beaded objects and saw bead problems with 17% of them. They chose 24 objects as the study set. They are now trying to correlate chemical patterns to physical patterns they are seeing. Saw a lot more deterioration on glass beads from Cameroonian cultures and the Ndebele from South Africa, but don’t have the data yet to begin explaining that. Noted that on the Ndebele beads, more deterioration was seen on white, pink, and translucent beads than on other colors. I’m really looking forward to seeing where this goes next.
The Role of the Exhibitions Conservator in Touring Exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston
Super-dense with great lists of things to think of on a timeline when doing traveling exhibits. Obviously, a lot of experience went into this one, and there were lots of areas indicated in bold where Laura could be contacted to provide copies of the documents and checklists they have developed.
A Technical Analysis of Hopi Katchina Dolls at the Arizona State Museum
Using XRF, FTIR, Raman and Colorimetry. Brighter whites and colors used after the 1930’s. Largest change in pigments happened in the 1920’s and 30’s around the same time as the “action” style period begins. Matte paint means less binder and the FTIR wasn’t sensitive enough to pick it up.
The Sampling of Archaeological Metals for Lead Isotope Analysis Using Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid-A “Minimally Destructive” Alternative
Vanessa Muros, Joseph Lehner, and Alma Bardho
Application of UV/VINR Digital Photography and Composite False-Color Imaging in Field Archaeological Conservation Investigations
Cuong Nguyen, Ioanna Kakoulli, Maria Cecilia Lozada
Looking more closely at surface soiling, bacterial deposits, burns and other features of human remains with non-invasive technology.
A Comparative Investigation of Lined Linen as a Book Covering Material
Dr. Melissa Tedone
I wasn’t so interested in this poster for its content but for the terrific hands-on samples that really took maximum advantage of the poster as a communication medium. This would win my award for best poster.
Aquazol as a Heat-Set Adhesive for Textile Conservation Treatments
Especially looking at taking advantage of the different properties of various molecular weights of Aquazol in treating shattered silk. Seems like there was some success here, although a caveat that high humidity situations could prmote staining. This poster would have been kicked up a notch with some hands-on attachments like the linen one? The materials to do that might not have been available, though…
The Investigation of Cyclododecane’s Effect on Carbon-14 Dating of Archaeological Materials
Christine M. Pohl, Greg Hodgins, Robert J. Speakman, an Harriet F. Beaubien
Laboratory-grade cyclododecane seems to be OK! Seems like the cleaning protocols to remove contaminants before typical Carbon-14 testing work fine for this too.
Fishing for an Alternative to the Traditional Source of Isinglass: Preliminary Investigations
Eileen Sullivan, James Hamm, and Dr. Aaron Shugar
As typical isinglass gets harder to come by, they are looking for alternatives. Farm raised California white sturgeon might be a good replacement. They describe the whole process of manufacture they followed, and testing viscosity, pH, solubility, gellation, colorimetry and FTIR. Looks promising, but the chatter around the poster was, “Who is going to make this stuff?”
Mediating Community Relations through Art Conservation
Dealing with the University of Delaware and the community to conserve a mosaic monument to honor an Africa American community in Newark.
Technical Investigation of Shea Butter-Containing Forawa Vessels from Ghana
Sebastian K.T.S. Warmlander (sorry about the missing umlauts), David A. Scott, Vanessa Muros, Ellen Pearlstein, Alek Dooley, and Kym F. Faull
Investigated organo-metallic complexes between residual shea butter and copper or zinc ions of the vessels.
Remove it or Lose it! Removal of the Forward and Aft Ballast Tank Pumps and Strategic PLanning for the Long-Term Preservation of the H.L. Hunley Submarine.
Chris Watters, Vincent Blouin, Typhaine Brocard, Paul Mardikian, Johanna Rivera, and Phillipe de Vivies
A scary maneuver had to be performed to get these parts out of the sub in order to treat them, since they were composite and needed to be taken apart. But the team could not know for certain the exact way to disassemble them and how integral they were to the structural stability of the vessel. Poster described how they dealt with those risks to successfully remove these parts.