Download Care of Collections (Leicester Readers in Museum Studies) by Simon Knell PDF

By Simon Knell

Confronting modern concerns in museum perform, this assortment offers a realistic advisor to all features of collections care.

Contributors conceal a variety of concerns including:

  •  conservation practice
  • the tracking and keep watch over of light
  •  relative humidity and atmospheric pollution
  •  packing, dealing with and transportation of collections
  •  storage and entry to collections
  •  biological infestation
  •  disaster planning.

Including fabric and resources that experience, up in the past, no longer simply been on hand, scholars of museum experiences and proffessionals in the now have this precious aid to their work.

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Example text

As long as the restorer does nothing to hide or destroy the remaining evidence of the original nature of the bits and pieces that the item of furniture is constructed from, he will not be acting unethically. The fact that time and history have destroyed much evidence is not relevant to the conservator’s present actions. In six sentences the guidelines cover all the ethical problems that the restorer faces when confronted with actually having to do something with a real object. The conservator should not perform or recommend any treatment which is not appropriate to the preservation of the object.

At present the techniques of cleaning are not objectively scientific. It is largely an empirical craft, illumined by little more science than one PhD thesis, some work from the IRPA in Brussels and the chart of a gentleman called Teas. There is no such thing as scientific cleaning. The author is, in fact, most unhappy with the relationship of science to conservation. She suggests that, ‘In recent years the balance of power between technicians and theoreticians of art has shifted drastically towards the former, reflecting the supremacy of the scientific method that has pervaded the profession’ (p.

Looking more seriously at Walden’s definition from the point of view of cleaning, it is only this last aspect, ‘the interaction’, which would be vulnerable to varnish removal. We know, too, that most varnishes are, in any event, nineteenth-century or later in their application, so any interaction would probably have little to do with the Old Masters. All the other facets of ageing to which she alludes would still be present. There is nothing inherently wrong with an adherence to the notion of patina.

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