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Posters

Please note: Some posters are missing. If you'd like your poster to be listed here, please email it to meetings@culturalheritage.org.

    1. Research and Survey About the Collection of Metal Works and Founded Potteries in Saarm Teppeh in Qom Province
      Fatemeh Jafari, Islamic Azad University Center of Tehran

      The Iranian plateau, with its climatic variety, is likely one of the primary contributors of the emergence and expansion of the pottery industry in western Asia. The artifacts found in the ancient site of Sarm, located in the Qum province southwest of Tehran, show that this site is only one of a small number of excavated sites in the central plateau that, in addition to the first and second era or age of script, also includes the settled layers of the new bronze age and the first and third iron ages.

      Pottery of various forms has been discovered from this site. Among them are dishware and vessels such as cups, teapots, carafes, large and small plates, jars, and pitchers in different sizes. These objects were found during the excavation in October of 2003.

      With the goal of learning more about the finds from this site, a small number of the earthenware objects were selected and preliminary studies were carried out to determine their manufacturing techniques. The selected items were then tested for their physical and chemical properties.

      This research is significant because for many years no studies were performed to determine the physical and chemical properties of the artifacts from this region after excavation.


    2. Room for Improvement: Designing a 21st Century System for Conservation Documentation
      Katherine Sanderson and Lisa Conte, Conservation Center, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University; and Robert Farrell, Gallery Systems

      In the long history of conservation and restoration, documentation remains a relatively inchoate process. It only became a significant aspect of our profession about seventy-five years ago. In 1935 George Stout published his article, “A Museum Record of the Condition of Paintings,” which asserted the importance of standardizing methods of documentation through the use of a template, which, if regularly used, would promote efficiency of workflow as well as accessibility and consistency of information. Since then, conservators have regarded conservation documentation as an ethical imperative, and this mandate is articulated in AIC’s Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice. Considering the technology currently available, the state of the art has surpassed traditional documentation practices, yet AIC’s core documents provide a compelling directive for the use of current digital technology as best practice in the creation and management of our documentation. In Stout’s time, implementation of the most current documentation standards required the use of a condition report form, a pencil, and a camera. Today, conservators must know how to use databases, computer programs, and digital cameras in order to meet the highest standards for documentation.

      Developing a system that matches existing conservation workflows requires specialized expertise that falls outside of the conservator’s purview. Therefore, collaboration with software developers is essential in order to harness the true capabilities of current digital technology. This poster presents a two-year collaborative project undertaken by two conservators and a software developer to design a new conservation system. The project is sponsored by Gallery Systems, a leader in collection management systems and services, best known as the creators of The Museum System (TMS). The concept for the new conservation system is presented, along with a view of the processes involved in determining what type of documentation tool is needed and the methods undertaken in the development phase; from creating workflows of conservation activities and designing mock-ups to consultations with a working group composed of professional conservators. In addition to reviewing the concepts and proposed conservation system, we will also share insights on what we learned in this collaborative process.

      Certainly, a fully digital future is inevitable. Therefore, just as George Stout looked forward in suggesting a new method of documentation, one of our goals as a community should be to lay a foundation for the future of digital documentation. An early stage in this process is devising a functional system for creating, storing, and accessing our records. Towards that end, it is hoped that this project will contribute to wider efforts to modernize and standardize the way we generate and preserve conservation documentation.

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    3. Mentoring High School Students on Research Projects: The Use of Protease Enzymes in Objects Conservation
      Sarah Barack, SBE Conservation LLC; Beth Edelstein, Metropolitan Museum of Art; and Kasey Motley, Mepham High School

      A science-focused experimental study project was developed in conjunction with two interested local high school students to fulfill their requirements for an advanced science course. The students were introduced to conservation via an outreach class for high school students presented at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The choice of the study project topic was guided by the desire to identify an engaging subject that would allow the students an opportunity to learn about, and apply the methodology behind, the scientific method, and one which would also provide helpful information for bench conservators. At the suggestion of a colleague, the conservators chose to pursue an exploration of the use of protease enzymes to break down aged proteinaceous glues on low fired ceramics. This topic allowed the students to encounter a variety of relevant concepts such as solubility and pH, to learn about the issues of soluble salts within porous materials, and to consider the thought processes conservators utilize in determining appropriate treatment methods. The topic would also be useful for colleagues at the Museum, as conservators periodically were tasked with reversing aged glue joins that responded minimally to water, or on objects where soaking or excessive water use was undesirable.

      The project sought to answer several questions, which guided the organization of the experimental protocol. In particular, the group hoped to learn the following questions: Does a protease enzyme gel reverse hide glue joins more efficiently and safely than water, or an aqueous gel alone? What working techniques are most effective when using the enzyme gel to reverse joins? What tips in enzyme gel preparation can be gleaned from the study?

      A series of unglazed, low-fired earthenware rectangular samples were prepared by first breaking the samples in half using the three-point bend test on an Instron testing apparatus. The samples were reassembled and bonded with commercial hide glue, and artificially aged at 80°C for two months. Once the samples were ready, several versions of a protease enzyme gel were prepared, as well as control gels without the active enzyme. Testing variables included percentage of agarose (gelling agent), application dwell time, and the presence of a tissue barrier layer over the join. Once the gels had been applied to the samples according to these variables, and were cleared with controlled swabbing, the pieces were rebroken along the joins, again using the three-point bend test on the Instron. By calculating each sample’s modulus of rupture, this test allowed for comparison across testing variables and control samples to determine the most effective application method.

      This poster will present the results of the experimental project, the group’s observations of the enzyme’s working properties and include a note on tips for preparation of protease enzyme gels. It will also address the importance of introducing conservation to students at the high school level, as a way to both inspire learners who may not have otherwise held an active interest in science as well as promote the value of preservation to younger generations.

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    4. First-Aid for Flood-Damaged, Paper-Based Collections Using Seawater
      Kenta Higashijima, Graduate Student, and Toshiharu Enomae, Associate Professor, Paper Science Laboratory Biomaterial Science Dept., Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Science, the University of Tokyo; Isamu Sakamoto; Kiyohiko Igarashi; and Akira Isogai

      On March 11, 2011, the Tohoku earthquake and ensuing tsunami struck eastern Japan, emanating from its offshore epicenter in the Pacific Ocean. More than ten thousand lives and much property were lost. Weeks after the disaster, many victims displaced from their homes are still living in evacuation centers. Prepared in late March of 2011, this abstract provides the most current information on what is known about the damage to cultural property and what is being done to save it. The poster presented at the AIC Annual Meeting will provide the most recent information on this dire situation, the circumstances of which will continue to develop in the months and years to come.

      Promptly following the disaster, governmental and civic organizations began the necessary efforts to begin the recovery. Because cultural properties are an important source of local identity and national pride, projects that work to restore cultural heritage can be important symbols of hope. MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology), the governmental organization responsible for the protection of cultural properties, reported that 417 reports of damage had been filed as of March 31. This total includes three national treasures: Zuigan Temple, Miyagi prefecture; Osaki HachimanguShrine, Miyagi prefecture; and Shiramizu Amidado of Ganjo Temple, Fukushima prefecture. Though the number of damage reports may seem low, much of the damage has not yet been reported. As the recovery efforts proceed, the tremendous scope of the damage to cultural heritage will gradually become clear.

      In cooperation with MEXT, which issued the basic action policy and established a rescue committee for cultural properties, newly-established support groups and existing organizations are ready to take action. The nonprofit Network for Historical Materials continuously sends updated reports on the damage in Miyagi, Fukushima, and Ibaraki prefectures along with urgent appeals for aid. Their report, in English, is available on their homepage at http://rekishishiryonet.wordpress.com/. They are calling on municipalities and owners of historic materials to preserve them if they are muddy or water-damaged. Recently, it was announced that the Network was ready to begin rescue efforts once working shelters are provided. The Consortium for Earthquake-Damaged Cultural Heritage, a voluntary network of archaeologists and related professionals, uses social media applications to collect, discuss, and analyze the data and information on the earthquake and tsunami damage. For example, a member of the Board of Education of Ushiku City, Ibaraki prefecture, provided two photographs showing damage to the Gorinto stone towers at two temples. The Japan Society for the Conservation of Cultural Property has just started its recovery efforts with the initiation of a special committee for disaster countermeasures.

      There are many organizations that are able to aid in the recovery, restoration, and reconstruction of damaged cultural heritage. At the same time, many Japanese people, corporations, and organizations are making donations for the reconstruction. However, the cost will be huge and the work will take years to complete because the scope of destruction is the largest ever experienced since the dawn of Japanese history.

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    5. Cultural Heritage Damaged by the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and the Need for Recovery Aid
      Toshiharu Enomae, Associate Professor, and Kenta Higashijima, Graduate Student, Paper Science Laboratory Biomaterial Science Dept., Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Science, the University of Tokyo

      On March 11, 2011, the Tohoku earthquake and ensuing tsunami struck eastern Japan, emanating from its offshore epicenter in the Pacific Ocean. More than ten thousand lives and much property were lost. Weeks after the disaster, many victims displaced from their homes are still living in evacuation centers. Prepared in late March of 2011, this abstract provides the most current information on what is known about the damage to cultural property and what is being done to save it. The poster presented at the AIC Annual Meeting will provide the most recent information on this dire situation, the circumstances of which will continue to develop in the months and years to come.

      Promptly following the disaster, governmental and civic organizations began the necessary efforts to begin the recovery. Because cultural properties are an important source of local identity and national pride, projects that work to restore cultural heritage can be important symbols of hope. MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology), the governmental organization responsible for the protection of cultural properties, reported that 417 reports of damage had been filed as of March 31. This total includes three national treasures: Zuigan Temple, Miyagi prefecture; Osaki HachimanguShrine, Miyagi prefecture; and Shiramizu Amidado of Ganjo Temple, Fukushima prefecture. Though the number of damage reports may seem low, much of the damage has not yet been reported. As the recovery efforts proceed, the tremendous scope of the damage to cultural heritage will gradually become clear.

      In cooperation with MEXT, which issued the basic action policy and established a rescue committee for cultural properties, newly-established support groups and existing organizations are ready to take action. The nonprofit Network for Historical Materials continuously sends updated reports on the damage in Miyagi, Fukushima, and Ibaraki prefectures along with urgent appeals for aid. Their report, in English, is available on their homepage at http://rekishishiryonet.wordpress.com/. They are calling on municipalities and owners of historic materials to preserve them if they are muddy or water-damaged. Recently, it was announced that the Network was ready to begin rescue efforts once working shelters are provided. The Consortium for Earthquake-Damaged Cultural Heritage, a voluntary network of archaeologists and related professionals, uses social media applications to collect, discuss, and analyze the data and information on the earthquake and tsunami damage. For example, a member of the Board of Education of Ushiku City, Ibaraki prefecture, provided two photographs showing damage to the Gorinto stone towers at two temples. The Japan Society for the Conservation of Cultural Property has just started its recovery efforts with the initiation of a special committee for disaster countermeasures.

      There are many organizations that are able to aid in the recovery, restoration, and reconstruction of damaged cultural heritage. At the same time, many Japanese people, corporations, and organizations are making donations for the reconstruction. However, the cost will be huge and the work will take years to complete because the scope of destruction is the largest ever experienced since the dawn of Japanese history.

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    6. Pounding, The Process of Hand-Calendering Papers in Traditional Papermaking and Its Influence on Strength and Dimensional Stability
      Toshiharu Enomae, Associate Professor, Paper Science Laboratory Biomaterial Science Dept., Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Science, the University of Tokyo

      In pre-Meiji Era (1868–1912) Japanese papermaking, the pounding process was commonly employed to finish the surface of paper, creating a surface that accepts hand-written sumi ink without bleeding. Pounding can be thought of as a precursor of machine calendering, which is employed in modern papermaking. The process of pounding became obsolete, presumably, because the heated, steel drying boards, which replaced wooden drying boards, were capable of reproducing the smoothly finished surface of hand-pounded paper.

      Restoration techniques can be problematic if a repair paper responds to cycles of relative humidity differently than the paper of the original. Treatments that introduce moisture, such as washing or the use of an aqueous adhesive, must be considered and refined according to the characteristics of the paper of the original artwork, which vary according to fiber source and papermaking processes. A repair paper is often chosen because it was produced using techniques similar to the paper of the original. If it is observed that the smoothness of the paper of the original was achieved through pounding, a paper conservator might pound the repair paper. However, even if the repair paper looks similar to the original, the aging undergone by the original paper is very different. Therefore, it is possible that these two papers will behave differently.

      In this research, the tensile strength and wet-stretch properties of pounded papers were examined to predict dimensional changes caused by cycles of varying relative humidity. Two different papers were chosen: a recycled copy paper and a machine-made, kozo-fibered Japanese paper. In order to evaluate how moisture affects pounding, samples were conditioned with varying moisture contents. The paper samples were pounded with a prototype, air-pressure-driven pounding machine with a slightly curved hammering tip that was operated at pressures of 0.15, 0.20, 0.30, and 0.50 MPa. The pounding machine was applied to the paper at 1.4 mm intervals.

      Pounding wrinkled both paper types in the cross-machine direction due to the elongation caused by collapsed fibers. However, the smoothness and sheet density of the copy paper increased as inter-fiber pores closed and lumens collapsed. These changes were observed with scanning electron microscopy. Similar changes were expected with the Japanese paper samples. The tensile strengths of both paper types with higher moisture contents decreased compared to the non-pounded paper samples. However, the tensile strength of the pounded, air-dried sample decreased to an equivalent extent, indicating that moisture did not affect the degree of reduction.

      Wet-stretch tended to be higher for papers pounded at higher air pressures presumably because the fiber structure was more broken and loosened, suggesting that looser fiber structures result in reduced dimensional stability. In addition, the presence of inter-fiber pores decreases the tendency of a paper to expand when wet because pores contain the swelling of fibers. The wet-stretch of Japanese paper of a lower sheet density was 50% less than that of the copy paper.

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    7. Fraktur at the National Archives: The Illuminated Manuscripts of the Pennsylvania Germans
      Annie Wilker, Paper Conservator, National Archives and Records Administration

      Rooted in the European tradition of illuminated manuscripts, fraktur are illustrated records created by German immigrants to the United States. These elaborate examples of illuminated folk art were made in southeastern and south central Pennsylvania in the years between 1740 and 1860. Early fraktur were drawn by hand in iron gall ink on paper and were often decorated with watercolors; later works were commercially printed. The Pennsylvania Germans created fraktur for a variety of purposes: birth and baptismal certificates (Geburts- und Taufscheine), writing samples (Vorschriften), marriage certificates (Traufscheine), confirmation certificates (Confirmationsscheine), family registers (Familien Register), house blessings, and merit awards. Fraktur were an attainable and personal art form quite popular among rural families of nineteenth-century Pennsylvania.

      In the holdings at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), one group of 118 fraktur has transformed from personal mementos to federal records. Following the Revolutionary War, Congress passed legislation authorizing pension benefits to veterans, widows of servicemen, or surviving adult children. Thousands of documents were presented to the Federal Government as proof of eligibility for pensions. In some cases, fraktur that chronicled age, marriage, and family relationships were submitted to the government by pension claimants despite their personal, sentimental, and artistic significance. Many families handed over their fraktur to the government not realizing they would never be returned. These fraktur, then held in the Records of the Veterans Administration, were temporarily overlooked until they were rediscovered during a NARA microfilming project in the 1970s. To highlight these illuminated manuscripts, NARA opened a fraktur display in its “Public Vaults” exhibit space in 2004. Currently, two or three fraktur are periodically rotated into this display.

      A wide range of treatments was carried out in recent years by NARA’s conservation staff to prepare the fraktur for exhibit. Baptismal records, family records, and a unique fraktur booklet underwent treatments that included loss compensation, washing, delamination, and lining. Extreme states of deterioration, soluble media, and harmful previous restorations were some of the challenges that these fraktur presented. One of the more unusual treatments involved realigning tears that were previously stitched together with thread. Another treatment required the creation of fills that simulated the appearance of lamination as the plastic lamination on the fraktur could not be removed due to solubility issues. Following conservation treatment, these fraktur can now be appreciated not just for the beauty of their designs but for the glimpse they provide into a period of early American history.

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    8. Conservation of a Large Painting: Making Decisions Under the Constraints of Space, Time, and Budget
      Eun-Jin Kim, Paintings Conservator, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea

      The 79 Beatified, an oil on canvas painting by Giustanian measuring 350 cm by 500 cm, has been on the wall of Myeong-Dong Catholic Cathedral of Seoul Archdiocese since it came to Korea. This large painting depicts 79 people including Bishop Imbert (1797–1839), two priests, and a group of people who were beatified in Rome in 1925. No document exists about the artist, origin, provenance, or any conservation or restoration.

      The painting needed overall cleaning. Heavy dirt was evident on the surface and verso of the canvas. Relatively less dust along the wooden bars at the verso of canvas caused lighter areas on the painting. Dust had accumulated between the canvas and wooden bars resulting in a canvas bulge in the lower part of painting. Mended tears and overpaint, from an unknown date, were visible in some areas but appeared to be stable. It was difficult to predict the condition of the primary support and verso of canvas while the painting was on the wall.

      A large space would have to be found to accommodate such a large painting; however, the cathedral staff disapproved of the painting being removed due to security and budgetary reasons. To further complicate matters, an Easter deadline was placed on the project allowing for only 10 days for completion. Three-story scaffolding was assembled around the painting. After taking the painting off the wall, it was discovered that the painting had been fixed to the frame in an unusual way. The frame had functioned as a stretcher in a way that the edges of canvas were folded over a thin wooden lath, which was inserted into the frame. In this configuration, the verso of the canvas touched the wall behind the painting and had been subjected to fluctuating temperature and humidity. While surface cleaning from the verso, any restoration treatments from the recto were carried out at the same time. However, since the painting could not be placed face down on the floor due to the lack of space, proper tear mending could not be achieved and deformed surface could not be adjusted easily. A polycarbonate panel was fixed as a backing board and also as an auxiliary support for the painting.

      The painting has recovered its original brightness and is now stable. However, the conservators had to agonize over the ideal treatment and what was could be realistically completed. In the poster, modifications to the conservation and restoration procedure due to restrictions of space, time, and budget will be explained. The conservator’s role as a negotiator, as well as a practitioner, will be also discussed.


    View Posters 9-18

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