TAG: Conservation

Conservation of a King: Aesthetic Compensation & Next Steps (Part 4)
Blog: Conservation

Conservation of a King: Aesthetic Compensation & Next Steps (Part 4)

Conservation treatment of King Caspar is almost finished. Having completed the structural portion of the treatment which included filling cracks, repairing broken elements, and stabilizing loose joints, I moved on to the aesthetic portion of the treatment. The goal of this part of the treatment was to unify the overall appearance by filling areas where the paint and/or gesso was lost to bring them to the same level as the surrounding surfaces. More

Conservation of a King: Surface Cleaning & Structural Stabilization (Part 3)
Blog: Conservation

Conservation of a King: Surface Cleaning & Structural Stabilization (Part 3)

My initial examination revealed that the sculpture of King Caspar was in poor condition. Many of the wooden joints were loose; some pieces were broken and missing. The paint and barniz chinesco surfaces were actively flaking and the sculpture was very grimy. In collaboration with curator Donna Pierce, I designed a treatment plan that will restore the structural stability of the sculpture so that it can be handled, studied, and displayed safely. We also decided to pursue aesthetic compensation so that it can be effectively understood as a devotional object. More

Conservation of a King: Developing a Treatment Plan (Part 2)
Blog: Conservation

Conservation of a King: Developing a Treatment Plan (Part 2)

One of the first steps of any conservation treatment is to closely examine the object, creating written and photographic records of its current state. Conservators do this using a variety of tools and methods. I started to examine King Caspar by looking closely under normal light. Then, I began to change the angle and intensity of light, eventually adding magnification (via a stereomicroscope). More

Conserving a Spanish Colonial Sculpture
Blog: Conservation

Conserving a Spanish Colonial Sculpture

DAM Blog Series Documents Conservation Treatment of King Caspar

Follow our four-part series on conserving an eighteenth-century statue of King Caspar, one of the Magi often included in the Nativity. More

Conserving Shattered Silk in an Early 20th Century Souvenir Ribbon Quilt
Blog: Conservation

Conserving Shattered Silk in an Early 20th Century Souvenir Ribbon Quilt

Lyrical, structured, bold, colorful, whimsical, meticulous, commemorative, and even “crazy," the quilts currently on display in First Glance/Second Look: Quilts from the Denver Art Museum Collection cover a staggering amount of design territory. Enticing the viewer’s eye to the back of the gallery is a striking grid of red and black interspersed with a rainbow of other colors. More

Canaletto - Frame Conservation
Blog: Conservation

Canaletto - Frame Conservation

Part 12 of Conserving a Canaletto

Also part of the TEFAF was the conservation of the painting’s frame. The frame is "period," meaning stylistically it is of similar age as that of the painting, but not original to our Canaletto. This is not surprising since frames, historically, were not really perceived as works of art themselves and, indeed, the idea of placing a higher value on the “package” of both the painting and its original frame is a relatively new concept. Our frame is constructed of wood with hand-carved elements originally gilded using water and oil gilding techniques. More

Science at the Museum: Analyzing a Fifteenth Century Inca Corn Stalk, Part 1 of 2
Blog: Conservation

Science at the Museum: Analyzing a Fifteenth Century Inca Corn Stalk, Part 1 of 2

The New World department has a comprehensive display of pre-Columbian artifacts from Central, Meso-, and South America located in the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Study Gallery of Pre-Columbian Art on Level 4 of the North Building. Objects in this space are made of clay (ceramics), metals, wood, and stone and served a utilitarian, decorative and religious/spiritual purpose. Often, all three functions were rolled into one. More

The Cosmetic Phase
Blog: Conservation

The Cosmetic Phase

Part 11 of Conserving a Canaletto

The idea of reversibility is a very important concept in modern conservation practice. I chose materials with good and known aging characteristics, understanding that my work may need to be removed and/or redone, in the future. It is important that my conservation treatments are reversible. I know that the adhesive I chose to bond the original and lining canvases could be separated in the future and will not cause further harm to the artwork. More

Lining the Painting
Blog: Conservation

Lining the Painting

Part 10 of Conserving a Canaletto

Now that I’ve reduced the distracting bumps caused by the previous lining adhesive, I must now re-line the picture to another auxiliary canvas support. I was hoping not to have to re-line the picture, but it was not possible to locally mend the tear since the fibers along the tear edges were too frayed and weak. More

Beginning the Structural Work
Blog: Conservation

Beginning the Structural Work

Part 9 of Conserving a Canaletto

It’s now time to move onto the structural phase of the conservation treatment for the Canaletto work. Structural work entails further securing of any loose media, such as paint or ground, and any repairs if necessary to the canvas and stretcher. Our Canaletto was lined in the past, which means that the original canvas was adhered to a secondary canvas. There are a variety of reasons historically why paintings were lined, but in the case of the Canaletto it was most likely due to the tear in the original canvas. More

Cleaning Complete
Blog: Conservation

Cleaning Complete

Part 8 of Conserving a Canaletto

After many hours and consultations with Timothy, cleaning is complete. I am always amazed at how much more one sees of a picture once the discolored varnish is removed—subtle details in the composition become visible and the picture's overall sense of depth is enhanced. More

Turret We Discovered Has Us Wondering
Blog: Conservation

Turret We Discovered Has Us Wondering

Part 7 of Conserving a Canaletto

I’ve been cleaning the Canaletto, taking my Q-tips to the surface and gently removing all of the restorer-applied discolored varnish and overpaint. Upon removal of some overpaint, an area discussed in our earlier video post, I discovered a turret, or tower. This is a pretty exciting discovery. More

Considerations in Our Cleaning Decisions
Blog: Conservation

Considerations in Our Cleaning Decisions

Part 6 of Conserving a Canaletto

It's likely you have a photograph, painting, illustrated card, or drawing that just doesn't look the same as it did when you first brought it home. Heck, you probably have a shirt that isn't as bright as it once was and maybe there's a stain or two on it reminding you of a not-so-graceful moment. The world is a tough place and the effects of temperature, light, water/humidity, and other humans mark us and our things without fail. More

Cleaning Decisions Videos
Blog: Conservation

Cleaning Decisions Videos

Part 5 of Conserving a Canaletto

Now that the painting has gotten a thorough check-up and health assessment by the curatorial and conservation teams, it is time to decide how best to treat it. More

A Look Inside the Textile Conservation Process
Blog: Conservation

A Look Inside the Textile Conservation Process

In the beginning of the summer, I began working at the DAM. Since then, I have been reviewing objects selected for upcoming textile art exhibitions to determine the conservation treatments that will be required and ensuring that necessary supplies and equipment are on hand to perform the treatments. I am undertaking the conservation of textile-based collections in the Margaret Page Conservation Laboratory in the lower level of the Hamilton Building. More

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