McComsey Career Development Center
Visual Arts : Restoration and Conservation

Processes, Techniques, Knowledge Areas

__Academic areas:

  • anthropology
  • archeology
  • artifact technology
  • art history
  • cultural history
  • science - general and organic chemistry, biology, environmental studies/weather science
  • studio arts and crafts
  • business
  • writing
  • languages

__Physical/chemical properties of materials
__Ethics and philosophy of conservation
__Conservation research methods:

  • radiography
  • statistics
  • experimental design
  • aging
  • physical testing
  • library research methods

__Financial aspects of materials
__Processes of examination, analysis, stabilization, treatment
__Dendrochronology (wood dating)
__Materials areas:

  • photography
  • wood
  • paper
  • textiles
  • library materials
  • paintings
  • natural science collections
  • anthropological/historical/decorative/art objects of all materials

__Photography conservation:

  • surface cleaning
  • binder layer consolidating
  • humidifying and flattening tightly rolled panoramas
  • bathing
  • mending of tears and damages to paper supports
  • inpainting of disfiguring losses

__Furniture conservation:

  • stabilization of structural components and veneered surfaces
  • reapplication of surface coatings
  • replacing lost finials by carving/casting
  • joinery (mortise and tenon, dovetailing)
  • surface treatment and detailing (inlay/veneer, decorative carving)
  • three-dimensional shaping (lathe-turning, basic carving)
  • tool maintenance and use (general care and sharpening, honing)

__Library and archive materials:

  • treating rare books and manuscripts
  • making book boxes and protective enclosures
  • implementing library preservation programs (library binding, microfilming, general collection repair)

__Paper conservation:

  • surface cleaning
  • attachment removal
  • stain reduction
  • mends and hinges
  • pulp fills
  • paper inserts
  • bathing and drying paper

__Objects conservation:

  • metal, ceramics, glass, stone, organic materials
  • nature of materials
  • fabrication and manufacture
  • mechanisms of deterioration
  • means of remedial and preventive conservation

Materials, Equipment, Technology

__Analytical lab tests:

  • x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF)
  • Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy (FTIR)
  • reflected and transmitted ultra-violet visible spectroscopy (UV/VIS)
  • gas chromatography-Mass spectrometry (GC-MS)
  • x-ray diffraction (XRD)
  • scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy dispersive analysis (EDS)
  • metallographic examination

__Photography conservation materials:

  • salted paper
  • albumen
  • silver gelatin
  • platinum
  • contemporary color processes

__Furniture: metal, plastic, wood, resin, laminate, joinery, finishes
__Conservation photography:

  • 4x5 b&w
  • ultraviolet
  • 35mm color slide
  • infra-red reflectography
  • digital

__Painting conservation cleaning systems:

  • solvent gels
  • resin soaps
  • enzymes
  • aqueous cleaning formulations