UCLA/Getty Conservation Program

A graduate conservation training program focusing on the conservation of archaeological and ethnographic materials


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Off to the Great White North-ANAGPIC 2018

Just as our students are returning from Spring Break and settling into the start of the spring quarter, they are also getting ready to head out to this year’s ANAGPIC conference.  This year the conference is hosted by Queen’s University and will take place this week, April 5th-7th.

At this year’s ANAGPIC conference,  we have 2 presentations in the main session, one from 2 first-year students, and the other from one of our third years.  We also have two first years presenting in the lightning round.  Make sure to check out the abstracts of their talks below.

It looks to be an exciting conference covering a wide range of materials and techniques.  Our students are really looking forward to hearing the presentations, meeting students from other programs and presenting their own work.

Good luck to all those presenting and we hope everyone has a great time at this year’s ANAGPIC conference!  (and we’ll be wishing some of our SoCal springtime weather their way!)

 

IpuHeke_Jenkins

Image of an ipu heke from the collection of the Connecting Cultures Mobile Museum.  Skyler Jenkins will be presenting her treatment of this object in this year’s lightning round session.


ANAPGIC 2018 Presentation Abstracts

Analytical Imaging, Visualization and Interpretation of a Byzantine Icon
Austin Anderson, Emily Rezes, Karime Castillo
Advisor: Dr. Ioanna Kakoulli

A Byzantine icon depicting a female saint against a gold background was examined noninvasively using analytical imaging. The construction of the icon shows the typical Byzantine tradition, composed of a wooden support with a white preparation layer applied directly on the wood, gilded, painted and varnished. For the analysis of the icon and to document the technique, condition and previous interventions at surface and subsurface, visible reflectance images using diffused light were initially taken using a DSLR Nikon D90. Imaging beyond the visible was supported by broadband reflectance and luminescence imaging at specific wavelengths from the ultraviolet region (~ 350 nm) to the near infrared region ( ~1000 nm) using a modified (with the hot mirror of the camera removed) Nikon D90. Illumination was provided by a Mini-CrimeScope (an alternate light source (ALS)). Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) was also undertaken to highlight topographic details of the surface. Results from the analytical imaging were able to resolve and unmask important information on the ID of the female figure, identified as Virgin Mary, and to reveal technical and condition details in areas of varnish, pigment, and white preparation. The visualization of incisions and stamped elements indicated an intricate preparation to delineate the iconography, whereas, the mapping of cracks, flaking and losses revealed the fragile nature and condition of the icon.

A Mask on the Move: Analysis and Treatment of an African Mask for Traveling Exhibition
Lindsay Ocal
Advisor: Ellen Pearlstein

An African mask was acquired by the Connecting Cultures Mobile Museum (CCMM), a Los Angeles non-profit organization with a diverse collection of global arts and artifacts. By bringing their exhibitions to local schools, CCMM’s aim is to instill in students an understanding and respect for cultural diversity. This particular mask is in the form of an antelope and made of painted wood with a plant fiber ruff. Upon acquisition by CCMM, the piece had a broken horn, evidence of current pest activity, and was rapidly shedding plant fibers. As a result of an ongoing relationship between the UCLA/Getty Conservation Program faculty and the CCMM, the mask’s condition prompted CCMM staff to contact the program for assistance. As very little was known about the object, art historical and anthropological research was carried out to identify the culture that made the piece, how it was made, and the context in which it was used. Scientific analysis and examination identified the materials used both in the initial creation of the piece and in later repairs to the broken horn. The object’s condition issues required that it undergo several treatment procedures, including pest eradication, cleaning, removal of unsuitable previous repair materials, and reattachment and stabilization of the broken horn. Lastly, a mount and box were constructed that would be suitable for travel, storage, and display.


ANAPGIC 2018 Lightning Round Presentations

Examination and Treatment of a Vejigante Mask
Elena Bowen
Advisor: Ellen Pearlstein

Analysis and Treatment of an Ipu Heke
Skyler Jenkins
Advisor: Ellen Pearlstein

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2010 ANAGPIC Papers are Published

Student papers from the 2010 ANAGPIC conference held at Queen’s University are now available online. Check out the following papers from UCLA/Getty Program students Nicole Ledoux, Cindy Lee Scott, and Elizabeth Drolet. Abstracts of the papers and links to the PDF version can be found below.

Congratulations to our students on the publication of their paper and all their hard work on these projects!

Treatment and Technical Study of a Lakota Beaded Hide
Nicole Ledoux

This paper discusses the conservation and technical study of a Lakota (est.) beaded hide object in very poor condition. The piece, whose original function is not known, was reported as collected in the late 19th or early 20th century by John Anderson, a photographer living on the Rosebud reservation in South Dakota. It was passed down through family lines until it was recently donated to the UCLA/Getty conservation program. At some point in its history, the piece suffered liquid damage that has drastically altered more than half of the hide area, causing darkening, embrittlement, fragmentation, and damage to the associated beadwork, including localized staining resulting in part from bead corrosion. In order to better understand these alterations and their implications for conservation treatment, a technical study has been undertaken that includes both morphological characterization and materials analysis of the hide and tannins. Continued work has included identification of bead composition and characterization of the various alteration products, as well as consultation with tribal and museum experts about original function and appropriate loss compensation. This object provides an interesting case study for investigating the deterioration of semi-tanned hide and the approach taken in treating such significantly altered material.

The Chemical Characterization and Removal of Lac Dye Staining on White-Ground Ceramics
Cindy Lee Scott and Elizabeth Drolet (UCLA/Getty), Rita Blaik, (UCLA Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering)

A late fifth century B.C. white-ground lekythos from the Antikensammlung Museum in Berlin was loaned to the J. Paul Getty Museum (JPGM) in 2006 to be re-restored and studied.  The vessel fragments were poorly assembled with crude shellac in the nineteenth century.  As a part of the conservation efforts at the Getty, the vase was disassembled by fuming in a solvent saturated environment of a 1:1 mixture of ethanol and acetone, which caused a pinkish-purple stain to develop.  Although  numerous materials and techniques were tested, an adequate method for removing the stain has not yet been found.

This paper builds upon the research conducted by conservators and conservation scientists at the JPGM-Department of Antiquities Conservation and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and aims to characterize the nature of the chemical bond formed between the lac dye- a constituent of crude shellac- and the substrate of the white-ground.  The methodology is based on experimental and analytical testing on mock-up tiles and has two phases: first to replicate and characterize the staining and second, to perform cleaning trials using a variety of poulticing materials and organic solvents to adequately reduce or remove the staining without altering the white-ground surface.