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Brown bag lecture: Alicia Boswell, Luxury Object Artisans in the Ancient Andes

Posted by jwalthew
28 Sep 2016 18:19

During her year at BGC as a “Cultures of Conservation” Postdoctoral Fellow Alicia Boswell is collaborating with conservators and curators at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to study a Moche culture metals collection of ritual regalia. In this talk Alicia Boswell will discuss her current project and previous research on the impact of Andean imperial powers on a coca-plant producing community. Coca is a plant that can only be grown in limited ecological niches and is a highly sought-after resource essential to elite strategies of legitimization. The overarching theme between the two projects is their focus on Luxury Object Artisans in the Ancient Andes.

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Field Trip to the Met's Department of Textile Conservation

Posted by sumolsen
20 May 2016 18:29

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By Catherine Stergar and Summer Olsen
Before the end of the spring semester, a group of Bard Graduate Center students in the “Colors in China and Japan: Objects, Cultures, and Conservation” seminar visited the Textile Conservation Lab at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Kristine Kamiya, an associate conservator in the lab, gave the students a tour and introduced them to the conservation work carried out by her and other textile conservators at the museum.

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Conservation Conversation—A Multiplicity of Voices: The Structure of Preservation at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum

Posted by sumolsen
20 May 2016 17:51

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By Catherine Stergar and Summer Olsen
In March, Gabrielle Berlinger and David Favaloro spoke at Bard Graduate Center about the ongoing preservation of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum at 97 Orchard Street in New York City. Berlinger, a trained folklorist, is Assistant Professor of American Studies and Folklore and Tanenbaum Fellow of American Jewish Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. From 2013 to 2015, she participated in the Cultures of Conservation initiative at Bard Graduate Center as an Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral fellow, carrying out a research project on the conservation needs and plans for the Tenement Museum. Favaloro, who is trained in public history, is Director of Curatorial Affairs at the museum and oversees the museum’s conservation work. He has recently completed writing a long-term preservation action plan for the institution and worked closely with Berlinger as she researched the history and conservation efforts at the museum. Their talk, entitled “A Multiplicity of Voices: The Structure of Preservation at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum,” reveals how the museum is dedicated to maintaining a balance between prioritizing the educational goals of the museum and preserving the building as “a primary artifact.”

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Field Trip to The Met's Conservation Lab

Posted by catherinestergar
08 Apr 2016 03:16

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By Catherine Stergar
In March, a group of Bard Graduate Center students took a class field trip to the conservation lab for East Asian paintings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in order to learn firsthand about conservation processes and efforts in the museum setting from Jennifer Perry, the Mary and James Wallach Family Conservator of Japanese Art. The students are currently taking a course entitled “Colors in China and Japan: Objects, Cultures, and Conservation,” a seminar that is analyzing the “materiality of color in Chinese and Japanese objects.” The class is being taught by Professor Stephanie Su, an Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral fellow participating in the Cultures of Conservation initiative at Bard Graduate Center. During the tour of the lab, Jennifer Perry showed the students and Professor Su examples of paintings in the museum’s collection that are currently being treated and cleaned. She also discussed her training in the conservation of Japanese mounted paintings and the type of work she carries out in the lab.

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Brown Bag Lunch Talk: "Paper is Part of the Picture"

Posted by catherinestergar
05 Apr 2016 02:27

By Catherine Stergar
Margaret Holben Ellis, the Eugene Thaw Professor of Paper Conservation at New York University, gave a recent Brown Bag Lunch talk entitled “Paper is Part of the Picture.” Ellis, who also serves as Director of the Thaw Conservation Center at Morgan Library and Museum, has done extensive research on the history of paper-making, paper’s forms and uses over time, and its conservation. Her talk at Bard Graduate Center focused on the present-day lack of understanding about the history and varied properties of paper in the museum, conservation, and academic fields. She pointed out that we interact daily with paper but probably do not consider its unique and significant qualities. “Most of us spend considerable time looking at and interpreting written, printed, and drawn marks on paper. We mentally untangle these marks that are on the paper, but what about the paper on which the marks appear?,” asked Ellis. She continued, saying, “Surely paper is part of the picture. Just like we can decipher or read the marks, we can also read the paper, and reading paper will increase its meaning.”

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