Cleaning and Conductivity: New Methods for Treating Works on Paper, Paintings & Textiles

December 6 - 8, 2017
Amon Carter 
Museum of American Art 
Fort Worth, TX
Amy Hughes, Daria Keynan, and Chris Stavroudis
Organizer: Stephanie Lussier


This workshop presents scientifically-based advanced cleaning techniques from an interdisciplinary perspective with an emphasis on bridging the gap between scientific theory and practice. Participants will explore the principles of conductivity and pH and their control in cleaning systems with consideration for applications including stain reduction on paper and textiles, as well as cleaning of contemporary paintings.

Aesthetic improvement has been an integral component of conservation, beginning with the earliest restoration traditions, and it remains so whether practicing in a museum laboratory or when catering to the needs of private collectors. The conservation profession continues to strive to identify cleaning methods that achieve desirable results without compromising the physical stability or integrity of the artifacts that we treat. Applying conductivity theories to cleaning and stain reduction is perhaps the largest stride made in our field since chemical bleaches were closely examined in the late 1980s.

The workshop has an integrated format that includes lectures, hands-on sessions, as well as problem-solving discussions.

Participants will:

  • Gain an understanding of the theory behind aqueous cleaning systems and their potential relative to the surface conductivity of the artifact in need of treatment
  • Learn to prepare cleaning solutions, perform testing, and apply the test results to real-life treatment scenarios through the use of mock-ups and test objects
  • Develop the ability to assess the behavior of various media and substrates within a variety of cleaning systems to assess risk to an artifact, and to anticipate its response to treatment
  • Return to their everyday work environments with new treatment skills and resources, and enhanced problem-solving abilities


This workshop is currently full.

The fee for this course is $425 for AIC members; $595 for non AIC members. 
The workshop is limited to 14 participants.

This program is designed for mid-career, practicing conservators. Participants may be selected based on training, experience, balance of institutional and private practice conservators, balance of conservation specialty areas, number of registrants from a single organization, and geography. Preference will be given to AIC Professional Associate and Fellow members. Applications will be reviewed in the order received - early application is encouraged. Review will begin April 1st and continue until the workshop is filled. Notifications expected by April 15th. No payment is required to apply. Payment is due only after acceptance to the program.

Application Process

To apply to participate in the workshop, please fill out the Cleaning and Conductivity Workshop Application through our online review site. To initiate the application, you will be asked to enter your email address to see if you already have an account in the system (this should be the case if you are an AIC member). If you have an email address in our system, you will then be asked to enter your password (the same password you use to log in to the AIC website). If you do not have an account in our system, you will be asked to set one up before you begin your application.

The application will require:
  1. Applicant Information (name, contact information, membership status)
  2. A statement addressing the selection criteria (qualification for participation, demonstrated need/relevance to learn workshop content, opportunity to disseminate information gained)
  3. Upload CV/resume (PDF format preferred)
You may save your application and return later to complete it. When you are satisfied with your responses, click on the "Save and submit" button.

Apply to Participate

The application is now closed and the workshop is full.

About the Workshop

In 2002, conservators and conservation scientists from the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles, the Tate in London, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, undertook a groundbreaking collaboration on the cleaning of modern paints. Since 2006, the year of the Modern Paints Uncovered Symposium, many additional institutions and individual researchers have joined the initiative, conducting numerous technical studies on the subject. Throughout this decade of intense study, the conservation community faced a key challenge: bridging the gap between research and practice—a gap which has been slowly closing since the Cleaning Acrylic Painted Surfaces - Research Into Practice (CAPS-RIP) workshop was first offered in 2011. Still, these workshops are somewhat limited in scope, and do not address areas outside of contemporary paintings conservation. A few creative practitioners (including the instructors for this workshop) have recently been exploring the principles of conductivity and cleaning with consideration for other applications including stain reduction on paper and textiles, as well as cleaning water-sensitive paints.

View a list of accommodations compiled for the convenience of out-of-town visitors. Please note that AIC/FAIC and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in no way endorse these businesses.

About the Instructors

  • Amy Hughes is the Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Paper Conservation at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. Before beginning work at the NGA last year, Amy completed a two-year Mellon Fellowship in Paper Conservation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she researched the effects of conductivity in aqueous cleaning solutions. Her prior experience includes fellowships and graduate internships at the Smithsonian Freer and Sackler Galleries, the Morgan Library & Museum, and Daria K. Conservation. Amy holds a Master of Arts in Art History and an Advanced Certificate in Conservation from NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts Conservation Center.
  • Daria Keynan is a paper conservator working in private practice in NYC. Her studio Daria K. Conservation, LLC  specializes in modern and contemporary art on paper. Daria was first introduced to the basics of pH and conductivity adjusted aqueous solutions in a 2009 workshop and has been making active use of this aqueous system in treatment since 2011. She has taught workshops on the use of the system in paper conservation and has trained a number of conservators in its uses.
  • Chris Stavroudis is a private paintings conservator in Los Angeles. He obtained undergraduate degrees in Chemistry and Art History from the University of Arizona and his Master’s degree from the University of Delaware/Winterthur conservation program in 1983. He developed the Modular Cleaning Program and teaches workshops on using the MCP. He is also one of the instructors for the GCI-sponsored Cleaning Acrylic Paint Surfaces (CAPS) workshops.

Scholarship Funding

FAIC/NEH Individual Professional Development Scholarships
With funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, FAIC offers scholarships up to $1,000 to help defray professional development costs for individual members of AIC who are U.S. residents. Proposed projects are limited to expenses related to attending FAIC workshops supported by the NEH. Applications for funding due May 15 and September 15.


Donate to FAICWithout support, the registration fee for this workshop would be $1,400. FAIC relies on your contributions to support these and its many other programs.

Funding for this program comes from a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and generous support from Horiba Scientific. Additional funding comes from the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artist Works Endowment for Professional Development, which was created by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and is supported by donations from members of the American Institute for Conservation and its friends. Courses are made possible with the assistance of many AIC members, but no AIC membership dues were used to create or present this course.


Contact: Sarah Saetren
FAIC Education Associate
(202) 661-8071