Adhesives for Conservation

The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works
in partnership with the National Park Service Harpers Ferry Center Conservation
presents a “Current Topics” Workshop

October 5-9, 2009

Carolyn Tomkiewicz, conservator, Brooklyn Museum, New York
Chris McGlinchey, conservation scientist, Museum of Modern Art, New York

With recorded presentations by Jane Down, Irene F. Karsten, Debora Dyer Mayer, Chris McGlinchey, Jonathan Thornton, Richard Wolbers, and others

At the National Conservation Training Center
Shepherdstown, West Virginia
Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Friday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Registration fee: $600 AIC members; $850 non-members
Enrollment Limit: 12
Registration Deadline: September 3, 2008
Participants are responsible for their own travel, housing, and meals. Participants are strongly urged to stay on-site at NCTC. Workshop hotel cost, which includes all meals, is estimated at $125 per night for single room, plus tax.

Knowledge of and experience in conservation and chemistry is required. Selection of participants will be based on the order of receipt of registration. The number of registrants accepted from a single organization may be limited. Early registration is advised.

About the Workshop
In a combination of lecture and hands-on laboratory sessions, this five-day, team-taught course will address the chemical, physical and practical aspects of adhesives for conservators of all materials specialties. The focus is on decision-making rather than on how to work with specific adhesives, and on adhesion rather than consolidation.

The workshop is designed to:
• provide an overview of chemical and physical properties of adhesives, including aging, solubility, strength, gap filling or leveling properties, curing properties, material compatibilities, etc.
• enable conservators to better understand how these chemical and physical aspects translate to the properties they observe and use in practice
• provide conservators with the ability to determine why they might select one adhesive for an application over another (based on chemical as well as physical or handling properties, not just “tips,” “recipes,” or “common lab use”)
• create an opportunity for different conservation materials specialists to understand adhesives and specialized techniques used by members of other specialties
• provide first-hand experience with advanced adhesive preparations, manipulations and handling properties through lab exercises.

By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:
• Identify different classifications into which adhesives are placed, list examples of adhesives in each category, and cite properties of each that are useful for characterization
• Identify some fundamental and innovative issues faced by conservators in adhesive use
• Cite methods used to analyze a conservation adhesive problem
• Cite at least two adhesives used in specialties outside their own
• Locate and use adhesive literature resources, including web sites, texts, articles, and expert colleagues
• Cite three possible evaluation and testing techniques for use with adhesives

About the Instructors

Chris McGlinchey has worked as a conservation scientist at the Museum of Modern Art in New York since 1999 and has also served as Adjunct Professor of Conservation Science at the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, since 1986. The science laboratory at the Museum of Modern Art is used to identify a diverse range of modern materials and characterize their colorfastness. Current research interests of Chris’ include developing a conservation quality adhesive for resin-coated photographs. Prior to working at MoMA, he worked in the Paintings Conservation Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as a research scientist examining artists’ materials and helping with the development of a stable varnish for Old Master paintings. Chris has an MS in Polymer Science and Engineering from Polytechnic University, Brooklyn.

Carolyn Tomkiewicz has been working as a Paintings Conservator at the Brooklyn Museum since 1986 where she has supervised pre-program interns and students from graduate programs both here and abroad. She enjoys guest lecturing at the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University on structural treatments including current methods of tear repair. She completed a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Massachusetts in 1970 and worked in genetics research at the University of Freiburg, Germany. Combining a love for science and art, she apprenticed in paintings conservation for 5-1/2 years in the southwest of Germany, in both private practice and museum environments, and completed study and research at the Center for Conservation and Technical Studies at Harvard University in 1984, and at the Institut Royal du Partrimoine Artistique in Brussels in 1985. Carolyn’s many years of work on wall paintings, polychrome sculpture, Old Master and modern easel paintings have provided ample opportunity for interdisciplinary problem solving. Her goal in teaching is not only the transmission of experience and knowledge but also fostering “thinking outside of the box”.

Creation of the curriculum for this course was funded in part by
a grant from the Getty Foundation

Project Leader
Ellen Pearlstein
Instructional Designer
Jeff Brechlin
Advisory Group
Deborah Bede, Jane Down, Hal Erickson, C.Velson Horie, Margaret Little,
Elissa O’Loughlin, Jonathan Thornton, George Wheeler, Richard Wolbers

The presentation of this program is funded in part by a grant from the
National Endowment for the Humanities

This program is also made possible by funds from
the FAIC Endowment for Professional Development,
which is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
and by contributions from members and friend of the
American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works.
Without this funding, the registration fee for this workshop would be $1,800.00

SACI Florence