Artist Pastels: History & Use Workshop

Presented by The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works 
in partnership with Buffalo State College Art Conservation Department

August 4-6, 2010 in Buffalo, New York

Instructor: Thea Burns

Three-day workshop, Wednesday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Conducted at the Art Conservation Department of Buffalo State College

Course Fee: $300 AIC members (includes lunch)
Enrollment Limit: 10
Registration Deadline: June 23, 2010 (or until course is filled).

Selection of participants will be based on the following criteria: order of receipt of registration; professional experience and training; balance of institutional and private practice conservators; number of registrants from a single organization. Preference will be given to AIC Professional Associate and Fellow members. Early registration is advised.

This course will introduce participants to the history, materials, techniques and tools of pastel painting, an artistic phenomenon that blossomed in Western Europe beginning in the second half of the 17th century. It will describe the importance of clarifying terminology, and observing qualities of paper and pastel surfaces for understanding the history of pastel painting and pastel's potential as an artists' medium. Participants will study the nature and fabrication of supports, pastel sticks and fixatives as described in the late 18th-century technical literature. Pastels will be fabricated in class from finely ground dry powdered pigments and any additives required as fillers and extenders to make manageable and homogenously funtioning drawing and painting tools. The handling properties of these hand-crafted sticks will be compared with those of pastels available commercially today. Traditional techniques of pastel painting will be examined and participants will make their own pastel paintings.

The importance of conservators being familiar with artists materials cannot be stressed enough. This course will be helpful for any conservator who wants to become more familiar with the process of pastel production, and in turn, better understand how to treat pastel artwork.

About the Instructor
Thea Burns is Helen H. Glaser Senior Paper Conservator for Special Collections in the Harvard College Library and the author of The Invention of Pastel Painting (Archetype, 2007). She has a B.A. from McGill University, a Masters in Art Conservation from Queens University at Kingston, and a Ph.D. from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. She is the author of numerous articles in conservation and art history journals and is particularly interested in researching artists' drawing materials and techniques and their social and cultural context.

This program is funded by the FAIC Endowment for Professional Development,
which is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
and by contributions from members of the
American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works.

Special thanks to Meredith Lavelle and Judy Walsh.

SACI Florence