Mastering Inpainting

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

June 28-July 2, 2010

Instructors: James Bernstein and Debra Evans
At the National Conservation Training Center
Shepherdstown, West Virginia
Monday, June 28-Friday, July 2
Monday, noon-5 p.m.; Tuesday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. - noon.

Course Fee: $650 AIC members; $900 non-members (includes $75 materials fee)
Enrollment Limit: 14
Registration:  Participants will be selected from a pool of applicants to ensure a balance of specializations.  Apply by February 15, 2010 for full consideration.  Later applications will be considered if space is available.

Participants are responsible for their own travel, housing, and meals. Participants are strongly urged to stay on-site at NCTC. Workshop hotel costs, which includes all meals, are $127 per night for single room, plus tax.

This program is designed for mid-career conservators. Participants may be selected based on order of receipt of registration, 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. Early registration is advised>>.

Workshop Description
The four-day intensive course is tailored for conservators wishing to improve their mastery of inpainting skills. A broad overview of this complicated topic will be provided, as well as considerable attention to details critical for various points of the compensation process. Keys to problem solving will be offered to help conservators find appropriate and successful treatment solutions for differing inpainting situations.

A combination of lecture, discussion and studio/laboratory sessions will cover:

Inpainting criteria
Adaptation of environments for each compensation requirement
Light, color and optics: theory and practical phenomena
A survey of pigments and their properties
Preparation for compensation: isolation and fills
Wet and dry inpainting media and toning systems: resins (natural & synthetic), watercolor, distemper, gums and cellulose ethers, cellulose fiber, pen, pencils, pastels, dry pigments, and other coloring agents.
Inpainting modifiers: bulking, matting, polishing, and glossing agents
Application instruments, methods and tips
Medium/pigment/diluent variations for adjusting surface sheen: high gloss, lean/matte, transparent, opaque, stained, and other structures
Simulation of patina and age effects
Philosophical dialogue: degrees of compression; discernability, longevity and reversibility of restorations
Mock-ups and a basic range of inpainting media will be provided for studio sessions. Participants are encouraged to bring with them small artifacts examples or expendable items for experimentation, personal favorite inpainting materials (media, palettes, tools, inpainting brushes) and 'studio tips' for demonstration.>

A multi-disciplinary viewpoint will be emphasized. Conservators from diverse specializations and backgrounds - paintings, objects, paper, etc.; traditional and/or modern - are invited to interact, sharing their knowledge and experiences, favorable and otherwise, with colleagues.

About the Instructors
James Bernstein is a conservator of paintings and mixed media in private practice in San Francisco, California. He is a graduate of the High School of Music & Art (NYC), Brandeis University and the Cooperstown Graduate Program in Conservation (now at Buffalo). Jim was a Conservator and Co-Director of Conservation for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for 15 years, instrumental in the museum's conservation programs and in the training of apprentices and interns.

Known for his knowledge of artist materials, his inventive problem-solving, and his skillful treatment of complex painted art works (modern and antique), Jim is devoted to conservation education and loves to share his knowledge with others. Regularly called upon to teach color and compensation techniques to conservators at advanced seminars (hosted by institutions such as the Getty Museum, Museum of Modern Art, NY, New York University's Conservation Center, the Campbell Center for Historic Preservation Studies, and now the AIC), Jim has lectured on inpainting, picture varnishes, dilemmas in the conservation of contemporary art, and "Studio Tips."  >>

Debra Evans is head of paper and photograph conservation at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, where she has worked since 1983. Prior to that, she was paper conservator at Pacific Regional Conservation Center at Bishop Museum in Honolulu. An undergraduate philosophy major, she received her graduate education a tthe Winterthur/University of Delaware art conservation program. She was the president of the Western Association for Art Conservation and an editor of the Journal of the AIC. She has been fortunate to have the privilege of supervising numerous conservation program interns and for eighteen years taught preventive conservation in the graduate program in museum studies at JFK University. Since 1994, she has been co-instructor of inpainting workshops with Jim Bernstein.

Housing and Transportation
NCTC ( is a state-of-the-art conference facility located in rural West Virginia in a park-like setting on the banks of the upper Potomac River. It is an ideal place to relax, enjoy nature and recharge your professional skills. It is about a two-hour drive from Washington, DC, or ninety minutes from Dulles International Airport. A shuttle bus is available (approximately $70 roundtrip), leaving Dulles airport at various times on Sunday and returning Friday afternoon. Hotel-quality, private rooms with bath are available at NCTC. The room rate ($127 per day) includes three meals per day on site. Other hotels are 20-30 minutes away by car. Specific housing recommendations and travel directions will be sent to all participants.

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 and friends of the
American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works.

SACI Florence