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Smithsonian Contributions to Museum Conservation

Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press Smithsonian Institution Libraries
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Biocolonization of Stone: Control and Preventive Methods: Proceedings from the MCI Workshop Series
A. Elena Charola, Christopher McNamara, Robert J. Koestler, editors
116 pages, 87 figures, 5 tables
2011 (Date of Issue: 10 June 2011)
Number 2, Smithsonian Contributions to Museum Conservation
DOI: 10.5479/si.19492359.2.1
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Abstract
The Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute Workshop on Biocolonization of Stone was the second workshop in a series and was dedicated to research on removal and control of biocolonization in stone objects. Twelve presentations were made, and the workshop ended with a roundtable discussion open to the 71 attendees. The goal was to provide a discussion forum for biologists, material scientists, and conservators interested in stone biodeterioration. Seven papers were presented, ranging from microbiological laboratory studies to combination of on-site testing and laboratory evaluation for World Heritage Sites such as Angkor Wat, to a literature overview. Five case studies were also presented, covering control of biodeterioration at Veterans Affairs cemeteries, experience gathered from the installation of zinc strips at the Stanford Mausoleum in San Francisco, the red staining found on the marble of the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery, problems posed by deer stones in Mongolia, and the site test installed at San Ignacio Min? Jesuit mission in Misiones, Argentina. The roundtable and discussions drew attention to the importance of exploring new methods to prevent microbial colonization of stone. Finally, in a closed session, suggestions were offered for developing criteria to evaluate microbial growth and determine when treatment is necessary. It was recommended that a database be prepared on stone biocolonization and its control.

New Insights into the Cleaning of Paintings: Proceedings from the Cleaning 2010 International Conference, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia and Museum Conservation Institute
Marion F. Mecklenburg, A. Elena Charola, and Robert J. Koestler
x + 243 pages, 142 figures, 22 tables
2013 (Date of Issue: 11 April 2013)
Number 3, Smithsonian Contributions to Museum Conservation
DOI: 10.5479/si.19492359.3.1
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Abstract
The present volume brings together the papers and posters presented at the “Cleaning 2010 International—New Insights into the Cleaning of Paintings” conference that was held at the Universidad Politecnica de Valencia in Spain, in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute. This was the first major international conference on this topic in two decades. The 20 papers and 19 extended abstracts presented at the conference are included in this publication, grouped into four main categories: Ethics, Aesthetics, Training, and Documentation; Traditional Media: Egg Tempera and Oil; Modern Paints; and Cleaning Systems. Within each category, the papers and extended abstracts are grouped by the specific topic they address to make it easier for the reader to find all related material in one section. A summary of panel discussions held at the end of the conference has also been included. All papers and abstracts included in this publication have been peer reviewed. The aim of the conference was to provide a knowledge exchange forum and to produce a publication that assembles the latest developments in the various studies addressing the problems that affect paintings. These range from normal soiling to removal of aged varnishes, from the effect of solvents on paints to the subsequent changes in their mechanical behavior. The cleaning of unvarnished paintings is one of the most critical issues that was discussed. Finally, different cleaning techniques, such as gels, soaps, enzymes, ionic liquids, and foams, as well as various dry methods and lasers, are discussed in various papers and extended abstracts. Although the conference was organized in Spain, the United States contributed 21% of the contents, followed by Spain and Italy, both with 16%; the United Kingdom and Germany, each with 9%; and Canada, the Netherlands, and Portugal, all with 5%. The rest are individual contributions from Australia, Norway, Switzerland, Poland, and Greece.

Pesticide Mitigation in Museum Collections: Science in Conservation. Proceedings from the MCI Workshop Series.
A. Elena Charola and Robert J. Koestler, editors
i-vi + 72 pages
2010 (Date of Issue: 10 March 2010)
Number 1, Smithsonian Contributions to Museum Conservation
DOI: 10.5479/si.19492359.1.1
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Abstract

The Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute Workshop on Pesticide Mitigation was one of the first professional meetings dedicated to current research on removing pesticide residues from museum objects. Seven papers were presented at the workshop, and two more were added to introduce topics not focused on during the meeting but of significant importance when considering actual application of any of these methods.

The aim of the workshop was to bring together conservators, scientists, and even industry representatives to discuss the complex issues associated with pesticide removal from artifacts and to provide representative examples of the research and work being carried out at different institutions in the United States and abroad. Among the issues explored were possible methods and techniques that might become useful in the museum conservation field to reduce, mitigate, clean, or remediate undesirable pesticides on objects. The meeting also served to inform conservators and scientists in the Smithsonian Institution of the wide range of approaches that are currently being tested and that might prove useful in the future.

Topics covered in the presented papers included removal of mercury and arsenic contamination with ?-lipoic acid; the treatment of Haudenosaunee medicine masks with surface active displacement solutions; the possibility of using mercury-resistant bacterial communities to remediate contamination; solvent extraction through the use of special solvents such as hydrofluoroethers; carbon dioxide as a cleaning fluid either in liquid or in supercritical state; and novel cleaning techniques either through the use of additives to improve the efficiency of liquid or supercritical CO2 cleaning, other gases in a supercritical state, or other techniques such as fluidized beds. The introduction of novel techniques at the workshop was encouraged in order to broaden the range of promising methods that might improve the technology of pesticide mitigation or remediation. The two supplemental papers discuss pesticide analysis on objects and safety measures that should be implemented by institutions with contaminated collections.


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