Tips on Care of Personal Collections

Slide1We receive and share useful tips on care of personal collections from the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation:

“While those of us in the conservation department are working from home, we are finding comfort in our family heirlooms and treasures—many of which require our attention. Like so many around the country, we are finally taking the time to clean out our closets, sort through our attics, and look through our family albums. While we all turn to our family treasures for comfort during these trying times, the conservation department would like to share tips on ways to care for your personal collections. Each week a different student from the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation will address ways to care for the collections in your cupboards. This series will continue throughout the summer and cover a variety of items and materials; published posts are listed below.”

Attics and Basements and Closets, Oh My! Caring for Family Treasures

Attics and Basements and Closets, Oh My! Part 2: Family Albums

Attics and Basements and Closets, Oh My! Part 3: Works on Paper

Attics and Basements and Closets, Oh My! Part 4: Library Collections

Attics and Basements and Closets, Oh My! Part 5: Pests and Preventive Conservation

Attics and Basements and Closets, Oh My! Part 6: Water Emergencies and Salvage

Attics and Basements and Closets, Oh My! Part 7: Rugs and Carpets

Attics and Basements and Closets, Oh My! Part 8: Upholstery

Attics and Basements and Closets, Oh My! Part 9: Small Needleworks

www.artcons.udel.edu/outreach/public-outreach

Mon 4/13 Webinar: Protecting Our Cultural Icons From Fire: Lessons learned from Notre-Dame and beyond

Protecting Our Cultural Icons From Fire:
Lessons learned from Notre-Dame and beyond

Organized by
AIANY Historic Buildings Committee and World Monuments Fund (WMF)

Featuring Bénédicte de Montlaur, CEO, World Monuments Fund and Chris Marrion, Founder, Marrion Fire & Risk Consulting

Monday, April 13, 2020, noon – 2 PM
$10 General Public

To register: AIA Protecting Our Cultural Icons (External Website)

This event is a live webinar. Registrants will be emailed a link to access the program.

About the program:
Fires continue to adversely impact our cultural heritage. This includes our historic, sacred structures like Notre Dame in Paris and St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in New York, as well as invaluable collections like those in Brazil’s National Museum. Other cultural heritage sites and structures, such as historic ships (Cutty Sark), bridges (Kapellbrücke Bridge, Switzerland), national monuments (Namdaemun Gate, South Korea), and tombs (Kasubi Tombs, Uganda) ahave also experienced significant fires. Whether a World Heritage Site or an important monument within our local community, they each represent significant losses when damaged or destroyed by fire. Through detailed research into these past fires, a significant amount can be learned to better protect our shared cultural heritage. This includes understanding why fires start, how and why they progress, what can fail, and what works limiting fire-related damage. Several common themes emerge in this research, showing fire risks to historic sites and structures can be mitigated through undertaking a hazard/risk-based approach to develop tailored, risk-informed, long-term sustainable prevention, mitigation, response, and recovery strategies that result in multiple benefits to important heritage sites and the people who care for them, use them, and protect them. Whether using conch shells as fire alarms or wool blankets to smother fires, alternatives exist that can take advantage of local resources. When protecting cultural heritage sites and structures in the middle of New York City or in some of the remotest areas in the world, with limited resources and no fire brigades, we can make more informed decisions to better protect our heritage.

Speaker: Chris Marrion, Founder, Marrion Fire & Risk Consulting
Chris is the founder of Marrion Fire & Risk Consulting, a special expert for NFPA, a Board Member of the National Fire Heritage Center, and an SFPE Fellow. Marrion specializes in protecting our cultural heritage from fire and disasters. His work focuses on providing risk-informed, cost-effective prevention/mitigation, emergency response and recovery strategies to protect our heritage. For over 30 years he has worked with numerous NGOs, Government entities, private and public clients including UNESCO, UNISDR, ICCROM, et al., to help create awareness, build capacity, develop codes and provide practical guidance in this regard.

Introduction by: Bénédicte de Montlaur, CEO, World Monuments Fund
Bénédicte is CEO of World Monuments Fund (WMF), the world’s foremost private organization dedicated to saving extraordinary places while empowering the communities around them. She is responsible for defining WMF’s strategic vision, currently implementing that vision in more than 30 countries around the world, and leading a team that spans the globe. Her background mixes culture and the arts, politics, international diplomacy, and human rights. Prior to joining WMF, de Montlaur spent two decades working across three continents as a senior diplomat at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and most recently served as Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy in the United States.

World Monuments Fund website

Houston Methodist Hospital gratefully received our donation

The Conservation Department at the MFAH (Museum of Fine Arts Houston) joined with TX-CERA to donate much needed Personal Protective Equipment to health care workers at Houston Methodist Hospital today.

Front line care givers struggling to keep themselves safe while they provide critical support for our community gratefully received a donation of

  • 280 N95 masks
  • 34 boxes of disposable gloves
  • 120 safety goggles

Credit goes to both the Board of TX-CERA and staff at the MFAH who acknowledge the importance of supporting those making a difference in times of need.

We invite other organizations that are not currently using their PPE to consider donating their inventory to the local hospitals. We are in this together.

IMG_7282

Workshop Postponed to Spring 2021

In light of the worldwide response to the COVID-19 virus and the possibility of TAMU restricting gatherings on their campus, the TX-CERA Board has made the decision to

postpone till Spring 2021 our April 17th, 2020 workshop
Recovery and Salvage of Fire Damaged Cultural Collections.”  

We regret this change in planning, but we think it’s necessary to support efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure the health and safety of our participants, volunteers, and their communities.

Date and details will be announced.

Thank you for your understanding, and stay safe.

Workshop Postponed: Recovery & Salvage of Fire Damaged Cultural Collections

The workshop Recovery and Salvage of Fire Damaged Cultural Collections is to be held at Texas A&M on Friday, April 17, 2020, following the Annual Meeting of the (TAM) Texas Association of Museums.
Registration is limited to approximately 30-35 people.

The cost is $45 ($35 for AIC members). Lunch is included with the registration.
If you’d like to receive the registration form, please email tx.cera@gmail.com

WORKSHOP – Sponsored by TX_CERA / Texas Collection Emergency Response Alliance
TITLE: Recovery and Salvage of Fire Damaged Cultural Collections
DATE: Friday, April 17, 2020 – Postponed to Fall 2020 (date to be announced)
LOCATION: Texas A&M, Evans Library Annex, 400 Spence St, College Station, TX 77843

PROGRAM:
8:30 – 9:00 – Arrival
9:00 – 9:30 – Welcome and Introduction Welcome – Ian Muise – Preservation Librarian, Texas A&M University Intro to TX-CERA – Steve Pine, Senior Conservator of Decorative Arts, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
9:30 – 10:05 – Speaker — Assessing a Fire Scene from a “First Responder’s Point of View”, TBD Fire Investigator at College Station Fire Department
10:05 – 10:45 – Speaker – Assessing a Fire Scene from a “Restoration Company’s Point of View”, Kirk Lively, Director, Technical Services at BELFOR Ltd
10: 45 – 11:00 – BREAK
11:00 – 11:30 – Speaker – Assessing a Fire Scene from an “Art Conservator’s Point of View”, Olivia Primanis, Book Conservator, Austin
11:30 – 12:00 – Speaker – “PPE and How to Protect Yourself While Caring Your Collection”, Anne McGowan-Schooler, Instructional Professor, Department of Health and Kinesiology and Construction Science, College of Education and Human Development and College of Architecture, Texas A&M University
12:00 – 12:45 – Lunch – Boxed Lunch Provided
12:45 – 2:00 – Speaker – “What Do I Do Now? Tips on Triaging Your Collection”, Session lead by Melanie Sanford, Textile Conservator, Conserving Threads, Dallas
Objects -Steve Pine, Senior Conservator of Decorative Arts, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Books, Archives & Art On Paper – Olivia Primanis, Book Conservator, Austin
Media Audio & Video Tapes, Computer Tapes Floppy Disks CDS & DVDS and Data Protection- Ian Muise, Preservation Librarian, Texas A&M University
Textiles & Costumes – Melanie Sanford, Textile Conservator, Conserving Threads, Dallas
Paintings – Cristiana Ginatta, Painting Conservator, Helen A Houp Fine Art Conservation, Dallas
Photographs – Heather Brown and Amber Kehoe, Photograph Conservators, Harry Ransom Center, UT, Austin
2:00 – 2:15 Walk to Outside Cover Concourse 2:15 – 3:00 – Hands on Demonstrations – Outside
3:30- 4:00 – BREAK
4:00 – 4:30 – Speaker- “Fires Happens. Be Prepared: Basic Steps to Prepare Your Institution In The Event Of An Emergency”, Cristiana Ginatta, Painting Conservator, Helen A Houp Fine Art Conservation, Dallas
4:30 – 5:00 – Tour of the TAMU Preservation Annex Labs

**TX-CERA Gmail tx.cera@gmail.com  

** TX-CERA Facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/groups/563918443670111/

Workshop Postponed: Recovery and Salvage of Fire Damaged Cultural Collections

Registration is now open for the all-day workshop
Recovery and Salvage of Fire Damaged Cultural Collections

This is a TX-CERA (Texas Collection Emergency Response Alliance) lead event with speakers from various industries and a hands-on demonstration in the afternoon.

The workshop will be held on
Friday, April 17, 2020, 9 AM to 5 PM  – Postponed to Fall 2020 (date to be announced)
at the Evans Library Annex, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.

With the generous support from the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation (FAIC) and its Development Grant, tickets are $45 ($35 for AIC members). Boxed lunch is provided.

If you would like further information about the workshop or a registration form, please email tx.cera@gmail.com

 

TX-CERA @ Houston Archives Bazaar

Come and see us at Houston Archives Bazaar!
When: this Sunday, November 17, from 10 am to 2 pm
Where: White Oak Music Hall, 2915 N Main St, Houston

Houston Archives Bazaar is a free event that brings together families and historical collections, institutions and local communities to share stories, learn about important legacies and how to preserve them for future generations.

For more information:

https://www.houstonarchivesbazaar.org/

 

Tornado-damaged artworks

We are thinking of all the people in Dallas affected by the tornado. If you have questions and need guidance in rescuing artworks, you can call the National Emergency Responders at (202) 661-8068 or TX-CERA at (669)-237-2243.

To find a local qualified conservator, use the search function on the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) website: https://www.culturalheritage.org/membership/find-a-conservator

A few quick tips to stabilize and avoid further damage to water-damaged or impact-damaged artworks until you are able to contact a conservator.

Remember: your safety comes first! For general guidelines on how to approach an emergency:  https://txcera.org/emergency-response/

For framed artworks: if the artwork is not stuck to the glass, carefully remove from frame in a safe and dry place. If you notice that the paint is lifting off the surface or if you see minute losses, do not unframe. Place painting face up on elevated blocks to provide air circulation. If the glass protecting your watercolor is broken, pay attention not to scratch the artwork when handling it.

For photographs: if there are wet, do not allow them to dry in a pile. They will “block” and it’ll be impossible to separate them. Rinse them with clean, cool water and hang them to air dry. If too dirty to clean, put them in a container with clean water and take them to a conservator within 48 hours. Or you can interleave them with waxed paper and freeze them until you’ll have time to take them to a conservator. Do not freeze glass plate negatives.

For books: if partially wet, stand on top or bottom edge, open to 90 degree angle, and let them air dry. Photographic images need to be interleafed, otherwise they will block (dry inseparably). If you don’t have time or space to air dry all your books, start with a few and wrap in waxed paper (with interleaf as needed) and freeze the other ones. You can get them out and air dry them a few at the time.

For furniture: gently sponge surface to clean, blot, air dry slowly. If the uppermost layer dries too quickly while the inner part remains wet, the wood will warp and crack. Hold wood veneer in place with weights or clamps. Contact a conservator as soon as possible. If upholstery, remove cushions and seats and separate all the pieces; use dry towels or sheets to wrap the upholstered pieces and change the absorbent material as it becomes wet.

For ceramics: keep the pieces together in boxes. If possible, make sure the fragments don’t collide in the box; it’ll minimize the losses along the edges of the fragments.

For metals: handle with gloves, clean with soft sponge and blot dry; if object has an applied finish, do not attempt to clean. Air dry.

For textiles: fabrics become saturated with water and they are at risk of damage when handling them. Make sure the textile is supported. Do not stack wet textiles. Rinse, drain and blot textiles with clean towels to remove excess water. Shape textile to its original form. Air dry using fans.

 

Let’s Talk Mold

There are numerous resources online that provide information and guidance on how to “deal” with mold.

This is a brief synthesis.

Mold grows on organic materials in suitable conditions: relative humidity higher than 65%, oxygen and lack of air circulation, temperatures preferably in the range of 50 – 95°F. Mold decomposes the organic material (something we are usually trying to safe) and produces substances that can cause illnesses and allergic reactions.

During intervention on a mold outbreak:

  • make sure to protect yourself first: wear nitrile gloves and make sure mold does not come into contact with your skin; wash hands after removing gloves; do not eat and drink in an environment where mold is present; wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as FFP3 dust mask and goggles, up to respirators and body suits in case of large outbreaks;
  • try to identify and address the cause(s) of the mold outbreak;
  • create some air circulation, using fans;
  • use dehumidification equipment to reduce the relative humidity below 65%;
  • use HEPA vacuum to remove mold growth;
  • consult a conservator for appropriate of intervention depending on substrate/artifact.

In case of symptoms such as skin rash or asthma, stop immediately and consult your doctor.

For a list of symptoms, you can consult the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. (2019). Mold Allergy: https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/allergies/mold-allergy