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
  • 24 boxes of disposable gloves
  • 120 safety googles

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.

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Workshop Postponed

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 Fall 2020 our April 17th 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 will be announced in the next months.

Thank you for your understanding

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

 

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.

 

Preparedness for flooding and hurricane impact

Our thoughts are with all the people displaced by tropical storm Barry and affected by the severe weather along the East Coast. Feel free to reach out for support and answers to your questions. Your local museums and institutions may be overwhelmed by the requests of help or may be focused on preparing in case the emergency materializes. Wherever you are, you can reach us through the numbers and emails listed on our Facebook page. We are glad and eager to help.

You can also contact the National Heritage Responders (NHR). Volunteers provide advice and referrals by phone at (202)661-8068 or, for less urgent questions, emergencies@culturalheritage.org. For more information:
https://www.culturalheritage.org/resources/emergencies/national-heritage-responders

If you have an emergency plan, review it with everyone involved. Make sure the phone numbers in your list are current. If you have art pieces or storage close to the ground and are afraid your space may become flooded, move your collection to increase its distance from the floor. For example, if you have large paintings hanging from the walls and close to the floor, consider placing them flat on tables.

These are some “tip sheets” prepared by the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) for response and recovery in case of emergency for the arts. The topics covered range from Mold to Removing flat paper pieces from flat storage and Drying wet collections and buildings.
https://www.culturalheritage.org/resources/emergencies/national-heritage-responders/tip-sheets

More useful information on stabilization of photographs, textiles and family heirlooms:
https://www.culturalheritage.org/resources/emergencies/disaster-response-recovery

A list of activities from the American Institute for Conservation (AIC)s’ website for emergency preparedness:

  • If you have a disaster plan, dust it off and make sure it’s up to date.
  • If you don’t have a plan, commit to creating one by making a timeline for developing it.
  • Conduct a building evacuation drill, evaluate the results, and discuss ways to improve your staff’s performance.
  • Update your staff contact information and create a wallet-size version of your emergency contact roster using the Pocket Response Plan™ (PReP™)
  • Identify the three biggest risks to your collection or building (such as a dust storm, leaking water pipe, heavy snow, or power failure) and outline steps to mitigate them. You can use FAIC’s tools for risk evaluation to guide your assessment.
  • Identify and prioritize important collection materials.
  • Eliminate hazards such as storage in hallways, blocked fire exits, or improper storage of paints, solvents, etc.
  • Make a plan to install any needed safety systems.
  • Plan to train and drill an in-house disaster team.
  • Provide staff with easily accessible disaster response information, such as the Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel.
  • Get to know your local firefighters and police–invite them to come tour your institution and give you pointers on safety and preparedness.
  • Plan to take a course on risk assessment or disaster planning.

After Hurricane Sandy MoMA prepared and distributed a document with simple and concise instructions on how to stabilize affected artworks.  You can find it on MoMA’s website under “Immediate Response for Collections”:
https://www.moma.org/momaorg/shared/pdfs/docs/explore/conservation/emergency_guidelines_for_art_disasters.pdf

Friday, July 19th Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) and Fresh Arts Workshop in Houston

On Friday, July 19th the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) and Fresh Arts will host an introductory workshop and a symposium on emergency preparedness for the arts.
TX-CERA instructors will conduct the workshop with a hands-on approach and will address participants’ questions.
The symposium will focus on developing and maintaining an emergency plan.

Workshop and symposium are part of a 2-day conference that covers a vast array of topics of interest for artists: from marketing and self-promotion, to legal resources and copyrights.  Registration is $150 and closes on Sunday, July 14.
Workshop and symposium are free and open to the public.

Resources Expo: Friday, July 19th, noon-2pm
Free and open to the public.
The expo will have several resources available to artists and creative entrepreneurs at tables. The Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) is sponsoring the expo and facilitating the following resources:
  • TX-CERA (Texas Cultural Emergency Response Alliance) teach artists how to recover their assets after a flood
  • Performing Arts Readiness will provide sample documents to help entrepreneurs develop a plan to endure their safety in case of emergencies large and small
  • HAA will provide Hurricane Preparedness Guides specific to artists and arts organizations, as well as the CERF+ Studio Safety Guide

Symposium: Friday, July 19th, 2pm-5pm
Free and open to the public; designed for those who have an emergency plan and want to expand on their preparedness knowledge.

Emergency Preparedness Consultant Ellen Korpar will speak about readiness of performing arts organizations for emergencies in Houston. Building upon this report, former fire chief and emergency management expert Gary Friedel will facilitate a tabletop recovery exercise which will group TX-CERA experts and additional attendees in cross-network groups to develop a response framework and strategy in a  real-world scenario.

For additional information about the conference:
https://www.fresharts.org/content/fresh-arts-summit

Conference Schedule-at-a-glance:
https://www.fresharts.org/content/summit-schedule-and-presenters

Location:
Silver Street Studios, 2000 Edwards Street, Houston, TX 77007
https://www.silverstreethouston.com/

 

For additional information about Fresh Arts:
https://www.fresharts.org/content/what-fresh-arts

For additional information on Houston Arts Alliance (HAA):
https://www.houstonartsalliance.com/

 

 

FAIC’s Emergency Response & Salvage Wheel

The Foundation for Advancement in Conservation (FAIC) offers a tool to guide responders to an emergency that affects our cultural heritage. In case of an emergency, the most important action is to stabilize the artifacts to avoid further damage until they could be properly treated by a conservator.

A very useful tool to guide the first responders is the FAIC’s Emergency Response & Salvage Wheel. The two-sided-wheel lists on one side the steps of the emergency response, on the other side the appropriate action to stabilize 9 types of artifacts.

The cost is $10 ($5 if you buy 10 or more).
https://store.culturalheritage.org/site/index.php?app=ecom&ns=prodshow&ref=FAIC-1

Emergency Response & Salvage Wheel from FAIC website

After stabilizing the artifacts, do not attempt treatment. It is very important that you contact an experienced conservator.
For a list of Professional Associates and Fellows of the American Institute for Conservation, please visit:
https://www.culturalheritage.org/membership/find-a-conservator