The Center's Gilding Department specializes in the preservation of frames and objects with gold, silver, and metal leaf applied to the surface. A wonderful example of the type of projects our Gilding Conservators frequently undertake recently came to us in the form of a mirror in need of conservation.
Here at The Center, we are always eager to study new methods of treating objects and learn about advancements in the field. That is why we were honored to host the Chicago Area Conservation Group’s Gellan Gum Mini-Workshop on March 13th. The Chicago Area Conservation Group (CACG) is a local group whose purpose is to promote learning and exchange ideas among those interested in or responsible for the preservation of artwork and archives of all kinds.
This month we continue our “Pigment of the Month” series, detailing the origins, history, and eventual discontinuation of pigments once common on the artists’ palette. In this next installment, we explore the history of Emerald Green, and the chemical composition that made it both brilliant and lethal.
A housing technique commonly used at The Center: Creating a sink mat to house paper pieces. Below, Toby Joyce, Director of Conservation Framing, demonstrates the technique:
The paper piece is carefully situated on top of the supporting mount board with an engaged stepped mat. Weights are used to hold down the paper, and ensure that the piece is centered through to the final step.
The exciting fall art season is upon us and The Conservation Center is ready to participate once again in the annual international art fair, EXPO CHICAGO! Now in its fourth year, EXPO CHICAGO is a four-day event (September 16–20) taking place at historic Navy Pier, featuring more than 140 of the world’s leading art galleries from 16 countries. This fair draws visitors from all over and continues to demonstrate Chicago as an important destination in the art world. As we have for the past three years, The Center is proud to serve as EXPO CHICAGO’s exclusive art conservation and custom framing provider. Our conservators will also be on-call and on-site to assist dealers and galleries whose pieces have sustained damage related to transportation and handling.
In spring of 2013, The Conservation Center was invited to assess the condition of Western Illinois University’s important Federal Art Project collection. After more than four months of conservation in our labs, 40 of those works were curated into a major exhibition titled A New Deal for Illinois, which was on view at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa, last fall. Now, WIU is prepared to welcome home its prized collection on January 18. An insightful video, produced by University Television, documents this extraordinary collaboration between WIU and The Center.