On any given day, taking a walk through The Conservation Center’s 25,000 square foot facilities, with a 10,000 square foot storage space, is always quite an experience—because you’ll never know what kind of artworks and cultural objects you might encounter. Since our dedicated staff members are all art enthusiasts here at The Center, we love geeking out at the amazing items we work on every day. This spring, we have had the pleasure of either conserving or preserving some unexpected pieces. We’ve compiled a series of visual highlights documenting what makes The Conservation Center such a delightful place to work.
In the 1890’s, an English woman named Lilias Trotter sketched and wrote entries in her journals nearly every day for the last 40 years of her life. These small masterpieces documented her time spent in North Africa on missionary work. Three of those journals were recently discovered in Surrey, England and have been restored and digitized by The Conservation Center for future generations. Provided is a narrative of Trotter’s life and the challenge of tracking down these journals and sketchbooks as told by her biographer, Miriam Rockness.
More on Lilias Trotter >
This holiday season, treat your loved ones to the gift of art conservation and help them preserve treasured artworks, big or small. The Conservation Center is pleased to offer gift certificates in any denomination of your choice. And, a gift for you too: we're offering free examinations for items dropped off on select days in November and December.
Recently I had the pleasure of viewing and repairing a beautiful antique Persian Quran. Each delicate page was beautifully hand-written, and the traditional Islamic leather cover with foredge flap was decorated with intricately painted flowers and vines. The multi-colored floral panels combined with the vibrant red borders make for a bold, yet delicately styled book. Several pages at the front and rear of the textbook were loose, and the interior and exterior hinges required some repair. In keeping with the client’s priority that the least invasive approach be taken, the loose pages and hinges were secured using Japanese tissue. The tissue used for the outer hinges was tinted to make the repair as inconspicuous as possible. The minimally invasive repairs succeeded in strengthening the original pieces of this lovely book so that it may be carefully handled without further damage to either the text block or the covers. A particularly distinctive feature of the traditional Islamic style of binding is that the foredge flap rests under the front cover, not over it.