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Thursday, May 16 • 11:30am - 12:00pm
(Paintings) Experimenting with Agarose: New Methods for Cleaning Sensitive Modern and Contemporary Surfaces

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This paper explores new methods for applying agarose gel, and the need to think outside the box when dealing with complex and often sensitive modern surfaces. Treatments discussed in detail include a garden landscape painted in 1973 by Fay Peck (1931-2016) that was exhibited on a front porch for over thirty-years resulting in a variety of condition issues including an excess build-up of dirt, grime, and insect nests. The painting was made on a wax-tempered Masonite panel with an acrylic ground and thickly applied paint. Due to a weathered and destabilized binder and the use of modern paints, the surface was sensitive to aqueous cleaning and mechanical action. Agarose gel was employed to successfully reduce the surface debris without disrupting the fragile painted surface. The treatment of a color field painting by Paul Reed at the Dallas Museum of Art will also be discussed. Several dark and disfiguring food stains destroyed the pristine and intended raw canvas and pure color bands. Agarose gels were used locally to target the dark food stains. A secondary and unusual treatment done at the DMA will also be discussed. Crucifix, a beautiful and subtle installation by artist John Wilcox, composed of four panels exhibited in the form of a crucifix, was damaged after exposure to water in storage. The four panels symbolize the body of Christ and are composed of red mud, sawdust, ash, and cloth. The sawdust panel was particularly damaged and a disfiguring watermark was addressed through agarose gel cleaning. With these case studies, the authors hope to inspire creativity in treatment design using new materials and methods in times when other means fail work safely and effectively.

avatar for Diana Hartman

Diana Hartman

David Booth Fellow in Paintings Conservation, Museum of Modern Art
Diana Hartman started her conservation career in the fall of 2011 working with Dr. Joyce Hill Stoner at Winterthur Museum. In the three years spent with Dr. Stoner, Diana gained supplemental conservation experience at the Western Center for the Conservation of Fine Arts in Denver... Read More →

avatar for Caroline Hoover

Caroline Hoover

Conservation Fellow, Patricia H. and Richard E. Garman Art Conservation Department at SUNY Buffalo State
Caroline Hoover is a recent paintings conservation graduate of the Patricia H. and Richard E. Garman Art Conservation Department at SUNY Buffalo State. She completed four years of pre-program work at The Philips Collection in Washington, DC in addition to working for Archival Art... Read More →
avatar for Laura Eva Hartman

Laura Eva Hartman

Associate Paintings Conservator, Dallas Museum of Art
Laura Eva Hartman is the Associate Paintings Conservator at the Dallas Museum of Art in Dallas, TX. She received her MS from the Winterthur/University of Delaware program in Art Conservation. She spent her third year of school as a graduate intern at the Museo Nacional del Prado in... Read More →

Thursday May 16, 2019 11:30am - 12:00pm EDT
Salon B2, Uncas Ballroom
  Specialty Session, Paintings
  • Track Paintings
  • Ticketed Included in Main Registration
  • Authors in Publication Order Diana Hartman, Laura Hartman, Caroline Hoover
  • Abstract ID 18810
  • Tags gel,Fay Peck,John Wilcox,modern,contemporary