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Wednesday, May 31 • 9:30am - 10:00am
(Objects) So Delicate, yet So Strong: The Use of Paper in Objects Conservation

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A large variety of acid-free papers offer object conservators endless options in our work. We share the use of this unique material with our colleagues in the field of paper conservation, which includes a wide range of Japanese and other Asian papers as well as Western acid-free papers. Furthermore, we have borrowed from the paper conservation field the extremely clever and elegant methods and techniques of handling and manipulating this material when we do our 3-D conservation treatments. The lure of paper lies in its properties, which superbly fit material requirements in modern conservation practice, namely reversibility, strength, inertness, permanence, stability, and minimal change in color over time. The fact that paper is light weight and non-hazardous to the conservator's health and the environment are additional advantageous properties. 
Having received training in paper conservation early on in her conservation career the author has continuously applied or adapted paper conservation techniques in her objects conservation treatment work. Over time the numerous applications of paper in Artal-Isbrand's treatment work on objects became the subject of a yearly one-day seminar at the Winterthur/University of Delaware art conservation training program. The author will describe how the material paper can serve two very different functions in a conservation treatment. It can be used as a restoration material where it physically remains with the artwork once the treatment is complete, and it can also function as a tool during treatment and not remain with the artwork once the treatment is complete. In the first scenario paper can serve as a fill material, a bulking agent, a reinforcement material, a support or isolating layer or even as a "pigment” or "inpainting material”. In the second scenario it can function as a facing material, a mold material, a poultice material, a temporary support material during filling, or a material to take fine impressions. A selection of case studies will be presented. The subsequent published article will be more comprehensive, and will include a full bibliography of publications relating to this subject.

avatar for Paula Artal-Isbrand

Paula Artal-Isbrand

Conservator, Worcester Art Museum
M.A. in Art Conservation, Buffalo State College, 1994; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1994-1996; Worcester Art Museum, 1996-present;Private conservation practice, 1999-present--clients include the Harvard Art Museum, Harvard University Law School-Special Collections, Yale University... Read More →

Wednesday May 31, 2017 9:30am - 10:00am CDT
Crystal Ballroom B Lobby Level, West Tower