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Wednesday, May 31 • 11:00am - 11:30am
(Objects) An evaluation of cold paste waxes used in conservation for outdoor bronze sculpture.

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The J. Paul Getty Museum has experimented with different paste wax coatings over the past decade for the protection of outdoor bronze sculptures. Various commercial waxes have been used with noticeable changes in their performance over the years. A preferred home-made mixture was developed, starting with a blend developed by the National Park Service, and modified to raise the melting point, substituting solvents, and subtraction of the polyethylene component. Evaluating the tactic of fine-tuning a custom blend has turned into a more systematic evaluation of the pros and cons of proprietary products, lab-made paste waxes, and varying application techniques. This paper will present a candid summary of observations made in the performance of various wax coatings used on the Museum's collection and introduce a pilot study that compares over twenty-three paste waxes applied to metal coupons.
In collaboration with the Getty Conservation Institute, the study includes a range of isolated wax types (natural, petroleum-based and synthetic), proprietary products, as well as lab-made paste waxes. The waxes were brush-applied cold to polished brass coupons, buffed, and naturally aged following ASTM standard protocol G50-10. The coupons were evaluated before and after aging using spot colorimetry and digital image analysis. The physical properties of the pastes and the effects of aging were characterized using direct melting point determination, acid value assay, solubility testing, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Given the expectation that waxes perform differently depending on application, preliminary results for cold application have nonetheless provided some useful comparisons between the various coatings.   

Speaker(s)
avatar for Julie Wolfe

Julie Wolfe

Conservator, The J. Paul Getty Museum
Julie Wolfe has an M.A. from Buffalo State College specializing in objects conservation. She obtained advanced training in conservation at the Straus Center for Conservation, Harvard University Art Museums. Julie is now a Conservator at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Decorative Arts... Read More →

Co-Author(s)
avatar for Alessa Gambardella

Alessa Gambardella

Professor, University of Amsterdam
avatar for Rosie Grayburn

Rosie Grayburn

Postdoctoral Fellow in Conservation Science, Getty Conservation Insitute
Rosie Grayburn is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Conservation Science (2015–2017). She obtained a joint PhD from the University of Warwick (Physics) and Universiteit Gent (Analytical Chemistry), where her research focused on developing synchrotron spectroelectrochemical techniques for... Read More →
avatar for Arlen Heginbotham

Arlen Heginbotham

Conservator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture, J. Paul Getty Museum
Arlen Heginbotham received his A.B. in East Asian Studies from Stanford University and his M.A. in Art Conservation from Buffalo State College. He is currently Conservator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Arlen’s research interests include the history... Read More →
avatar for Herant Khanjian

Herant Khanjian

Assistant Scientist, Getty Conservation Institute
Herant Khanjian received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from California State University, Northridge and has been a member in the Science department of the Getty Conservation Institute since 1988. His research interests involve the detection and identification of organic media... Read More →
avatar for Joy Mazurek

Joy Mazurek

Assistant Scientist, Getty Conservation Institute
Joy Mazurek specializes in the identification and characterization of natural and synthetic organic materials by a number of analytical techniques including gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and ion chromatography. She also works on the classification of biomarkers produced by... Read More →
avatar for Alan Phenix-[PA]

Alan Phenix-[PA]

Paintings Conservator; Scientist
Alan Phenix is a paintings conservator, conservation educator and conservation scientist. Recently retired, from November 2006 he was employed as ‘Scientist’ at the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI), Los Angeles. In his first years at GCI he worked partly for the Museum Research... Read More →
avatar for Katrina Posner

Katrina Posner

Netherlands Institute for Conservation Art and Science
Katrina Posner is an objects conservator with 20 years experience in the fine art of looking at, within and around art and artifacts. She has worked with museums in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Leiden and Amsterdam. Before moving with her family to Amsterdam in 2013, she... Read More →
avatar for Michael R. Schilling

Michael R. Schilling

Senior Scientist, Yale Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage
Michael Schilling is head of Materials Characterization research at the Getty Conservation Institute, which focuses on development of analytical methods for studying classes of materials used by artists and conservators. He specializes in gas chromatography, mass spectrometry and... Read More →
avatar for Christina L. Simms

Christina L. Simms

Sculpture and Object Conservator and Assistant Project Manager, McKay Lodge Conservation Laboratory, Inc.
Christina L . Simms is currently the Assistant Project Manager and Conservator of Objects and Sculpture at McKay Lodge Fine Arts Conservation Laboratory, Inc. The company offers services for paper, objects, sculpture, and paintings conservation. It also currently holds the General... Read More →
avatar for Magdalena Solano

Magdalena Solano

Conservation Assistant, J. Paul Getty Museum
avatar for Maria Olivia Davalos Stanton

Maria Olivia Davalos Stanton

Intern, Getty Conservation Institute
A pre-program student, Maria Olivia is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Classics with a minor in Chemistry at Stanford University. She was a 2015 summer intern in the Department of Decorative Arts and Sculpture Conservation at the J Paul Getty Museum, and has since worked... Read More →
HW

Hope Welder

Intern, Getty Conservation Institute

Wednesday May 31, 2017 11:00am - 11:30am
Crystal Ballroom B Lobby Level, West Tower

Attendees (181)