During the 20th to the 21st of March 2015 at Harvard University and Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA, USA the last Biannual PMG (Photographic Material Group) Winter Meeting took place. This was the last of the 20 meetings prepared by the American Institute of Conservation, Photographic Material Group. I had the chance of attending to the magnificent conference and the opportunity of visiting different studios in Conservation of Photographic Materials as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the MoMA and The Better Image while seen some familiar faces and making new colleagues professionally and personally.
“So, what do you do?” This is the question that I always dread at parties. The blank look, the polite nod, the death of the conversation….. Hello, my name is Emily, and I am a paper conservator and no, I don’t work with trees.
I first became interested in conservation during my undergraduate degree at Glasgow University. I was studying History of Art and I remember having a lecture on technical art history, that is, how to find out more about a painting by analysing the materials used. They showed us a painting which had pink flowers in, and then went on to explain that these flowers were originally white, but they had changed over time in reaction with the environment. Years of research had gone in to these pink flowers. Why did the artist choose pink? What did it symbolise? Only to find out that the artist didn’t intend for these flowers to be pink at all! I was amazed that paintings could be viewed in a totally different way, affecting our interpretation of it, and found the whole story very amusing.
This week are launching a new monthly feature; the Best of the Blogs! Every month we will scour the internet for interesting and quirky conservation articles posted in Scotland and abroad, then round them up in one article for your delectation and delight. The first, and rather macabre, edition in this series brings you articles on gravestones, mummified monks and more…