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Behind the Scenes in Conservation: “Toile” Tales

by C. Obie Linn, Conservator of Textiles

7/18/2024

CAMConservation, Rei Kawakubo, textile conservation

Wanting to do a little more analysis of this piece, I took the jacket back to the museum’s Conservation lab and created a toile, which is like a test version of a pattern used to study and perfect how an original flat pattern works.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Removing Tarnish from Two Art Deco Lamps

by Kelly Rectenwald, Conservator of Objects

7/11/2024

Art Deco, CAMConservation, Joseph Urban, 1920s desk lamps, brass, tarnish, objects conservation

This pair of art deco lamps, designed by Joseph Urban, was last on view in 2022 as part of the exhibition Unlocking an Art Deco Bedroom by Joseph Urban.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Analyzing Vouet’s Venus

by Serena Urry, Chief Conservator

7/4/2024

CAMConservation, Vouet, pigments, pigment analysis, pigment identification

A few weeks ago, two scientists from the Center for Archaeometry & Art Research Palatinate (CAAP) in Germany spent the morning in one of our European galleries to analyze Toilette of Venus, a painting by French artist Simon Vouet (1590–1649).

Behind the Scenes in Conversation: New seats, never been sat!

by C. Obie Linn, Conservator of Textiles

6/20/2024

textile conservation, CAMConservation, historic upholstery, colonial dames, colonial furniture

It was time for the ladderback chairs in Gallery 218 to get a refresh! The chairs’ silk upholstery wasn’t original and over the years, while on display, the fabric had grown dingy and stained. Curator of Decorative Arts & Design Amy Dehan selected some appropriate, modern fabric in consultation with me, and I recovered the seats!

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Blue Dress Boogaloo?

by Obie Linn, Textile Conservator

5/23/2024

CAMConservation, textile conservation, 1910s fashion

Remember the blue dress from a few weeks ago? This week she’s back—with a secret.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Who’s counting?

by Serena Urry, Chief Conservator

5/9/2024

CAMConservation, paintings conservation, Sir Joshua Reynolds, British catalog project, John Steuart Curry

Boy with Grapes, by Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723–1792), is the 45th painting examined in the paintings conservation lab over the last eighteen months, for the British catalog project.

Meet CAM+

by Emily Hartig, Junior Exhibition Designer

4/30/2024

accessibility, Accessible Expressions Ohio, CAM+

The CAM+ Accessibility Cart is a self-serve welcoming point with tools to enhance any and everyone’s experience.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: The Light Touch

by Obie Linn, Conservator of Textiles

4/25/2024

textile conservation, CAMConservation, 1910s fashion

This week in the textile conservation lab, I am working on a day dress dating to the 1910s. It has a very delicate silk net stand-up collar edged with a metal ribbon and stiffened with wire stays.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Reconstructing a Japanese Teapot Spout

by Kelly Rectenwald, Conservator of Objects

4/18/2024

Miss Mariko Okinawa, objects conservation, CAMConservation, teapot, Japanese Art, tea set

In our last post about the Miss Mariko Okinawa doll’s tea set, we discussed re-joining all of the tiny ceramic fragments.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: A chemical peel?

by Serena Urry, Chief Conservator

3/14/2024

CAMConservation, British portraiture, paintings conservation, Henry Raeburn, British catalog project, CAM British Painting catalog, CAM British Paintings

As paintings conservators, we may use chemicals, but we certainly don’t give facials.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Innovator of Printing and Design

by Cecile Mear, Conservator of Works on Paper

3/7/2024

CAMConservation, William E. Hentschel, paper conservation, air brush, printmaking, brayer painting

Two prints by Willim Hentschel came through the paper lab with old hinges and pressure sensitive tapes. The artist’s work is unlike any other in the collection.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Shoes with the Blues

by Obie Linn, Conservator of Textiles

2/29/2024

CAMConservation, textile conservation, museum pests, silverfish, historic Cincinnati

These elegant pale blue kid leather shoes came to the lab for a new storage tray and interior padding, but they are interesting because they bear tell-tale damage from a specific collection pest: silverfish.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Micromosaic Jewelry

by Kelly Rectenwald, Objects Conservator

2/22/2024

objects conservation, CAMConservation, micromosaic jewelry, fashion

This week in objects conservation, we are working on several pieces of micromosaic jewelry made in Italy during the late-19th century.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Macro-Scanning Cézanne’s Still Life

by Serena Urry, Chief Conservator

2/15/2024

CAMConservation, Cezanne, paintings conservation, hidden paintings, X-ray, XRF macro-scan

Last month, three Northwestern scientists brought their highly specialized scanning and imaging equipment to the museum and spent a week in our Paintings/Objects lab.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Putting Our Best Foot Forward

by Obie Linn, Conservator of Textiles

2/1/2024

CAMConservation, textile conservation, Rei Kawakubo, behind the scenes, Historical Shoes, Comme des Garcons

Something is afoot with these shoes! Can you put your finger (or toe) on the difference?

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Reconstructing a Shattered Glass Shade

by Kelly Rectenwald, Objects Conservator

1/25/2024

CAMConservation, objects conservation, glass lamp shade, rejoining fragments

This iridescent green shade came to the lab in a box of fragments. Piece by piece, I built the individual fragments back into a shade.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Cleaning a Visitor Favorite: Girl Eating Porridge

by Serena Urry, Chief Conservator

1/18/2024

CAMConservation, Bouguereau, surface cleaning, visitor favorite, paintings conservation

This visitor favorite, Girl Eating Porridge, by French artist Adolphe William Bouguereau (1825–1905), was acquired by the museum in 1884, a mere ten years after the artist painted it.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Treatment of Cincinnati’s Galt House

by Cecile Mear, Conservator of Works on Paper

1/11/2024

paper conservation, Galt House Cincinnati, Emil Klauprecht, historic Cincinnati, lithograph, CAMConservation

In my post of November 30, I promised to explain what it took to improve the appearance and the mechanical condition of Emil Klauprecht’s 1830s lithograph, Galt House.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Small Wonders: Tiraz Textile Fragments

by Obie Linn, Conservator of Textiles

1/4/2024

CAMConservation, tiraz textiles, textile conservation

Check out some small wonders from the world of textile artwork!

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Reconstructing a Japanese Doll’s Tea Set

by Kelly Rectenwald, Objects Conservator

12/28/2023

CAMConservation, objects conservation, tea set, Japan, Japanese Art, Miss Mariko Okinawa

These tiny ceramic fragments are part of a Japanese doll’s tea set. I am working on putting these pieces back together so that they can be displayed with their doll in the future.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: A Portrait’s Curious Characteristics

by Serena Urry, Chief Conservator

12/7/2023

CAMConservation, paintings conservation, Weir, Twachtman, X-ray, hidden paintings

This small painting by American artist Julian Alden Weir (1852–1919) was donated to the museum by the artist in 1911.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Traveling for the Holidays?

by Cecile Mear, Conservator of Works on Paper

11/30/2023

Galt House Cincinnati, Emil Klauprecht, CAMConservation, works on paper, paper conservation

At first glance it is obvious the print has had a rough life.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Getting technical with textiles! What’s “selvage”?

by Obie Linn, Conservator of Textiles

11/16/2023

CAMConservation, selvage, Art Deco, fabric, textile conservation

We’ve got it all! All the width of this 1920s embroidered voile (fine soft sheer fabric), that is.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Revealing the Details of an Egyptian Scarab Ring

by Kelly Rectenwald, Objects Conservator

11/9/2023

CAMConservation, objects conservation, ancient egypt, scarab ring, bronze, bronze disease

Several small copper alloy objects, pieces of jewelry and articles of adornment, are all showing signs of bronze disease.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Gainsborough’s Ladies

by Serena Urry, Chief Conservator

11/2/2023

CAMConservation, paintings conservation, Thomas Gainsborough

These three portraits by 18th-century British artist Thomas Gainsborough are in the paintings conservation lab to be examined for the British catalog project.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Repairing an Ancient Egyptian Jar

by Kelly Rectenwald, Objects Conservator

10/12/2023

ancient egypt, ceramic jar, objects conservation, challenging repair, CAMConservation

In the Conservation Lab, we are working on this large ceramic jar from Dynasty I Egypt (3100–2900 BCE).

A Killer Look: Miniature Votive Shield with Head of Alexander the Great as Gorgoneion

by Rose Milnes, Curatorial Assistant for South Asian Art, Islamic Art, and Antiquities

10/11/2023

Alexander the Great, gorgon, gorgoneion, Greek art, Ancient Mediterranean, Staff, CAM favorites, Curatorial Blog

As the new Curatorial Assistant for South Asian Art, Islamic Art, and Antiquities, finding “my favorite piece here at the museum is a serious task! The possibilities for finding “the one” are endless.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: A Twisted Tale

by Serena Urry, Chief Conservator

10/5/2023

CAMConservation, paintings conservation, panel paintings

This small round painting, attributed to the studio of the 17th century Dutch artist Frans Hals, was recently in the paintings conservation lab to have its discolored varnish removed.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: View of the Museum on the Hill

by Cecile Mear, Conservator of Works on Paper

9/28/2023

CAMConservation, Cincinnati Art Museum, collodion photograph, paperweight, archives

An interesting artifact has entered the museum Archives, courtesy of Archivist/Records Manager Geoff Edwards. This glass paperweight holds a small photograph of the museum and the Cincinnati Art Academy (now located downtown).

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Ready for a Closeup? Hawes’ Flag Dress

by Obie Linn, Textile Conservator

9/21/2023

textile conservation, Elizabeth Hawes, Flag Dress, before and after, CAMConservation, textiles

There are few things more satisfying than seeing some really dramatic “before and after” photos when a conservation treatment is complete! Conservation of Elizabeth Hawes’ “flag dress” or Geographic (1940) has wrapped up, and now you can flip through a whole album of “before/after” pairs showing the transformations of many of the flags that cover the dress.