Art, Science, Invention: Conservation and the Peale-Sellers Family Thursday, July 18, 2019 - 5:30-7 p.m. - Benjamin Franklin Hall, American Philosophical Society
At this book launch, PACA Past Co-Chair Renée Wolcott shared the work behind her new book from the APS Press, Art, Science, Invention: Conservation and the Peale-Sellers Family. She discussed the conservation treatment of items from the Peale-Sellers Family Collection, the world's largest collection of materials related to Charles Willson Peale and his many relations. This collection served as the basis for two APS exhibitions in 2017: the Museum's Curious Revolutionaries: The Peales of Philadelphia and the Library's Conservation and the Peale-Sellers Family Collection. In preparation for these exhibits, the current APS conservation staff repaired 53 of the 75 Library items selected for display in the Museum, and 14 of 43 items selected for display in the Library.
Wolcott, the APS conservator who curated the Library's exhibition, drew links between Charles Willson Peale's interests and those of today's art conservators, and traced the history of conservation efforts in the United States and at the APS in particular. She also shared several conservation case studies from the two Peale exhibitions, including the treatment of a Charles Willson Peale diary, two books of hand-cut silhouettes, a hand-colored form letter soliciting donations for the Philadelphia Museum, Rembrandt Peale's pamphlet describing the skeleton of the mammoth, and Nathan Sellers's account book. The repaired books and documents were on display, and attendees enjoyed a light reception before the lecture.
To see the recorded version of the lecture, click here.
General Meeting and Multidisciplinary Conservation Talks Friday, March 10, 2019 - 6-8 p.m. - Penn Museum
PACA members gathered at the Penn Museum for our annual General Meeting on May 10, 2019. We enjoyed three short conservation talks, noshed on delicious food and drink, and elected new PACA board members, co-chair Anisha Gupta and treasurer Tessa Gadomski .
Our speakers included photograph conservator Rachel Wetzel on the early daguerreotypes of Robert Cornelius, paper conservator Juliet Baines on yasha, a brown colorant made from alder cones that is traditionally used in Japanese paper conservation, and preprogram candidate Alyssa Rina (PACA's social media chair) on collaboration with indigenous advisors at the American Museum of Natural History during renovation of the Northwest Coast Hall.
Disaster Planning Talks and Behind-the-Scenes Tour at the PMA Friday, March 29, 2019 - 2:30-8 p.m. - Philadelphia Museum of Art
PACA, Alliance For Response Philadelphia (AFR), and the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Contemporary Conservation Working Group joined forces at 2:30 p.m. on March 29 for a series of short talks on emergency planning at cultural heritage institutions. Participants heard from the following folks:
John Gardosik, Hurricane Sandy Recovery Project Manager for the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office, on proposals to preserve a flood-prone historic site
Samantha Snell, Collections Management Specialist at the Smithsonian, on the institution's Preparedness Response in Collections Emergencies program
Joy Gardiner, Director of Conservation, and Beth Parker, Registrar, from the Winterthur Museum, Gardens & Library on their emergency response teams, annual training schedule, and supply-maintenance programs
Anisha Gupta, Assistant Conservator at the American Philosophical Society, with tips for encouraging institutional buy-in for disaster preparedness and for emergency response
Cindy Albertson, Theodor Siegl Conservator of Modern and Contemporary Paintings at the PMA, on Alliance for Response efforts in New York during and after Hurricane Sandy.
The talks were followed by behind-the-scenes tours of the Philadelphia Museum of Art paper and paintings conservation labs. Some attendees stayed for Friday Night music and drinks at the Museum from 5:00 until 8:45 p.m.
Saving Time: Restoration of a Rare Christopher Souers Tall Clock Wednesday, February 27, 2019 - 5:30-6:30 p.m. - The Library Company of Philadelphia
Twenty PACA members joined Friends of the Library Company to hear horologist Lili von Baeyer discuss her treatment of a rare Christopher Souers tall clock from the collection of The Library Company of Philadelphia. Souers (also known as Christopher Saur or Sauer) was an early 18th-century tailor, printer, and clock-maker from Germantown. Lili described the challenge of honoring the clock's past while preserving its functionality well into the future. The project confronted her with difficult choices as well as an experience to learn deeper and more nuanced horological methods. Attendees were able to see photographs of her work on the clock's mechanism while hearing the restored clock chime the hour behind her! They also had the opportunity to tour The Library Company's current exhibition, Stylish Books: Designing Philadelphia Furniture.
"Unbridled Love" Science on Tap Happy Hour at National Mechanics Monday, February 11, 2019 - 5-7 p.m.
A few intrepid souls braved the wintry weather to share the latest conservation news and learn about "the other conservation" when it comes to wild horses and burros. Rebecca Kaplan, a fellow at the Science History Institute, explained the difference between "wild" and "feral" horses, why their numbers on federal lands have been booming and busting since the 1960s (when they were still slaughtered for pet food), and how a yearly birth-control vaccine could help to control their populations at healthy, non-starving levels. We also learned that burros get no respect. #andburros
2018 PACA Holiday Party at National Mechanics Thursday, December 13, 2018 - 6 p.m.
About 35 PACA members and their guests gathered at National Mechanics to celebrate a great year in conservation with good conversation, lots of laughter, drinks, heavy hors d'oeuvres, and homemade holiday goodies. Three new members joined, and several more renewed—thanks! Alisa Vignalo and Alisa Lenander won the professional and student-level AIC memberships in our annual prize drawing. Many more members drew successfully for Inherent Vice Squad pin cushions, a Winsor & Newton travel watercolor set, a mini microscope, a sun printing kit, and gift cards from Dick Blick and Talas!
Laurel Hill Cemetery Tour Sunday, October 21, 2018 – 1 p.m. PACA members gathered for a a private guided tour of Laurel Hill Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark on 78 scenic acres overlooking the Schuylkill River. Our guide, Mike Lewandowski, explained the cemetery's history and preservation challenges, and monuments conservator Seth Gartland gave us insight into conservation challenges for historic cemeteries. Tip of the day: choose granite! It is far less susceptible to acid rain.
Conservation of Outdoor Sculptures at Fairmount Water Works Thursday, September 13, 2018 – 6 p.m.
Nicole Matchette and Lucy Strackhouse of the Fairmount Park Conservancy discussed the conservation and installation of the Mercury, Nymph, and Bittern statues at the Water Works. Drinks and munchies were available for purchase from Parks on Tap, Philadelphia's traveling beer garden.
Members' Meeting and Tour of Penn Museum Conservation Labs Wednesday, May 16, 2018 – 6 p.m.
PACA members gathered for our 7th Annual General Meeting, a multidisciplinary tip session, and a tour of the Penn Museum Conservation Labs. In the General Meeting, we shared our accomplishments from the last year, elected new board members, and made plans for next year. We also enjoyed a hearty reception and traded conservation and preservation tips at the first-ever PACA Tip Session — thanks to those who participated! Penn Museum conservators and interns also gave us a guided tour of their lab and ongoing conservation projects.
Conservation of The Dream Garden Thursday, April 26, 2018 – 12:30 p.m.
Mary McGinn, PAFA paintings conservator, and Andrew Fearon, architectural conservator, gave PACA members an up-close look at The Dream Garden, a Tiffany glass mosaic designed by Maxwell Parrish. The mosaic is one of only two interior landmarks on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places and is Tiffany’s most significant favrile glass mosaic work. This informal midday presentation focused on the mosaic's history, assessment, seismic monitoring, stabilization, testing, and conservation treatment.
Conservation Talks and Tour, MOAR Thursday, January 18, 2018 – 12:30 p.m.
A textiles conservator, paper conservator, and object conservator discussed their work on items from the Museum of the American Revolution’s permanent and special exhibitions. Virginia Whelan treated George Washington’s tent, Corine McHugh treated a watercolor depicting that tent, and Alisa Vignalo treated a Revolutionary War mug. Following their presentations, PACA members were treated to a curatorial tour of the special exhibition Among His Troops: Washington's War Tent in a Newly Discovered Watercolor.