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Conservation at the Art Institute of Chicago

American Association of Museums Honorable Mention

Vol. 31, no. 2
Fall 2005
Softcover $16.95
To order: 

Many out-of-print issues are still available from the Publications Department. Please download this pdf for an issue order form.


This fascinating volume explores how research, craft, and technology are united in the Art Institute of Chicago’s mission to preserve its collection and further art-historical knowledge. Addressing the many challenges conservators face, the publication highlights their work on objects from throughout the museum, including books, furniture, electronic media, paintings, photographs, posters, sculpture, and textiles.

An introductory essay traces the development of the profession and its specific history at the Art Institute. Studies written by the museum’s conservators and curators examine diverse works ranging from an ancient Egyptian statue of Osiris to Bruce Nauman’s video Clown Torture. The authors explore how they determine appropriate treatment, uncover an artist’s intentions and techniques, and employ pathbreaking new technologies.

Table of Contents:

Director’s Foreword 
James Cuno 
Allison Langley and Harriet K. Stratis 
From the Molecular to the Spectacular: A Statue of Osiris Through the Eyes of a Scientist, a Conservator, and a Curator 
Francesca Casadio, Emily Heye, and Karen Manchester 
Binding Beauty: Conserving a Collection of Japanese Printed Books 
Barbara Korbel and Janice Katz 
Tarnished by Time: The Technical Study and Treatment of a Rediscovered Old Master Drawing 
Kristi Dahm 
Saint John in the Wilderness: Observations on Technique, Style, and Authorship 
Frank Zuccari, Zahira Véliz, and Inge Fiedler 
Conservation/Revelation: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s Ballet Dancers Finds Renewed Harmony 
Faye Wrubel and Francesca Casadio 
Piecework: Conserving the Florence Elizabeth Marvin Quilt 
Lorna A. Filippini and Christa C. Mayer Thurman 
Hodler’s Truth 
Kristin Hoermann Lister, with contributions by Sharon L. Hirsh, Francesca Casadio, and Inge Fiedler 
“Treated by Steichen”: The Palladium Prints of Alfred Stieglitz 
Douglas G. Severson 
Time and Tide: Restoring Lorado Taft’s Fountain of Time—An Overview 
Barbara Hall and Robert Aaron Jones 
Under a Watchful Eye: The Conservation of Soviet Tass-Window Posters 
Harriet K. Stratis and Peter Zegers 
On Time: Approaches to the Conservation of Film, Videotape, and Digital Media 
Suzanne R. Schnepp 
Guide to Technical Terms 

The Art Institute of Chicago, 2005
8 3/8 x 10 1/4 in.; 112 pages; 100 color illustrations
Softcover ISBN: 0-300-11342-0