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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Preventative Conservation Workshop 2017 Part I: Outdoor Marble Sculpture

During June 2017, aspiring conservators from around the country attended a 2 week intensive preventative conservation workshop at Staatsburgh.  This was the second year that the workshop was held at Staatsburgh with sponsorship from The Foundation for the American Institute for Conservation along with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  The workshop taught in-depth methods of caring for many different types of collections. Participants gained insight into artifact conservation and the conditions that cause deterioration. After the workshop, several of the participants wrote blog entries about their experience and a specific aspect of the workshop.

NYS Bureau of Historic Sites Furniture Conservator, David Bayne, organized this workshop to occur at Staatsburgh collaborating on its organization with Independent Conservator Cathy MacKenzie.  Several conservators participated in the workshop's instruction including  Kirsten Schoonmaker from the Shelburne Museum, Valentine Talland formerly from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and Michelle Smith currently spending the summer at the National Library of France.

Part I in this series of blogs is by Ruthie Rolfsmeyer.  Ruthie is a conservation technician who has been contracted to work with concrete and wooden sculpture folk art environments in Maine, Georgia, and Wisconsin. She has also done conservation work on indoor murals in Idaho and Minnesota. Her degree is in Fine Art and Graphic Design with a minor in Art History, and she is continuing her education through courses in chemistry and Italian.

Workshop participant and blog author, Ruthie Rolfsmeyer