Friday, October 31, 2008

Transformation of Treatment Practices

I created a chart illustrating the transformation of treatment practices
It is a draft, I will refine it gradually.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Progress: Statements

After the last weeks I came up with some "statements" that I would like to prove (wrong or right) through my project

Current Status,
- Treatment is performed in different “places” responding to different needs:
* Private Practice (for museums, private owners, galleries, auction houses)
* Art Museums
* Archives
* Regional Centers
* Historical Societies
Therefore,
- Treatments performed are different
- Treatment(s) goals/specific objectives are different
- Allowable/suitable/appropriate treatment and treatment extents are different

Statements:
- Treatment is not performed on all photographs
- A greater recognition/understanding of the values of a photograph and its subtleties, has lead to less intervention
- Treatment is driven by other activities and social phenomena such as:
*Exhibition
*Market
*Fashion/Perception of how a photograph should look
- Treatment decision-making is performed by a group of people

From the meeting (with Grant), we concluded I should define hypothetical cases of conservation treatments to present to the interviewees and ask for their opinion. I will further develop this idea.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Feedback: Pau Maynés

Today I spoke with Pau Mayés about my project.
I think I still can not explain it in simple ordered ideas. Somehow, the fact that I want to focus in understanding and describing the current treatment practice got lost in the conversation and I couldn't bring it back.

When he read my proposal he centered his attention in the evolution of treatment criteria. He suggested me to narrow the topic into one concrete theme, like that one. He shortly referred to his project (Oral History of Photograph Conservation) and his experience. He said that now he knows he would have done things differently, but didn't say how.

When he read the topics for the question he said "philosophy" is an abstract big word, that nobody understands. When he read my questions (posted Oct.26) he said they were too theoretical and felt like an exam. He suggested me to use concrete examples as ground for discussion.

He gave me some suggestions of bibliography to look for (some of which I have already consulted, but I will review again).

He was very nice and said I can contact him again. That we can talk by skype. I think the feedback was useful and new.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Template for introduction of interviews- version 1

Today is Day, Date (month, day, year), Time.
My name is Alejandra Mendoza and I am with (name of the interviewee), to have a conversation about the Current Status of Treatment Practices in Photograph Conservation.

I would like to follow a pattern for the interview that includes questions about the philosophy and ethics of conservation treatment, following a discussion about the current status of treatment practice, treatment evaluation and education, continuing with aspects about the progress and transformation... [order to be defined]

To start, could you please tell me your name, your current job position, the institution or company that you work for, and for how long have you being working here?

I would like to begin with..

Template for interviews, version 1

These are the topics of the questions that I want to ask, and a first draft of questions:

Philosophy and ethics
1. How do you define conservation treatment of photographs?
2. In a general sense, what is the goal of treatment?
3. What are the general principles that guide treatment practice?
4. Do you consider that these general principles are applicable to all types of treatment?
Current Status
5. What determines the need for treatment? (in a museum, a private lab, an archive)
6. Are there other factors that influence in the selection of treatments that are proposed/requested and then performed?
7. How does the value of a photograph affect treatment?
8. How does market affect treatment?
--How do you assess the treatment risk against its potential benefit?
Progress and Transformation (History)
9. What is your observation of the field in terms of treatment? How has it progressed or transformed?
--What is your opinion about "chemical treatments" of photographs? Can they be performed, or why shouldn't they be performed?
Education
10. How did you learn treatment?
11. Do you consider that treatment proficiency is central to the competences of a photograph conservator? Why?
12. How can we gain/assure treatment proficiency?
Future
13. In terms of treatment, what are the major challenges that the field faces?

Project Proposal: Current Status of Treatment Practices in Photograph Conservation

Project proposal - September 2008

Statement of Purpose

This research will create a basic reference resource (interviews-based) that describes and addresses the current status of treatment within the profession, its philosophies, history; and the criteria and methodologies used for its evaluation. The objective of this resource is to gather and make accessible the knowledge and experience of a group of key individuals in the field, answering fundamental questions that relate to our work.
Significance
Treatment is one of the activities that characterize and differentiate a photograph conservator from other closely related specialists. The possibilities for treating photographic materials depend on a series of complex case-based variables (not only considering the materiality of the object but its present and future context and use) and international accepted standards of practice. Therefore it is important to understand, document and communicate the way in which treatment is approached, conducted and evaluated, both within institutions and in private practice. As it is important to explain the factors that have influenced in the history and development of treatment practices and try to identify the future challenges for the field in the subject.
Background
The general history of the field of photograph conservation has been synthesized in some articles and orally compiled by a series of interviews conducted by Pau Maynés in 2001. However, the emphasis of these previous researches was not treatment practices, its status or history.
Description (Methodology)
I) Interviews with conservators, curators, collectors and conservation scientists will be conducted and video recorded, to describe the following:
Philosophies Guiding Treatment:
- What is conservation treatment of photographs?
-Treatment importance
-Persons that request treatment
-Criteria for treatment
- Standards of practice and code of ethics
Current practice:
-Needs and expectations of people requesting the treatments
-Treatments performed and frequencies
-Factors that determine treatment success or failure
-Treatment solutions and possibilities in response to the existing needs
Evaluation:
-Ways in which treatment results are being observed, considered, documented and measured
-Reasons and importance of treatment evaluation
-Viability of treatment evaluation
History:
-Treatments that were practiced in the past and are no longer practiced
-New treatments practiced
-History and origin of treatment practices
-Reasons for these changes in practice
Future:
-General needs
-Ways and requisites to achieve these needs
The interviews will be recorded, and a complete transcript and abstract produced.

II) A survey –addressing current practice and evaluation- will be designed and sent to photograph conservators.
III) The treatment records from the GEH will be reviewed to identify changes in:
- Treatments performed,
- Treatment evaluation methodologies used or presented.

Deliverables:
-Illustrated essay contextualizing the current status of treatment within the field;
-Set of digitally recorded interviews and transcripts.

Future steps:
-To increase the accessibility of the resource, the creation of a web-based application containing sections of the videos and transcripts will be assessed. This could work linked to the GEHwiki (user:password requested).
-A set of interviews and transcripts will be delivered to the principal schools of Photograph Conservation.

Advisor
Grant Romer

Consultants
Paul Messier
Nora Kennedy

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Reviewed bibliography

Books

ASHLEY-SMITH, Jonathan. Risk Assessment for Object Conservation. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford-Boston, 1999, 358 pp.

APPELBAUM, Barbara. Conservation Treatment Methodology. Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, Great Britain, 2007, 437 pp.

AVRAMI, Erica, Randall Mason, and Marta de la Torre. Values and Heritage Conservation. Research Report, The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 2000, 96 pp. http://www.getty.edu/conservation/publications/pdf_publications/valuesrpt.pdf

BARGER, M. Susan, and William B. White. The Daguerreotype: nineteenth-century technology and modern science. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, 1991, 252 pp.

BRÜCKLE, Irene, and F. Christopher Tahk, editors. North American Graduate Programs in the Conservation of Cultural Property. Association of North American Graduate Programs in the Conservation of Cultural Property, Buffalo, 2000, 170 pp.

CAPLE, Chris. Conservation skills: judgment, method, and decision making. Routledge, New York, 2000, 232 pp.

CLAVIR, Miriam. Preserving what it is valued. Museums, conservation and first nations. UBCPress, Vancouver, 2002, 295 pp.

COURAGE, Catherine, and Kathy Baxter. Understanding your users. A practical guide to user requirements: Methods, Tools and Technique. Morgan Kaufmann Elsevier, San Francisco, 2005, 781 pp.

FINK, Arlene. How to ask survey questions. Thousand Oaks, SAGE Publications, 1995, 105 pp.

HENDRIKS, Klaus. Fundamentals of Photographic Conservation, A Study Guide. National Archives of Canada, Lugus Publication, Toronto, 1991, 560 pp.

KOCH S., Mogens, editor. Klaus B. Hendriks, A life Remembered. The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Denmark, 2002, 158 pp.

MUÑOZ Viñas, Salvador. Contemporary Theory of Conservation. Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, 2005, 239 pp.

REEDY, Terry J., and Chandra L. Reedy. Statistical Analysis in Art Conservation Research. The Getty Conservation Institute, California, 1988, 106 pp. http://www.getty.edu/conservation/publications/pdf_publications/statistics.pdf

________. Principles of Experimental Design for Art Conservation Research. GCI Scientific Program Report, The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 1992, 123 pp. http://www.getty.edu/conservation/publications/pdf_publications/principles_experiment.pdf

STANLEY-PRICE, Nicholas, M. Kirby Talley Jr., and Alessandra Melucco Vaccaro, editors. Historical and Philosophical Issues in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage. Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 1996, 500 pp.

The Imperfect Image: Photographs their Past, Present and Future. The Center for Photographic Conservation, London, 1992, 379 pp.

Articles

AMMANN, Jean-Christophe. “On the Ageing of Works of Art.” In Modern Art: Who Cares?, Foundation for the Conservation of Modern Art/ Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage, Amsterdam, 1999, 282-283, http://www.incca.org/theory-and-ethics/267-ammannarticle1999

ASHLEY-SMITH, Jonathan. “Definitions of Damage.” Unpublished talk given in the session “When conservator and collections meet” at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Art Historians, London, April 7-8, 1995, http://cool-palimpsest.stanford.edu/byauth/ashley-smith/damage.html

AVRAMI, Erica, Kathleen Dardes, Marta de la Torre, Samuel Y. Harris, Michael Henry, and Wendy Claire Jessup, contributors. “The Conservation Assessment: A Proposed Model for Evaluating Museum Environmental Management Needs.” The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 1999, 39 pp. http://www.getty.edu/conservation/publications/pdf_publications/assessmodeleng.pdf

BAAS, Valerie, J. J. Bischoff and L. Stodulski. “The Effects of Sodium Borohydride Solutions on Silver-Based Photographic Materials: An Update.” Topics in Photographic Preservation, vol. 4, Compiled by Robin E. Siegel, American Institute for Conservation, Washington D.C., 1991, 156-160.

______________. “Ongoing Investigation into Chemical Image Enhancement of Faded Vintage Printing-out Photographic Prints.” Topics in Photographic Preservation, vol. 5, Compiled by Robin E. Siegel, American Institute for Conservation, Washington D.C., 1993, 95-116.

BLACKMAN, Christabel. “Salvador Muñoz Viñas, New Horizons for Conservation Thinking.” e_conservation, the online magazine, no. 6, September 2008, 20-27, http://www.e-conservationline.com/content/view/627

BOGARDUS, Abraham. “Trials and Tribulations of a Photographer.” British Journal of Photography 36, 1889, 184.

CARRIER, David. “Restoration as Interpretation.” In Altered States: Conservation, Analysis, and Interpretation of Works of Art, Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts, 1994, 19-27.

“Code of Ethics.” International Council of Archives, 1996, http://www.ica.org/sites/default/files/Ethics-EN.pdf

“Code of Ethics and Guidance for Practice.” The Canadian Association for Conservation of Cultural Property (CAC) and The Canadian Association of Professional Conservators (CAPC), Ottawa, 2000, 20 pp. http://www.cac-accr.ca/pdf/ecode.pdf

“Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.” Revised August 1994, Dan Kushel, Member, Ethics and Standards Committee, http://www.conservation-us.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=page.viewPage&pageID=858&nodeID=1

“Código de ética y normas prácticas para la profesión de restauración del patrimonio cultural de México.” Coordinación Nacional de Restauración del Patrimonio Cultural (CNRPC), México, CNRPC-INAH-CONACULTA, 1998, 26 pp.

“Código de Ética,” Associacao Catarinense de Conservadores e Restauradores de Bens Culturais, 2006, http://www.accr.org.br/noticia_full.php?idnot=16

DAFFNER, Lee Ann, and Christopher McGlinchey. “The Big Picture: Conservation Research Program for Contemporary Color Photographs.” Modern Art, New Museums, Contributions to the Bilbao Congress, 13-17 September 2004, Edited by Ashok Roy and Perry Smith, The International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, London, 2004, 109-113.

DAVANNE, Louis Alphonse, and Jules Girard. “On the Revivification of Faded Positives.” Journal of the Photographic Society 2, no. 32, 21 July 1855, 199-200.

“Defining the Conservator: Essential Competencies.” American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, Washington D.C., 2003, 19 pp. http://www.conservation-us.org/_data/n_0001/resources/live/definingcon.pdf

“E.C.C.O. Professional Guidelines,” European Confederation of Conservator-Restorers’ Organisations, 2002, http://www.ecco-eu.org/about-e.c.c.o./professional-guidelines.html>, also available at http://www.icon.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=121&Itemid

HERNÁNDEZ, Claudio, Pilar Hernández, and Alejandra Mendoza. “Conservadores de Fotografía, Hacia un Código de Ética.” Unpublished, talk given at the XIV Coloquio del Seminario de Estudio y Conservación del Patrimonio, La fotografía: imagen y materia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Oaxaca, Mexico, May 30th, 2006.

HENDRIKS, Klaus B., and Lincoln Ross. “The Restoration of Discolored Black-and-white Photographic Images in Chemical Solutions.” Preprints of papers presented at the sixteenth annual meeting New Orleans, Louisiana, June 1-5, 1988, American Institute for Conservation, Washington D.C., 99-117.

HENDRIKS, Klaus B. “The Evaluation of Conservation Treatments.” Research Techniques in Photographic Conservation, Proceedings of the Conference in Copenhagen 14-19 May 1995, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Denmark, 1996, 47-50.

HILL, Gregory. “The Conservation of a Photographic Album at the National Archives of Canada,” Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, vol. 30, no. 1, Spring 1991, pp. 75-88.

“ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums 2006.” International Council of Museums, http://icom.museum/ethics.html

IRACI, Joe, and Paul Begin. “Theory Guides, Experiment Decides: Working with Klaus.” In Klaus B. Hendriks, A life Remembered, ed. Mogens S. Koch, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Denmark, 2002, 25-30.

KENNEDY, Nora. “The coming age of Photograph Conservation.” ICOM Committee for Conservation 11th Triennial Meeting, Edinburgh, 1-6 September 1996, 101-107.

______________. “Practical Application of Klaus B. Hendriks’ Research.” In Klaus B. Hendriks, A life Remembered, ed. Mogens S. Koch, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Denmark, 2002, 31-36.

KENNEDY, Nora, and Peter Mustardo. “Contemporary Photography from a Conservation Perspective.” In The Imperfect Image: Photographs their Past, Present and Future, The Center for Photographic Conservation, London, 1992, 367-375.

______________. “Changing perspectives on color photography.” In Diversity in Heritage Conservation: Tradition, Innovation and Participation, 15th Triennial Conference, 22-26 September 2008 New Delhi, vol. II, ICOM-CC, 2008, 689-694.

KOCH S., Mogens, et al. “Conservation problems of contemporary photography.” In Modern Art: Who cares?, The Foundation for the Conservation of Modern Art and the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage, Amsterdam, 1999, 349-355.

KUNIAVSKY, Mike. “Universal Tools: Recruiting and Interviewing.” In Observing the user experience, A practitioner’s guide to user research. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, San Francisco, 2003, 83-127.

MAVER, Ian. “Some Research into Methods of Mounting, Lining or Repairing Albumen Prints.” In The Imperfect Image: Photographs their Past, Present and Future, The Center for Photographic Conservation, London, 1992, 311-315.

MAYNES, Pau, and Grant B. Romer. “A Research into the History of Photograph Conservation: George Eastman’s Legacy.” Past Practice, Future Prospects, British Museum Occasional Papers 145, September 2001, 151-158.

______________. “Documenting Conservation through Oral History: A Case Study.” ICOM-Conservation Committee Meeting, Brazil, 2002.

MELUCCO Vaccaro, Alessandra. “The idea of Patina. Introduction to Part VII.” In Historical and Philosophical Issues in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage, Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 1996, 366-371.

MCQUAID, James, David Tait, and Steven Lewis. “Oral History Material on Photography.” Image, vol. 18, no. 2, 1975, 1-12.

MOOR, Ian L., and Angela H. Moor. “The Effects of Aqueous Treatments on Photographs.” In The Imperfect Image: Photographs their Past, Present and Future, The Center for Photographic Conservation, London, 1992, 236-244.

MURPHY, Erin. “Basic Care of Face-Mounted Photographs at the Museum of Modern Art.” Topics in Photographic Preservation, vol. 12, Compiled by Brenda Bernier, American Institute for Conservation, Washington, D.C., 2007, 160-174.

MUSTARDO, Peter. “Approaches to Treating Contemporary Photographs.” Topics in Photographic Preservation, vol. 12, Compiled by Brenda Bernier, American Institute for Conservation, Washington, D.C., 2007, 126-130.

NISHIMURA, Douglas. “Report on the Chemical Treatment of Photographic Materials Workshop: a Chemist’s Perspective.” Topics in Photographic Preservation, vol. 9, Compiled by Sarah S. Wagner, American Institute for Conservation, Washington D.C., 2001, 1-43.

NORRIS, Debbie Hess. “The Conservation Treatment of Deteriorated Photographic Print Materials.” In The Imperfect Image: Photographs their Past, Present and Future, The Center for Photographic Conservation, London, 1992, 361-366.

______________. “The Unmounting of Historic Photographic Prints: Factors to consider.” Typescript, unpublished, 1993, 4 pp.

______________. “Current Research Needs in the Conservation Treatment of Deteriorated Photographic Print Materials.” Research Techniques in Photographic Conservation, Proceedings of the Conference in Copenhagen 14-19 May 1995, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Denmark, 1996, 101-105.

______________. “Contributions of Klaus B. Hendriks to the Field of Conservation.” In Klaus B. Hendriks, A life Remembered, ed. Mogens S. Koch, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Denmark, 2002, 19-21.

O’KEEFE, Georgia. “Rules for use of the Alfred Stieglitz Photographs and Photogravures.” Typescript, unpublished, 1951, 1 p.

ORRACA, José. “The Conservation of Photographic Materials.” AIC Annual Meeting l973, Kansas City, Missouri, American Institute for Conservation, Washington D.C., 1973, 32-38.

______________. “Philosophy of Conservation.” Society of American Archivists, Toronto Canada, October 1, 1974, 6 pp.

______________. “Developing treatment criteria in the conservation of Photographs.” Topics in Photographic Preservation, vol. 4, Compiled by Robin E. Siegel, American Institute for Conservation, Washington D.C., 1991, 151-155. Also available in the periodical OJO, Spring 1991.

______________. “Unmounting is easy… not.” Typescript, unpublished, 1993, 3 pp.

PÉNICHON Sylvie, and Martin Jürgens. “Two Finishing Techniques for Contemporary Photographs.” Topics in Photographic Preservation, vol. 9, Compiled by Sarah S. Wagner, American Institute for Conservation, Washington, D.C., 2001, 85-96. Also available at http://www.martinjuergens.net/Assets/download/Penichon_Juergens_Topics_9.pdf

______________. “Issues in the Conservation of Contemporary Photographs: the Case of Diasec or Face-mounting.” AIC News, vol. 27, no. 2, 2002, 1, 3-4, 7-8. Also available at http://www.martinjuergens.net/Assets/download/AIC_News_March_2002.pdf

______________. “Plastic Lamination and Face Mounting of Contemporary Photographs.” In Coatings on photographs: materials, techniques, and conservation. Edited by Constance McCabe, Photographic Materials Group of the American Institute for Conservation, Washington, D.C., 2005, 218-235.

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