Archives

Conservation at American Art

Isamu Noguchi: Watering the Art

December 27, 2016

Objects conservators have a challenging job. On any given day Ariel O'Connor, an art object conservator at SAAM, might be asked to research, examine, document, and treat works of art made with bronze, wood, plastic, stone, plaster, glass, and many, many other types of materials. The recently-opened Isamu Noguchi exhibition Isamu Noguchi, Archaic/Modern perfectly exemplifies this material diversity, with sculptures ranging from heavy stone obelisks to feather-light delicate bamboo and paper lanterns. Even with years of training and experience, one sculpture is proving to be a unique challenge for Ariel: a 3,000 pound basalt stone fountain titled The Well.


Framing The Art of Romaine Brooks

September 22, 2016

Romaine Brooks was something of an interior decorator as well as an artist. She took a lively interest in the frame designs and finishes for her artworks. Several of the paintings in the exhibition The Art of Romaine Brooks are in frames that she personally designed or that were prepared under her direction.


Conserving Duane Hanson's Woman Eating

June 23, 2016

For a decade, Duane Hanson's life-like sculpture Woman Eating has fascinated SAAM visitors. With funding provided by the Smithsonian's Women's Committee, conservators were able to research, examine, document, and treat this work for future generations to continue to enjoy.


Meet Dan Finn, SAAM's Media Conservator

March 31, 2016

As SAAM continues to add time-based media to its collection, conservation of these artforms is becoming an important aspect in our museum. In August 2015 Dan Finn was hired to retrofit an office space and acquire equipment for SAAM's Media Conservation Lab. Dan has a Master's Degree from the New York University's Moving Image and Archiving Program. And we got a chance to talk with him about his work here.


Lunder Conservation Center: A Conservator Finds Art in the Dark

December 1, 2015

Desi Peters recently completed her graduate internship at the Lunder Conservation Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum, in paintings conservation. She describes her conservation treatment of Chapel In-the Fall-Wood by Maceptaw Bogun.