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The Museum Environment

June 23-26, 2019

Course Description

This class provides the skills required to identify and quantify the environmental conditions that can affect the preservation of museum objects, like light, inappropriate humidity and temperature, pollutants and integrated pest management. We will learn about environmental monitoring techniques and equipment; strategies for mitigating and controlling environmental problems; proper handling; materials testing; creating a safe pollutant-free environment for storage and exhibit; and integrated pest management. Students will learn how to re-calibrate a hygrothermograph, use a psychrometer, download and understand datalogger data, conduct pH and Beilstein tests, and measure visible and UV light. The class will combine lectures and lab sessions. Participants are encouraged to bring a few slides or photographs that illustrate their collections care challenges.

About the Instructor

Sue Maltby holds a Masters of Art Conservation from Queen's University and has been in the field for over 30 years. After working for the Canadian Conservation Institute, she established her own consulting firm in 1989, which specializes in artifact treatment, training seminars, collection surveys, advice on collections care and management, and conservation guidelines for exhibits, museums and heritage structures. In addition to her consulting work for a variety of museums and museum collections, she is adjunct faculty in the Masters of Museum Studies Programme at the University of Toronto, teaches in the University of Victoria's Cultural Resource Management Programme and has taught in the Art Conservation Program at Queen's University.  She also writes a numismatic conservation column, "Preserving Collectibles," for Coin World.

Mount Making: The Design and Fabrication of Archival Mounts for Exhibits

June 24-27, 2019

Course Description

This course will give each student practical "hands on" experience:  designing mounts; evaluating and using archival materials; making of coated brass and stainless steel pin mounts; fabric wrapping ethafoam and acrylic forms; cutting, heat bending, and polishing of acrylic; and silver brazing brass mounts.  In addition, each student will be encouraged to present to the class any particular mount making challenges they are currently or will soon be working on at their jobs.

About the Instructors

Pam Gaible is the mount shop supervisor at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.  She has over 20 years experience designing and fabricating archival mounts.  She has made mounts for a large variety of objects including:  dinosaur fossils, Egyptian mummies, Pacific island ceremonial objects, African textiles, Native American clothing, animal skeletons, and meteorites.  Major exhibits at the Field Museum which Pam has worked on include "Kremlin Gold: 1000 Years of Russian Gems and Jewels", "Cleopatra of Egypt", "Cartier - 1900 to 1939", "Scrolls from the Dead Sea", "Inside Ancient Egypt", "Traveling the Pacific", "Africa", "Life over Time", and "What is an Animal?".  She has a Master of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.

Earl Lock, is a Mount Maker, Exhibit Designer and Fabricator in private practice in Chicago, with over 20 years experience designing and fabricating exhibit components for natural history museums, art museums, and planetariums.  He holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, and has made archival mount for major exhibits at The Field Museum, The Adler Planetarium, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the Speed Art Museum, and the Frazier Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, The Chicago History Museum, The Logan Museum of Anthropology, Beloit College, and private collectors across the country.

Storage Solutions

June 28-30, 2019
  • Instructor: Nicolette B. Meister
  • Course Fee: $1,100 (includes on-campus housing, breakfast, lunch)
  • Early registration: $1,050 (until March 31, 2019)
  • Register for "Storage Solutions"

Course Description

Understanding the principles of storage is extremely important given objects spend the majority of their museum life in storage. Good storage provides multi-layered protection from the agents of deterioration. This three day course will teach the fundamentals of storage facility design and layout and will focus on designing and constructing storage mounts, boxes, and enclosures. Participants will gain extensive hands-on experience constructing a variety of storage mounts for Logan Museum study collection objects. Multiple mount making techniques will be demonstrated and practiced. Participants will also be exposed to diverse archival materials and will make sample boards for future reference. Participants are encouraged to bring images of their storage problems and/or solutions to share with the class.

About the Instructor

Nicolette B. Meister is curator of collections of the Logan Museum of Anthropology at Beloit College where she has implemented multiple NEH and IMLS grant-funded storage upgrade, catalog conversion, and digitization projects. She also teaches collections management in Beloit College's Museum Studies Program and serves as faculty director of the Center for Collections Care. Nicolette has over 25 years experience in collections management and care cultivated through previous work experience at the Milwaukee Public Museum, Pitt Rivers Museum at Oxford University, Denver Art Museum, and University of Colorado Boulder Museum of Natural History. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a M.S. in Museum and Field Studies from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Introduction to Paper Conservation

July 15-18, 2019

Course Description

This course is an introduction to caring for and preserving paper-based collections. Participants will learn the history of paper manufacture and the factors affecting its deterioration; the basics of caring for a storing paper collections; as well as learn basic hands-on treatments for repairing paper collection materials including humidification and flattening, dry cleaning, mending, and filling losses. Students will learn about the benefits of washing and deacidification as well as better understand when such treatments may be in advisable. Each student is encouraged to bring paper artifacts of their own for treatment where they will apply what they learned under the guidance of the instructor.

About the Instructor

Jennifer Hain Teper serves as the Velde Preservation Librarian at the University of Illinois Libraries overseeing conservation, collections care, digital preservation, and digitization services throughout the library system. She previously served as the head of conservation at the University of Illinois libraries from 2001-2008. Jennifer graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a MLIS and Certificate of Advanced Study in the Conservation and Preservation of Library and Archival Materials. She teaches several preservation and conservation courses in the Graduate School of Information Science at the University of Illinois. She is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, where she serves as the Chair of the Equity and Inclusion Working Group.

Introduction to Integrated Pest Management

July 15-17, 2019

Course Description

This course is designed to serve as a comprehensive introduction to both the theory and practice of IPM. IPM is a strategic method for controlling pests that focuses on identifying pest populations as early as possible and reducing or eliminating conditions necessary for their survival and reproduction. IPM also strives to use the smallest possible amount of chemical pesticides, by focusing on pest exclusion through behavior-oriented methods of pest management as well as practical, low-chemical solutions tailored to fit the location of infestation. During the duration of the course, participants will learn how to identify common invertebrate, vertebrate, and fungal pests, develop an awareness for monitoring pest populations around museum collections, and in museum objects themselves, determine action thresholds, selecting and applying prevention and control methods, as well as many other real-world, practical skills and knowledge that can be applied to a variety of situations. Students are encouraged to bring building plans and pictures of pest damaged materials.

About the Instructor

Christa Deacy-Quinn is the Collections Manager at the University of Illinois Spurlock Museum overseeing collections care and preservation, artifact storage, packaging, transport, as well as exhibit design and installation. She is a strong advocate for low-chemical, low-cost Integrated Pest Management  (IPM) systems. Christa holds a M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois, is a Certified Technician for General Use Pesticides in Illinois, a Certified Mold Remediation Worker, and her IPM program at the Spurlock has earned Green Shield Certification. She teaches museum collection preservation at the University of Illinois, serves as a faculty associate of Ontario's Willowbank School of Restoration Arts, and as a peer reviewer for the Museum Assessment Program for the American Alliance of Museums.

Care of Historic Furniture

July 18-20, 2019

Course Description

Original furniture coatings are often dismissed as too deteriorated to save and as a result, are often removed. This hands-on course will teach participants how to identify early finishes and to clean and preserve them, without removing them. Participants will learn about furniture styles typically found in 19th century America and how to identify furniture periods by construction and woods. Participants will also gain hands-on practice in the preventive conservation of furniture and the traditional French Polish technique of applying shellac.

About the Instructor

Craig Deller is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works and a faculty member in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is the Senior Objects Conservator for the Wisconsin State Historical Society in Madison, WI. Craig has over 30 years' experience in private practice as a furniture/ objects conservator. He is the former president of the Chicago Area Conservation Group and a former board member of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works. His training began in the Smithsonian's "Furniture Conservation Training Program".

Introduction to Textile Preservation

July 22-25, 2019

Course Description

This course will provide essential skills needed for all collections-care specialists to handle, assess, maintain, and safely house historic clothing and textiles. Beginning with the basic chemical building blocks of textile fibers, students will learn how fabrics' microscopic characteristics impact the preservation, treatment, and interpretation of textile objects. Environmental and practical considerations for the care and display of textiles will be presented along with case studies in successful and problematic conservation solutions. Working with study collection pieces from Logan Museum of Anthropology, students will learn hands-on skills such as condition reporting, surface cleaning, custom storage mounts, packing, and photography. Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop and a downloadable camera/phone. Sewing skills are not required.

About the Instructor

Camille Myers Breeze began her conservation career in 1989 at the Textile Conservation Workshop in South Salem, New York. After earning a BA in Art History from Oberlin College, Camille received an MA in Museum Studies: Costume and Textiles Conservation from the Fashion Institute of Technology. She spent five years in the Textile Conservation Laboratory at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City before moving to the Textile Conservation Center at the American Textile History Museum, in Lowell, Massachusetts. Camille founded Museum Textile Services in 1999 as a full-service textile conservation studio serving museums, historical societies, and private collectors. In 2015 she co-founded the Andover Figures® line of custom museum forms for conservators and collections specialists.

Textile Stabilization and Display

July 26-28, 2019

Course description

This course is an introduction to stabilizing textile artifacts and safely displaying them. Using the textiles selected and assessed in the Introduction to Textile Preservation course, participants will learn different hand-stitched repairs and when to employ them. They will then stabilize these textiles from the Logan Museum collection before planning a temporary exhibit. Textile display techniques will be taught, including passive, pinned, stitched, Velcro, and magnetic hanging systems. Sewing skills are preferred but not required.

About the instructor

Morgan Blei Carbone joined Museum Textile Services in 2015. After earning her BA in Art History from Grinnell College in Iowa, she received an MA in Fashion and Textiles: History, Theory, and Museum Practice at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.  Since working at MTS, Morgan has come to specialize in wet cleaning and bleaching historic textiles, and mounting and framing flat textiles.