Books

The Care and Handling of Art Objects: Practices in the Metropolitan Museum of Art

By Marjorie Shelley, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987, ISBN: 9780870993183

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York houses one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive collections of antiquities and works of art. Their preservation is a responsibility that involves everyone who serves the Museum and who has access to the collection. This handbook offers a practical guide to the ways in which different art objects should be handled and cared for, whether they are on display, in transit, or in storage; and it also explains some of the fundamental principles of conservation that underlie Museum practice. The first part of the book sets out guidelines for dealing with the entire spectrum of works in the Metropolitan Museum: paintings, drawings and prints, textiles, costumes, musical instruments, and three-dimensional objects, whether monumental sculpture or filigree jewelry. In the second part the emphasis is on matters and procedures that affect the collection in general, such as climate controls, light levels, and photography. Included at the end are a selected glossary of conservation terms, a short reading list, and space for the reader’s own notes. Drawing on the professional experience of curators and conservators from many different departments, The Care and Handling of Art Objects was put together primarily for those who work in the Metropolitan Museum. What it has to say, however, will be of great interest to others: private collectors large and small, museum visitors, and concerned members of the public. The principal author, Marjorie Shelley, Conservator of Prints and Drawings, has been at the Museum since 1974. Her area of specialization includes all media on paper and related materials, and she has lectured and written on the conservation, treatment, and analysis of works of art in her field. Ms Shelley holds an M.A. in art history and a diploma in conservation from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.

 

Redings in Conservation: Issues in the Conservation of Photographs

Edited by Debra Hess Norris and Jennifer Jae Gutierrez, The Getty Conservation Institute, 2010, ISBN: 9781606060001

In seventy-two essential texts from the nineteenth century to the present day, this anthology collects key writings that have influenced both the philosophical and the practical aspects of conserving photographs. Many of the topics—safe environmental parameters, silver image permanence, and proper treatment methods—have been debated since the introduction of photography. By promoting and understanding of these issues, this volume advances the education of rising conservation professionals, inspires new scholarship, and contributes to the field’s ongoing evolution.

 

Photographs of the Past: Process and Preservation

By Bertrand Lavedrine, The Getty Conservation Institute, 2009, ISBN: 9780892369577

This volume provides a comprehensive introduction to the practice of photograph preservation, bringing together more information on photographic processes than any other single source. Introductory chapters cover issues of terminology; the rest of the book is divided into three parts: positives, negatives, and conservation. Each chapter focuses on a single process―daguerreotypes, albumen negatives, black-and-white prints, and so on―providing an overview of its history and materials and tracing the evolution of its technology. This book will serve as an irreplaceable reference work for conservators, curators, collectors, dealers, conservation students, and photographers, as well as those in the general public seeking information on preserving this ubiquitous form of cultural heritage.

 

A Guide to the Preventive Conservation of Photograph Collections

By Bertrand Lavedrine, The Getty Conservation Institute, 2003, ISBN: 9780892367016

More than thirty years of continuing research into the preservation of photographic collections have led to a better understanding of the fragility of these images and the means by which to preserve them. A useful resource for the photographic conservator, conservation scientist, curator, as well as professional collector, A Guide to the Preventive Conservation of Photograph Collections synthesizes both the enormous amount of research that has been completed to date and the international standards that have been established on the subject.

Miscellaneous

 

The IPI Storage Guide for Acetate Film

James M. Reilly, published by the Image Permanence Institute, 1993

IPI Storage Guide for Acetate FilmThe IPI Storage Guide is a four-part publication that explains the effect of temperature and humidity on the rate of film base degradation. It is an important tool for evaluating and planning storage environments for all types of acetate base film, cinema film, and microfilm. The 24-page booklet discusses environmental specifications for film storage and explains the relationship between temperature, relative humidity, and the time it takes for “vinegar syndrome” (the slow, chemical decomposition of acetate plastics) to begin to affect fresh film.