Conservation Works and Days

12 Jul 2011
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Greetings from Samothrace! We’re already a few weeks into the 2011 study season here at the Sanctuary of the Great Gods. This year, conservation efforts are focused on preparing objects for museum exhibition and retreating objects to stabilize them for long term storage.

Emily and I are graduate students at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts Conservation Center where we have just completed our first year of study. We’re excited to have this opportunity to put everything we learned last year into practice. Working closely with Stephen Koob, the chief conservator at Corning Museum of Glass, we will treat a wide variety of archeological materials: glass, ceramics and stone.

Tight quarters for three conservators... not your typical museum conservation lab.

Tight quarters for three conservators… not your typical museum conservation lab.

Our lab is equipped with a large workbench, a microscope, a column for producing deionized water, a basic selection of solvents and chemicals and a variety of conservation tools– from old toothbrushes to graduated cylinders. Considering that this is a remote island that can only be reached by ferry, the lab is surprisingly well stocked. However, a little ingenuity and creative use of common household items doesn’t hurt when working in the field.

Objects in the conservation queue.

Objects in the conservation queue.

Stay tuned for further reports from the conservation team.