Skip to content
March 2, 2011 / Claremont Art Events

Art Conservation Lecture #2 at Scripps College on March 8, 2011

At the art conservation lecture last month, Tom Learner did, by the way, talk about what you do with a 40-year-old latex sculpture showing signs of age (nothing, at this point since you can’t display those pieces without them crumbling completely. Some people are experimenting with recreating them and/or showing the destroyed originals) or a light sculpture work that relies on light bulbs that are no longer manufactured (stockpiling vintage bulbs is about the only accepted technique right now).

Learner also touched on the issue of earthquake preparedness. I hadn’t thought much about this topic in reference to museums and galleries, until he described the challenges the Getty Conservation Institute is facing as they prepare for the upcoming Pacific Standard Time event. They plan to display a DeWain Valentine polyester sculpture, ‘Gray Column’, that is 12 feet tall and weighs two tons. I think he said it’s only a foot wide at the base. So how do you stabilize this piece so it won’t fall over and crush a museum goer if there’s a tremor? You can’t drill it into the ground without compromising the art; you can’t glue it to the ground or you would never get it off again. Thankfully, DeWain Valentine is alive and can provide input on, perhaps, altering the piece in some way. Learner said they were planning to place the sculpture in a frame at the base, which would only take a few inches off the sculpture, a relatively small amount.

McKenzie Lowry, also from the Getty Institute, will be talking in more detail about the earthquake issue and art on Tuesday at Scripps College. Mr. Lowry has been at the Getty for fourteen years and specializes in protecting art against seismic activity. Here’s a link to a little story the New York Times wrote about him a few years ago.

These lectures have been organized in conjunction with the new art conservation major at Scripps College. They are part of the lunch lecture series in the Hampton Room of Malott Commons, from 12-1pm. (Click here for a map). These events are free and open to the public, and the desserts and coffee are delicious.

See you there. The photo above is a DeWain Valentine glass sculpture, ‘Diamond Column.’ It’s in Honolulu, where they have earthquakes almost daily.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: