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Play media An early video showing some activities in a conservation laboratory at the Rijksmuseum A temporary windowed partition along restoration work area in the cloister of the Church of St.
Trophime, Arles The care of cultural heritage has a long history, one that was primarily aimed at fixing and mending objects for their continued use and aesthetic enjoyment.
During the 19th century, however, the fields of science and art became increasingly intertwined as scientists such as Michael Faraday began to study the damaging effects of the environment to works of art. Louis Pasteur carried out scientific analysis on paint as well. The society was founded by William Morris and Philip Webbboth of whom were deeply influenced by the writings of John Ruskin.
SinceHarvard University wraps some of the valuable statues on its campus, such as this " Chinese stele ", with waterproof covers every winter, in order to protect them from erosion caused by acid rain.
He not only developed a scientific approach to the care of objects in the collections, but disseminated this approach by publishing a Handbook of Conservation in In the United Kingdom, pioneering research into painting materials and conservation, ceramics, and stone conservation was conducted by Arthur Pillans Laurieacademic chemist and Principal of Heriot-Watt University from Alexander Scott in the recently created Research Laboratory, although he was actually employed by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research The pursuit for preservation environmental paper the early years.
The creation of this department moved the focus for the development of conservation theory and practice from Germany to Britain, and made the latter a prime force in this fledgling field. In the United Statesthe development of conservation of cultural heritage can be traced to the Fogg Art Museumand Edward Waldo Forbes, its director from to He encouraged technical investigation, and was Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the first technical journal, Technical Studies in the Field of the Fine Arts, published by the Fogg from to Importantly he also brought onto the museum staff chemists.
Rutherford John Gettens was the first of usch in the US to be permanently employed by an art museum. He worked with George L. Stoutthe founder and first editor of Technical Studies.
Gettens and Stout co-authored Painting Materials: A Short Encyclopaedia inreprinted in This compendium is still cited regularly.
Oliver Brothers is believed to be the first and the oldest continuously operating art restoration company in the United States. The focus of conservation development then accelerated in Britain and America, and it was in Britain that the first International Conservation Organisations developed.
The International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works IIC was incorporated under British law in as "a permanent organization to co-ordinate and improve the knowledge, methods, and working standards needed to protect and preserve precious materials of all kinds. Art historians and theorists such as Cesare Brandi have also played a significant role in developing conservation science theory.
In recent years ethical concerns have been at the forefront of developments in conservation.
Most significantly has been the idea of preventive conservation. This concept is based in part on the pioneering work by Garry Thomson CBEand his book the Museum Environment, first published in Although his exact guidelines are no longer rigidly followed, they did inspire this field of conservation.
These take the form of applied ethics. Ethical standards have been established across the world, and national and international ethical guidelines have been written.
One such example is: American Institute for Conservation Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice  Conservation OnLine provides resources on ethical issues in conservation,  including examples of codes of ethics and guidelines for professional conduct in conservation and allied fields; and charters and treaties pertaining to ethical issues involving the preservation of cultural property.
As well as standards of practice conservators deal with wider ethical concerns, such as the debates as to whether all art is worth preserving.
Collections care Many cultural works are sensitive to environmental conditions such as temperaturehumidity and exposure to visible light and ultraviolet radiation. These works must be protected in controlled environments where such variables are maintained within a range of damage-limiting levels.
For example, watercolour paintings usually require shielding from sunlight to prevent fading of pigments. Collections care is an important element of museum policy. It is an essential responsibility of members of the museum profession to create and maintain a protective environment for the collections in their care, whether in store, on display, or in transit.
A museum should carefully monitor the condition of collections to determine when an artifact requires conservation work and the services of a qualified conservator. Work of preventive conservation in a rock wall with prehistoric paintings at the Serra da Capivara National Park.
The work consists of filling the cracks to prevent the fragmentation of the wall. Interventive conservation[ edit ] Furniture conservation — Re-glueing loose element of solid nut marriage chest probably Italy, 19th century A principal aim of a cultural conservator is to reduce the rate of deterioration of an object.United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Educating for a Sustainable Future A Transdisciplinary Vision for Concerted Action.
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