Conservation & Restoration

Art Conservation and Restoration Case Studies, Systems and Protocols

While we have been advised by other practitioners that it may not be appropriate to create, in the public domain, a manual of art conservation techniques, it will be as helpful to create a  compendium of a variety of case studies that address various types of problems and issues. At the same time, a handbook of systems and protocols for preventive and remedial  conservation, and restoration will faciltate in providing guidelines for reference of practising conservators-restorers, students, custodians of art collections, and policy makers. The compilations touch upon both contemporary as well as traditional and indigenous practices in India.

 This compilation is being prepared in the following manner:

Compilation of existing case studies - Various institutions and individuals are sharing the case studies of the work they have done. A number of conservation and restoration works are being implemented and being documented especially for this project. These case studies are being categorised according to their basic 'type', such as tempera paintings on paper, textiles, stone, terracotta, glass, ceramics, manuscripts, paintings on cloth, photographs etc. At a later stage, the best representative case studies will be selected by a team of advisors, and compiled with their commentaries on the content.

Compilation of Systems and Protocols - How to establish a basic art analysis section in a conservation centre; Health and safety for art conservators and other staff; Photography for conservation; Basic minimum standards for conservation practice, etc. These will again be discussed at a series of technical meetings to evaluate and further develop the subjects. 

  

Damage mapping & diagnostics

Damage mapping in this context refers to compiling a directory of damages of varied nature on different types of objects from all over India.

India is an expansive land with climatic zones as diverse as hot deserts, salt deserts, cold desert, coastal areas, hot and humid tropical, dry, dusty plains and alpine. Each of these climatic conditions interact with the art objects and affect their condition differently. Thus, for example, a bronze in a coastal zone may deteriorate differently than a bronze in a climatic zone that is dry and dusty.

The Damage Mapping is being carried out for this project in the following manner:
Contributors from across the Country - People are being requested to send in images and information of damages to art objects.
Categorisation - These images are being categorised according to their material and type of damage. As many of the damages being documented may be repetitive, the best representative examples are being compiled, and regularly updated.
Understanding the mechanism of damage - A tentative explanation of the process by which this damage has occurred, and how it will progress further if not treated, is put forward with the advice of the contributors and specialists.
The Directory -For the publication, a team of conservators will be contacted to help us select the best examples of the damages, and edit the explanations of the mechanisms of deterioration.

(This page/section will contain in focus our object types)

 Oil Painting                                                     Metal                                                               Miniature Painting

  

Painting on Cloth                                          Textile                                                              Manuscript

  

Terracotta                                                       Stone                                                               Wood

  

       

 Ceramics                                                          Photograph

  

Conservation Education

Art Conservation Workshops, Technical Meetings and Formal Education

This project involves generous inputs by a number of individuals and institutions from across the world. As part of continuing education in art conservation the project is constantly networking and collaborating to share these inputs with people involved in conservation and in related fields.

This garnering of information and an equally spirited dissemination of it is at the heart of this project. We realise the importance of this sharing and collaborative learning to create an active and vibrant art conservation community that is willing to work together to develop the art conservation field in India.

The Material & Technology surveys being carried out for this project entail the following:

Technical meetings - We invite and involve practitioners, academicians, specialists and policy makers to take part in a series of technical meetings and workshops that are being held to create the reference documents. These meetings can be one on one or could be group interactions.

Workshops - Workshops can be organised at the state or national level

Formal Education - The well defined focus of this project to share learning has encouraged us to team up with other institutions to create formal programmes for education in the field of heritage conservation for university students, practioners and custodians of cultural collections.

Material & technology studies

Material and technology in this context refers to the raw materials and how they are worked upon by artists and craftspersons to create an art object.
Just as it is important for a medical practitioner to understand the human anatomy in order to diagnose a medical condition, so it is also in the case of artefacts, and therefore it is necessary that we understand their composition. This understanding helps conservators to analyse how and why objects deteriorate when subject to various factors of deterioration and to arrive at an informed judgment of the most appropriate treatment.

The Material & Technology surveys being carried out for this project entail the following:

Understanding the practitioners with respect to their community, profession, skills, specializations, season in which they work/ collect raw material, workshop location, space, and its arrangement, tools of the trade.
Classification of raw material in terms of its source, method of collection and processing. Samples are collected and labelled
Step by step documentation of the various stages of creating the artefacts; photographs, interviews & field notes
Repair of the artefacts that they themselves create - Recording of the material and process
Oral traditions and rituals associated with the creation of the artefacts

(This page/section will contain in focus our object types)

Metal                                                                 Miniature                                                      Textile                                                          

   

 Wood                                                                Manuscript                                                    Stone

   

Ceramic                                                            Photograph                                                   Painting on Cloth 

   

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