Conservation at the Williamson Gallery
Owning Institution: Claremont Colleges Library
About this CollectionThis collection will showcase conservation projects at the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery. Each object record is accompanied by images documenting the work prior to conservation, select stages of the treatment process, and the work after conservation. Projects underway include the treatment of the gallery's collection of Asian paintings, the plaster Shakespeare reliefs on Scripps' campus, and a 14th century wood and polychrome sculpture of St. Michael. This collection is launched in conjunction with Scripps' new major in art conservation, a field that fully embraces the interdisciplinary approach of education at the Claremont Colleges. Art conservation majors are required to take courses in studio art, art history, anthropology, archaeology, and chemistry. Please see the department page for more information. In contemporary conservation practice, every step of the treatment process is reversible, with the goal of stabilization, not restoration. Close examination of a conserved object will reveal the work of the conservator; for the intention is not to restore the artwork to appear new, but to prevent further deterioration, and thus stabilize it for exhibition and teaching purposes. From six feet back, the museum viewer sees the work as a cohesive whole; from six inches, a future conservator can easily discern the work's previous treatment.
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