Art of the Past: Sources and Reconstructions
July 16, 2013 | By James Black |
ISBN: 1904982018 UK Price: £39.50 US Price: $75.00 Recipe books, treatises and manuals on artists' materials, tools and methods are of fundamental importance for an understanding of how art objects were made. Historically accurate reconstructions on the basis of these sources provide insight into the original appearance of an object, as well as workshop practices, and provide models for understanding material degradation. The interpretation of artists' intent rests on this kind of basic knowledge. It could be said that the three pillars of the study of historical art techniques are scientific analysis, research into historic sources and reconstruction. This volume contains papers that address the art of the past through reconstruction and studies of historic sources - either written (recipes, handbooks, workshop notes and letters) visual (designs, studio interiors, depictions of tools and working methods) or material by analysis of artefacts themselves, and by examination of surviving tools and unused materials in their making. Objects examined include paintings (panel and canvas, icons and miniatures); polychrome sculpture; graphic documents and book illustration; glass and composite objects including early plastics and costume. The arena is Europe with the exception of forays into ancient Mesopotamia and colonial Latin America. The period ranges from c. 1700 BC to mediaeval, Renaissance, Baroque, through the 18th and 19th centuries to the early 20th century and forward to contemporary art. Topics covered include studies of ageing processes; difficulties in interpreting old texts; material as well as virtual reconstructions; the use of databases to increase the accesibility and use of source material; and the importance of selecting representative recipes from historical sources. Proceedings of the first symposium of the Art Technological Source Research study group: Approaching the Art of the Past: Sources & Reconstructions.
More from James Black
Art of Merit: Studies in Buddhist Art and its Conservation David Park, Kuenga Wangmo, Sharon Cather (eds) ISBN: 9781904982920 UK Price: £75.00 US Price: $175.00 This volume contains twenty-eight ground-breaking papers (presented at the Buddhist Art Forum* at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London in 2012) which consider Buddhist art from the earliest Indian stupas to contemporary Himalayan thangkas - as well as its ritual use and audience, its tourist consumption in expanding economies, its often ill-conceived conservation, and its influence on modern and contemporary western art. A stimulating range of viewpoints is expressed in this lavishly illustrated volume, making a genuine contribution to the awareness and understanding of these issues and developments that goes beyond regional and specialist boundaries. *The Buddhist Art Forum—a major international gathering that explored the interrelation between the nature, creation, function, and conservation of Buddhist art from its earliest manifestations to the present—was held at the Courtauld Institute of Art in 2012, sponsored by the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation and attended by artists, scholars, historians, conservators, officials and monks. The aims of the Ho Foundation are to promote the understanding of Buddhism and of The Courtauld to air the complex challenges of preserving Buddhist art were well served in the papers presented at the conference and contained in this volume.
Desalination of Historic Buildings, Stone and Wall Paintings Alison Heritage, Adrian Heritage, Fulvio Zezza (eds) ISBN: 9781904982890 UK Price: £49.50 US Price: $120.00 This volume examines the use of desalination processes to aid in the conservation of historic buildings and artifacts. The papers contained in this volume examine the salt transport mechanisms between a salt laden substrate and a material applied to its surface; improved methods for assessing desalination treatments and the assessment of the working principle and efficiency of salt extraction poultice systems for use on wall surfaces in monumental buildings by using non-destructive analysis on different material substrates and under different environmental conditions; the results of laboratory tests to evaluate the workability and mechanical properties of fresh poultices; and the assessment of the moisture and ion transport mechanisms active during desalination in different poultice/substrate combinations, by means of nuclear magnetic resonance.
Perspectives on the Painting Technique of Jan van Eyck Noëlle Streeton ISBN: 9781904982708 UK Price: £55.00 US Price: $120.00 One aim of this study was to consider deviations from what might be called the paradigm of the Ghent Altarpiece, by examining the observable differences between the Ghent panels and other paintings in the van Eyck corpus ‒ especially those works that were thought to have been produced in the painter’s Bruges workshop after 1432. By focusing on demonstrable physical differences, it has been possible to weave a narrative for van Eyck, which brings greater clarity to ideas that surround van Eyck’s workshop practices and choices of materials over time. Part of the challenge of a study of this kind is the weight of pre-existing literature and while this project has moved closer to identifying, for example, how assistants potentially contributed to works assigned to van Eyck alone, perhaps the most significant step forward here has been in proposing a broader context for van Eyck’s painting practices outside of the workshop.
ISBN: 9781904982432 UK Price: £50.00 US Price: $90.00 Over the course of the past 150 years, the development and use of artificial plastics has burgeoned. Plastics are now ubiquitous and unavoidable, from the plastic bag and other items with functional uses - such as household, office, electrical appliances and clothing - to works of art including sculpture, tapestries etc. The myriad of different plastic-based materials and the ways in which they have been treated before, during and after manufacture can leave the conservator, artist and collections manager bewildered as to their identification and hence appropriate treatment and prognosis for any particular object. This volume of papers from a conference held at the Victoria and Albert Museum is intended as a 'marker in the sand', a record of current perceptions and considerations of plastics within museum collections - their importance and problems (inter alia of insurance, pollution, display, decay and conservation).
ISBN: 9781909492028 UK Price: £20.00 US Price: $30.00 Les motifs ornementaux et leurs combinaisons sont nombreux sur les reliures de manuscrits. Le relevé et la comparaison des techniques et des motifs a déjà permis de regrouper des séries de reliures. Lorsqu’elles sont originales, c’est-à-dire contemporaines de la copie des livres qu’elles recouvrent, elles permettent, combinées avec d’autres critères, comme l’écriture et l’ornementation, de reconstituer la production d’ateliers de copie et/ou de reliure, ou bien celle d’artisans individuels ; elles nous mettent aussi parfois sur la piste des commanditaires ou des premiers possesseurs. Mais les reliures, du fait même de leur fonction, qui est de protéger le livre au cours de ses déplacements, risquent d’être endommagées, voire détruites; c’est ainsi que, souvent, le codex, au cours des siècles, revêt différentes reliures. Celles-ci, à leur tour, peuvent être regroupées et identifiées, ce qui nous fait suivre le livre dans ses passages d’un possesseur à un autre. Bref, l’étude de la reliure, une des plus belles réalisations de l’artisanat byzantin, fournit d’intéressantes précisions sur la genèse et la destinée du livre manuscrit grec du moyen âge et de la Renaissance. En rassemblant les travaux de plusieurs experts européens sur la description des reliures byzantines et orientales; ce volume présente informations et conseils sur leur conservation, les aspects juridiques et les procédés de prise de vue et propose un premier pas vers la normalisation de la descriptions des reliures.
ISBN: 9781909492011 UK Price: £35.00 US Price: $75.00 This volume is the fourth in what is now to become a regular biennial publication which will present the recent research of past and present staff and students (including early career interns) of the Hamilton Kerr Institute in the conservation, structure, materials, history etc. of paintings.
ISBN: 9781904982609 UK Price: £75.00 US Price: $140.00 A key consequence of the western discovery of sixteenth-century Japan was the emergence of workshops producing lacquerware for the European market. As with East Asian porcelain, Japanese lacquer quickly became an absolute must-have, its gold-on-black pictorial schemes enriching the sumptuous interiors of the aristocratic and wealthy. The Mazarin Chest, which was made in Kyoto in the late 1630s to early 1640s and has belonged to the Victoria and Albert Museum since 1882, is the largest and most spectacular survivor of this specialist industry. Since 2003 it has been the focus of a major research and conservation project involving curators, conservators and scientists in the UK, Germany, Japan and Poland. The main outcomes of this and related research, initially presented at an international conference held at the V&A*, are published in this discipline-defining compilation of twenty-one papers. The recognition, acceptance and negotiation of cultural differences have been core concerns of the Mazarin Chest Project. It is for this reason that this title is published in English and Japanese: the English edition as hard copy with the Japanese digital version included on a DVD. This title has been published in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum. *Conference entitled: Crossing Borders: The Conservation, Science and Material Culture of East Asian Lacquer
ISBN: 1873132344 UK Price: £29.50 US Price: $55.00 This book is designed to help collections managers, conservators, curators, collectors and students (of materials and material culture) to understand the properties of the materials (containing protein fibres) from which various objects have been manufactured. The author illustrates the wide range of historic, ethnographic and natural history objects, made of fibrous protein material, which is found in collections. She explains why understanding the chemical and phsyical structure of the fibrous proteins in a variety of materials (skin, leather, gut, muscle, teeth, bone, ivory, silk, fur, feathers, hair, horn, claws, nails, etc) is most important when considering optimum methods for their care, conservation treatment and preservation. Features of the structures of protein fibres uses to identify each material are discussed. The agents and symptoms of deterioration of fibrous proteins are covered, particularly those proteins (e.g. collagen, keratin, fibroin and myosin) found commonly in collections of cultural objects. This volume complements the author's Fungal Facts published by Archetype Publications in 2002.
ISBN: 9781904982777 UK Price: £27.50 US Price: $45.00 Archaeologists now face a myriad of digital ways of engaging with the public – social media, online TV channels, games, etc. It is critical that this potential and its limitations are closely assessed and utilised to make archaeology a genuinely public activity. Archaeology and Digital Communication examines how archaeology engages the public in the rapidly changing world of communication. This volume proposes digital strategies of public engagement that will be of interest to archaeologists working in various contexts, particularly in collaboration with media professionals and institutions. It identifies some of the most promising uses of digital media in different domains of archaeological communication and the benefits they can generate for participants. Each use is presented through case studies highlighting how media experiences are designed and consumed. While providing specific operational recommendations, Archaeology and Digital Communication also attempts to chart potential new directions for research.
ISBN: 9781904982739 UK Price: £39.50 US Price: $75.00 The overall theme of this volume is the artistic process as manifested in the artwork itself and as documented in visual and written sources. While many of the papers look at the work of 19th and early 20th century painters, other topics include Baroque decoration, the controversy about paints in Germany in the early 20th century, and non-traditional oils in artists’ oil paints. The many editions of Theophilus' Schedula diversarum arcium and Alessio Piemontese's Secreti are listed and discussed. A number of sources that have previously received relatively little attention from scholars of art technology are considered, such as lawsuits, realia, diaries, and the use of modelling techniques from other fields that could be usefully applied to source research to give a clearer picture of the actual trends of development and use of new materials and technologies. The artists whose works are examined include: Alonso Berruguete; Pedro Cabrita Reis; Goya; van Mander; the goldsmith Wenzel Jamnitzer; the pastel painter Rienk Jelgerhuis; Van Gogh; Edvard Munch and Lyonal Feininger. Proceedings of the fourth symposium of the Art Technological Source Research Working Group.
ISBN: 9781904982463 UK Price: £60.00 US Price: $120.00 Asian ceramics in their many forms and functions - utilitarian, aesthetics, and religious - are the subject of this volume. Through analysis of their composition, technology, typology, and use, researchers from all over the world who met for a conference at the Freer Gallery of Art define ceramic technologies, examine thier similarities and differences, and explore broader questions regarding their historical and cultural context, such as trade and technology tranfer between East and West Asia. Topics include Myanmar ceramics, Seljuq tiles, Korean and Chinese high-fired ceramics, Chinese and Japanese lead-glazed wares, Chinese funerary sculptures, Khmer kilns, and the study of ceramics through inscriptions. This volume is the fourth in a series of Forbes Symposium proceedings. All four volumes are published by Archetype Publications in association with the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution. Proceedings of the fourth Forbes Symposium at the Freer Gallery of Art
ISBN: 9781904982197 UK Price: £52.50 US Price: $100.00 In the 30 years since the first British Museum volume dedicated to the scientific study of early metallurgy, there has been great progress in understanding the diversity of processes by which ores were mined and smelted as well as significant advances in the methods of study of these. In particular, the experimental replication of ancient processes has assumed ever greater importance. This volume arose from the conference Metallurgy: A Touchstone for Cross-cultural Interaction which took place at the British Museum to celebrate the enormous contribution to the study and understanding of metallurgy made by Paul Craddock during his 40 years at the Museum. The papers largely relate to mining and extractive metallurgy. The inception and nature of the first smelting technologies of copper and tin in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa, and of zinc in China and iron in Africa, the Middle East and Britain are discussed together with insights into the archaeology and experimental replication of the processes. The authors are drawn from major institutions worldwide, reflecting the international interest the subject now commands. Published in association with the British Museum.
ISBN: 9781904982494 UK Price: £49.50 US Price: $110.00 The papers presented here provide a good overview of the breadth and depth of current archaeometallurgical research related to Asia and beyond. Many of the issues raised in this book, such as the beginnings of bronze metallurgy in China, the early history of lost-wax casting in Asia, the development of early steel-making technology in Europe and Asia, and the role of the steppe influence in metalworking in Eastern Zhou China, will continue to attract substantial research interest. The important role which casting technologies have played in large parts of Asia is immediately evident, as is the importance of studying technical aspects not in isolation, but as parts of complex and multi-dimensional cultural developments. It is evident that long-distance cultural connections and technological inspirations remained active over many millennia. The richness of past and present interactions, the ever-expanding archaeological knowledge (many of the papers are based on the most recent archaeological discoveries), and an increasing cooperation across disciplinary, geographical and political boundaries visible in this volume are impressive.
ISBN: 9781904982586 UK Price: £37.50 US Price: $70.00 The drawings discussed in this book, published in association with the British Museum, were included in the exhibition, Fra Angelico to Leonardo: Italian Renaissance Drawings, held at the British Museum, London and the Uffizi Gallery, Florence in 2010-2011. Technical studies of 47 of the British Museum's finest Italian Renaissance drawings are given based on non-invasive and non-contact examination and analysis. Great emphasis has been placed on how the results from such examination and analysis can be interpreted in a manner that goes beyond simply determining the materials employed by artists, to draw conclusions about their role in the Renaissance workshop and the patterns of use across fifteenth-century Italy.
ISBN: 9781904982548 UK Price: £45.00 US Price: $90.00 The papers in this volume, from the Hildesheim symposium, Theory and Practice in the Conservation of Modern and Contemporary Art: Reflections on the Roots and the Perspectives, confront the theoretical foundation and the ethical and aesthetical principles of the conservation of modern and contemporary art, testing the limits and possibilities of the development of established positions and seeking new challenges. The authors tackle the crucial question - whether there should be specific theoretical, ethical and aesthetical guidelines for the conservation and restoration of modern and contemporary art - by starting from important historical theories and seeing how these might be adapted to meet the demands of contemporary society in dealing with modern artworks and all the multiform cultural manifestations of today. Since the preservation of the concepts and ideas of contemporary art as well as the conservation or substitution of materials requires a highly sophisticated knowledge of the artist's intentions, a most important voice in this context - that of the artist - is found in the interviews with several contemporary artists and collectors assembled in the appendices. Published in association with the Hornemann Institute.
ISBN: 1873132581 UK Price: £49.50 US Price: $95.00 State Beds and Throne Canopies: Care and Conservation is the first publication to concentrate solely on state beds and throne canopies in England, covering not only their historical and stylistic developments and the role that they played in the theatre of courtly ritual, but more importantly focusing on the surviving objects themselves and the care they now receive. The specific subjects of this book are the state beds and throne canopies at Hampton Court Palace and Kensington Palace. Different in style, construction and hangings, they reflect the changing times, circumstances, court use and character of their owners. Increasingly rare, they pose problems of access, conservation treatment and financial provision. Practical guidelines are provided for conservation approaches, with short case history summaries that bring together knowledge and experience gained from working in a unique situation with an unparalleled collection of court furnishings. The information accrued and the strategies that have evolved to cope with these rare objects are outlined. For more than 20 years Val Davies has been responsible for the conservation management of these extraordinary, large-scale, multimedia furnishings at the Textile Conservation Studio, Hampton Court Palace. In addition to working closely with the Royal Collection, her work has encompassed similar beds and canopies, both in England and abroad, and she has been consulted by conservators and curators from such establishments as the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Trust and English Heritage. Containing a vast amount of detail not found elsewhere, this lavishly illustrated work is a valuable reference not only to conservators, but also to owners, curators and collection managers who may not have access to specialist advice 'in house', and to a wider audience of all those with an interest in culutral heritage and in preserving it for future generations to enjoy. Published in association with Historic Royal Palaces