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Tuesday, May 17 • 11:00am - 11:30am
(Wooden Artifacts) To Fly or Not to Fly, That is the Question: Conservation of a John Doggett Frame at Pilgrim Hall Museum

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In May 2015, Gold Leaf Studios was contracted to conserve an original John Doggett frame at the Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The conservation of the frame was to be performed in conjunction with the conservation of the 1824 painting Landing of the Pilgrims, by Henry Sargent. During a preliminary discovery trip to determine the current condition of the frame, the studio conservation team determined that, in addition to numerous areas of damaged ornamentation, large sections of the frame were covered in bronze paint that had oxidized over time. The team also found that the original water gilding was encrusted with 180 years of flyspecks. A primary objective of treatment was to remove the bronze paint and flyspecks from the frame. The conservation team experimented with several gels and solvents to determine the method that was least likely to disturb the water gilding underneath. The team developed a new technique of treating the surface area in a poultice to remove surface degradation and save as much of the original gilding as possible.

avatar for William B. Adair

William B. Adair

Frame Historian, Senior Conservator of Frames, Gold Leaf Studios, Washington, DC
William Adair worked for the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery for 10 years as a frame conservator. First trained as an artist, he then developed an expertise from Henry Heydenryk, in frame history and gilding techniques as practiced in European workshops. In 1982 he formed his own company in Washington, D.C, Gold Leaf Studios, specializing in historic frame making, conservation and restoration of gilded antiques. Through the... Read More →

Tuesday May 17, 2016 11:00am - 11:30am
Room 514

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