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Objects Conservation

Objects conservators provide for the conservation of three-dimensional works of art in the Museum's collections. Staff members also provide conservation support on a number of archaeological excavations, including those sponsored by the Museum, as well as on other international projects.

Now at the Met

The Dyes Have It: Exploring Color and Tapestries

Sarah Mallory, Research Assistant, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Posted: Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Many #tapestrytuesday readers have asked why some tapestries in the Met's collection have such diverse color palettes. As it turns out, the question you should be asking isn't "Why?" but "Dye?" Understanding the preservation or degradation of a tapestry's color is a complex sort of query whose answer is largely influenced by the dyes used to color its threads. To help unravel the mystery of tapestry colors, I recently sat down for a fascinating lesson in dyeing with two of the Museum's tapestry experts: Cristina Carr, conservator in the Department of Textile Conservation; and Nobuko Shibayama, associate research scientist in the Department of Scientific Research.

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Of Note

Conserving an Early Twentieth-Century Afghani Rubāb

Jennifer Schnitker, Graduate Intern, Department of Objects Conservation; Fellow, Winterthur Museum/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation

Posted: Tuesday, May 20, 2014

One of the recent musical instruments conserved at the Met is a twentieth-century Afghani rubāb, a short-necked lute known as the national instrument of Afghanistan. A plucked instrument, the rubāb is used in art, popular, and regional music, both as a solo instrument and as part of small musical ensembles. Prior to being displayed in The André Mertens Galleries for Musical Instruments, this object needed treatment due to losses of inlay from the fingerboard and pegbox. Additionally, this presented a good opportunity to evaluate the condition of the rawhide resonator, as this material can become more brittle over time.

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In Season

Jean d'Alluye: Conservation in the Public Eye

Lucretia Kargère, Conservator, The Cloisters

Posted: Thursday, May 15, 2014

Conservation treatments are not often performed on works of art in public. The process is lengthy and requires extreme concentration, and treatments usually need to be performed in fully equipped laboratories. The sight of a work in the process of being conserved might also come as a shock to passersby; seeing a work of art in its "stripped" state—where all fills and old restorations have been removed—is like seeing a celebrity un-Photoshopped or without makeup.

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American West in Bronze Exhibition Blog

Re-creating the Lost Last Arrow

Shannon Vittoria, Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow, The American Wing

Posted: Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Born in Waterloo, New York, in 1825, Randolph Rogers studied in Florence before establishing a studio in Rome in 1851, as many American sculptors did in the mid-nineteenth century. Although Rogers specialized in literary and ideal subjects most often carved in Italian marble, he completed at least four compositions featuring American Indians, including The Last Arrow. Cast in Rome in 1880, this dramatic equestrian group depicts two American Indians: a wounded figure, tomahawk in hand, has fallen beneath the rearing horse of his fellow warrior, who precariously turns to aim his drawn bow and arrow at an unseen enemy. The gash on the chest of the fallen man suggests that his wound is from an arrow, and, thus, the result of intertribal combat.

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Now at the Met

The Mask of Agamemnon: An Example of Electroformed Reproduction of Artworks Made by E. Gilliéron in the Early Twentieth Century

Dorothy H. Abramitis, Conservator, The Sherman Fairchild Center for Objects Conservation

Posted: Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The "Mask of Agamemnon" is one of the most famous gold artifacts from the Greek Bronze Age. Found at Mycenae in 1876 by the distinguished archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, it was one of several gold funeral masks found laid over the faces of the dead buried in the shaft graves of a royal cemetery.

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