Research Forum Visiting Conservator Seminar

In Pursuit of Original Intention: the Context and Practice of Overpaint Removal in the Restoration of Medieval Polychrome Sculpture

Friday, 26 October 2012

12.00 - 14.00, Research Forum South Room

Speaker(s): Michele Marincola (Sherman Fairchild Chairman and Professor Conservation, Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University)

Ticket/entry details: Open only to The Courtauld Institute of Art's academic staff and postgraduate students. For catering purposes please RSVP by Monday 22 October 2012 to ( ) if you plan to attend.

Organised by: Professors Aviva Burnstock and Susie Nash

Medieval painted and gilded sculpture was frequently repainted, either as an act of devotion and care, or to reflect a change in taste or function. With the revival of interest in medieval art during the mid-19th century, restorers and collectors began removing these later layers in search of historically and aesthetically pleasing surfaces, with variable results. But it was after World War I, with the increasing role of art historians in restoration, that the removal of layers to reveal the original decoration became common. This seminar will discuss the methods and context of these restoration treatments, and present case studies from collections in the United States.

Michele D. Marincola is Sherman Fairchild Chairman and Professor of Conservation of the Conservation Center, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.  She is also part-time Conservator for The Cloisters (Metropolitan Museum of Art) and coordinates conservation for the Acton Collection at Villa la Pietra in Florence (NYU).  She has lectured and published widely on the techniques and conservation of medieval sculpture, conservation ethics and theory, and is currently working on a book on the treatment of polychrome wood sculpture.

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