Carrie Patterson, Chair
Associate Professor of Art
Office Staff: 240-895-4225
Alumni Where are they now?
Matthew Fishel (studio art, 2001) completed an MFA at Maryland Institute College of Art in 2010. Originally interested in painting, Matthew has expanded his practice to include animation, video, installation, and digital imaging. He is a frequent contributor to RedStarKGB, an ongoing collaboration of filmmakers in Baltimore. His own film, "A Short Film Regarding Possibilities", was selected by the Maryland Film Festival in 2006. See his work at http://www.matthewfishel.com
Issues in Painting Conservation
Abstract: Initially, coming into this project, I thought that painting conservation efforts required a lot of deliberation per preservation of a piece. I soon found that painting conservation instead entails a complex process which remains largely misunderstood by most people. Conservation demands much more than just inpainting and re-varnishing to make a painting look better. Many steps are necessary in order to ensure that paintings are preserved. The treatment process calls for a collaboration of conservators, curators, and conservation interns to establish what techniques conservators should use in their restoration work. Culture, regional influence, and time period can influence conservators' and critics' attitudes towards conservation. And, these factors play into how the conservators pick the restoration techniques they do.
I researched this and many other aspects of conservation at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. for this project. I learned through observing the conservators at work and through talking to them about their projects about painting conservation. I created a website to pinpoint some issues in painting conservation which necessitate discussion.
In the website, I outline the treatment process of a work. Through five main steps, the conservator assesses how s/he will approach the restoration process. In the first step, the documentation step, a conservator documents the painting for archival purposes. The second step is the examination stage in which the conservator documents the painting for archival purposes. Thirdly, the conservators and curators gather to collaborate on finalizing their action plans for each treatment. Next, there is the preventative conservation and stabilization step which is for works that do not require full treatments. Lastly, comes the restoration step in which the varnishing and other such efforts take place. Hopefully, through viewing this website, people will gain some insight into the basics of painting conservation.