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JAIC 2003, Volume 42, Number 2, Article 4 (pp. 193 to 236) THE ANCIENT EGYPTIAN COLLECTION
JAIC 2003, Volume 42, Number 2, Article 4 (pp. 193 to 236) THE ANCIENT EGYPTIAN COLLECTION
JAIC 2003, Volume 42, Number 2, Article 4 (pp. 193 to 236) THE ANCIENT EGYPTIAN COLLECTION

JAIC 2003, Volume 42, Number 2, Article 4 (pp. 193 to 236)



ABSTRACT—This article (written in conjunction with Part 1) discusses the conservation of the Egyptian Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The presence of current treatments, which often begin with analysis of previously used materials, as their presence can significantly influence the development of a new treatment. The effe are assessed. Sections are divided by material, such as metals, ceramics, stone, wood, and organic materials, and selected examples of re-treatment are discussed.

TITRE—La collection d'antiquités égyptiennes au musée des beaux-arts (Museum of Fine Arts) de Boston. 2ème partie, une étude des traitements pratiqués antérieuremen temps que le précédent) considère la conservation-restauration de la collection égyptienne au musée des beaux-arts (Museum of Fine Arts) de Boston. Les matériaux emplo des traitements actuels. Ceux-ci commencent souvent par l'analyse des matériaux précédemment utilisés, car leur présence peut influencer de manière significative le dével la préservation à long terme de la collection sont évaluées. Diverses sections discutent des différents matériaux, tel que les métaux, la céramique, la pierre, le bois et les ma traités de nouveau.

TITULO—La colección de arte egipcio antiguo del Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Museo de bellas artes de Boston). Parte II, Evaluación de los tratamientos previos llezad (escrito al tiempo con la Parte I) se discute la conservación de la colección de arte egipcio del Museum of Fine Arts, Boston—MFA (Museo de bellas artes de Boston). La impacto sobre la naturaleza de los tratamientos actuales, que frecuentemente comienzan con el análisis de estos materiales utilizados previamente ya que pueden tener un g largo plazo que estos tratamientos previos pueden tener sobre la preservación de las colecciones. Las secciones se dividen de acuerdo a los materiales: metales, cerámica, p selectos de tratamientos hechos de nuevo.

TITULO—A coleção de antigüidades egípcias do Museum of Fine Arts—MFA (Museu de Belas Artes) de Boston. Parte 2, revisão de tratamentos prévios no MFA e suas conservação da coleção egípcia do Museum of Fine Arts (Museu de Belas Artes) de Boston. O uso de certos materiais em tratamentos anteriores teve um grande impacto n de materiais previamente usados, uma vez que sua presença pode influenciar significativamente o desenvolvimento de um novo tratamento. Os efeitos destes tratamentos a As sessões são divididas por tipo de material, tais como: metal, cerâmica, pedra, madeira e materiais orgânicos. São apresentados exemplos selecionados de objetos tratado


Over the past decades, the demand to display objects of the Egyptian Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), has dramatically increased, with many nation have provided the opportunity to study, treat, re-treat, and mount large groups of objects. Numerous artifacts received emergency stabilization upon excavation in the field conservation followed frequently in Boston. Grouped by material class, this article examines these treatments carried out at the MFA over the latter half of the 20th century a wide variety of written and oral resources, in addition to the sometimes incomplete conservation documentation, the gathered information helps us to reconstruct the treat understanding of the current condition, as well as for the design of future treatments. The preservation of any information in itself becomes, thus, a vital element of conserv and the previous one, Part 1.


Many of the excavated Egyptian artifacts needed major treatment and restoration prior to exhibition at the MFA. Alfred Lucas consulted on the stabilization of artifacts thr Department from 1942 to 1957. Museum documents suggest that Dunham carried out many treatment procedures himself, such as the desalination of ceramics (Dunham 1 and a distinguished painter who documented tomb reliefs in Giza with life-size oil paintings, was called upon to assist in large-scale restorations such as that of the colossa

restoration, which entailed re-creating missing passages based on a related sculpture in Cairo, was completed in 1935 by Smith with the help of a graduate of the Museum

currently stands in the Old Kingdom Gallery, its condition virtually unchanged since the time of the 1935 restoration (

figs. 1, 2).

In 1929, the British chemist William (Bill) Young was invited to Boston by MFA trustee E. P. Warren (

fig. 3). Young's successful treatment of a heavily corroded bronze

that the MFA needed a department devoted to treatment of its collections (Schur 1977). Thus the Department of Restoration, later renamed the Research Laboratory, was f

Laboratory, and associated with the Pitt Rivers Museum and the Institute for Archaeological Research in London, Young pioneered many procedures associated with the s international symposia titled, “Application of Science in the Examination of Works of Art,” the first taking place in 1958.

Dated documentation related to treatments or examinations began in 1940, although there are 205 earlier, undated records. Young's records generally state the reason for an copper or bronze” or “Determine authenticity,” and the procedure followed, such as “microscopic, spectrographic or visual.” The report may state: “the object is copper,” o us know that an object was in the laboratory, and they often indicate the type of analysis. Unfortunately, they do not describe the condition or treatment of objects. More sp such as the Bulletin of the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA Bulletin), which was published beginning in 1903.

In 1968, the Murray Pease Report established guidelines for practice and a code of ethics for conservation that emphasized the importance of documentation (IIC-AG 1968 sheets introduced in 1971, which are apparently the earliest treatment reports. Some reports may be as cursory as “Standard Operating Procedure” or “SOP,” but occasiona Condition reports, treatment proposals, and treatment reports, as we use them today, came into use about 1981.

Merville E. Nichols, a protégé of Young, treated large parts of the collection over decades. He started his training with Young in 1947 and was associated with the Researc treatment records are from Nichols, beginning in 1971, although often only “SOP.” He left an extensive collection of recipes constituting a quite unusual collection of treat

From discussions with MFA staff who remember early conservation materials and procedures (Beale 2002; conservators who worked with them.

Lachevre 2002), it is believed that many materials were introdu

Fragments of colossal statue of Menkaure (Mycerinus) with Mary Reisner for scale, Harvard camp, Giza. 4th Dynasty, 2532–2510 B.C. MFA 09.204. Courtesy of Harvard University–MFA Expedition, 1907, neg. B234


Fig. 1.


When an object is examined today to assess its condition and develop a treatment, often there is evidence of former stabilization(s) or compensation(s). Treatments frequen consolidation, or

Restored colossal statue of Menkaure (Mycerinus) (fig. 1), with H. Perry Tunick Hatchfield for scale, MFA Old Kingdom Gallery. 235 × 86.5 cm. Courtesy of Yosi Pozeilov, 2002

Fig. 2. decomposing fill materials. As records of the previous treatments may be sketchy or even

Fig. 2.

decomposing fill materials. As records of the previous treatments may be sketchy or even altogether lacking, analysis and identification of all previously used materials an extensive survey of all existing hard copies of conservation reports as well as excavation diaries and publications, early MFA Bulletins, photographs, and unpublished inter framework for future treatment and research at both the MFA and other institutions.


The history of the treatment of Egyptian metal objects at the MFA is tied to electrolytic reduction. Many objects in the collection have been cleaned by such a procedure. T treatment reports as being metallic, granular, pitted, etched and/or scratched, or smooth and without corrosion products. In some cases it is noted that uneven corrosion pro for this article, only 12 pieces were noted to retain original corrosion products, burial accretions, or pseudomorphs.

William Young

Fig. 3. One of the earliest treatments, published in the MFA Bulletin in 1931, is that

Fig. 3.

One of the earliest treatments, published in the MFA Bulletin in 1931, is that of the 22d Dynasty Aegis of Isis, before treatment. Third Intermediate Period, 945–712 B.C., copper- lead alloy with inlays of electrum, silver, and bronze. 27.5 × 19.2 cm, diam. 29.3 cm. MFA 31.195, Adelia Cotton Williams Fund. Courtesy of Harvard University–MFA Expedition, March 1931, neg. C5968.

copper-lead Aegis of Isis with bronze inlays (MFA 31.195; figs. 4 , 5 ). The curator

copper-lead Aegis of Isis with bronze inlays (MFA 31.195;

figs. 4, 5). The curator wrote:

Fig. 4.

In [acquiring the Aegis the museum] undertook an experiment not without risk, for the object was in such a bad state of preservation due to the ravages of the so-call at. It was by no means certain how far the bronze would respond to treatment, and if it did, whether it would prove to be as fine as was anticipated. (Dunham 1931, 1

The MFA Bulletin article described the materials and the method of fabrication, but did not elaborate on the treatment. It was noted that a gilded silver inlay of a winged fi

1931, 109), and indeed this inlay is missing today. The treatment record for the object states simply: “The object was cleaned by electrolysis.” Young later presented his tre

chemists Adolf Finkener, Friedrich Rathgen, and Colin Fink, he described the reduction of ancient metals. The procedure was as follows:

Without any preliminary cleaning, the object to be treated is hung as Cathode into a 2 per cent caustic soda solution and low amperage direct current is applied. Very

wrapped around the object, one or two turns per inch, and electrical connections are made with the ends of the wire. The action of the electrolysis is to evolve hydrog

copper. ( Young 1963, 5)

Aegis of Isis (fig. 4), after treatment. Note missing silver disc,“too corroded to be saved.” Courtesy of Harvard University–MFA Expedition, October 1931, neg. C6117

Fig. 5. Young also mentioned the use of iron, nickel, and platinum anodes. When the reduction

Fig. 5.

Young also mentioned the use of iron, nickel, and platinum anodes. When the reduction was completed, the object was “removed from the bath, soaked in several changes

oven at 40 to 60 degrees centigrade” (

Young 1963, 6).

This method was passed on to Nichols. Electrolytic reduction continued to be used for the treatment of copper and its alloys, silver, gilded silver, electrum, lead, and iron u instructions expand upon the basic method outlined above. Before reduction was undertaken, an object might be examined with x-radiography, ultraviolet illumination, or for ancient or modern restorations. The object would undergo prolonged soaking in a series of solvents (toluene, hot water, alcohol, and acetone), and coatings, restoration conductivity were mechanically removed. Lead-tin or zinc-tin solder repairs were removed with a soldering iron. The object was then soaked in a bath of 2% sodium hydro (Nichols noted that this bath will also dissolve silver chloride and cautioned that the object may turn to mud if totally corroded). Finally, various mixtures of hydrochloric a conductivity of the metal (Nichols n.d.).

For tank reduction, fragile objects might be supported on a bronze screen. For local reduction of silver, the cathode was a graphite rod. The anode was a sponge pierced wi be used, one containing sodium bicarbonate (to remove silver sulfide), the other containing 2% sodium hydroxide (to remove silver chloride and to “harden” the corrosion current was reversed to oxidize the silver, turning it black, at which point the black surface would be cleaned with ethanolamine on cotton swabs to remove redeposited co along with brushing under hot running water and the use of a scalpel. Finally, the piece was “electro-polished” using sodium bicarbonate paste and soaked in distilled wate

Object files mention removal of redeposited copper with ethanolamine, as mentioned above. Redeposited copper was also disguised by bronzing with sodium hydroxide pa tools.

One of the primary reasons for the early stripping of bronzes was to rid them of chloride that causes bronze disease (Beale 1996). MFA records also state the following goa inscriptions. By the early 1980s notes in files begin to reflect ethical conflicts with such treatments, and reduction is now rarely used at the MFA. Its use on Egyptian artifa and aluminum foil for removal of remains of corrosion products from previously reduced objects.

Metals that have been reduced or stripped have often required re-treatment in later years due to tarnishing or corrosion of reactive, bright metal and the removal or renewal noted with a few chemically cleaned objects is corrosion connected with residual chemicals leaching out of the metal.


Forty years after the initial treatment of the Aegis of Isis, it was treated for bronze disease. The worksheet states: “SOP bronze disease” and lists the locations of the bronze treatment of bronze disease was a solution of silver nitrate, which he fixed in place with heat (Beale 1996). And indeed as late as 1983 areas of bronze disease were treated needle and applying silver nitrate solution, although no mention was made of using heat. Nichols's “Standard Operating Procedure” may refer to his mentor's methods, or h disease first appears in object files in 1986, but it may have been in use at the MFA much earlier. Benzotriazole is currently the standard treatment for bronze disease at the

followed by coating with Paraloid B-72 (formerly Acryloid B-72), and a recommendation that the object be stored and displayed in a desiccated environment. Silver oxide reexamined for a reinstallation in 2001 and found to be in good and stable condition.


Metal artifacts were also cleaned mechanically with glass brushes, brass scratch brushes, a scalpel, or wooden tools. Mirrors and knife blades were routinely polished with µm alumina powder. Not surprisingly, later condition reports note that the surfaces are covered with fine scratches, some discolored.

Silver objects in the Egyptian Collection have also been cleaned with 5% ammonia;with 5% or 10% nitric acid, or with 5% sulfuric acid. Nichols's recipe file includes a so metals, although no reference to this solution's being used on the Egyptian Collection has been found.


During excavation in the Sudan in 1919, the 25th Dynasty bronze offering table of King Piye (MFA 21.3238) was found crushed in a stairway where it had fallen during a

this object was often cited by Young and others (

fig. 8; Young n.d., 1958;

Dunham 1958). The curator described the treatment to “restore the parts to their original forms b

corroded away have been patched with new material and one of the rim-cups is a modern copy; but in all other respects the piece is original” (Dunham 1958, 99).

Top of offering table of King Piye, as found, el-Kurru Camp. Nubian, Napatan Period, 8th century B.C., bronze. MFA 21.3238. Courtesy of Harvard University– MFA Expedition, April 1919, neg. C8831

followed by coating with Paraloid B-72 (formerly Acryloid B-72), and a recommendation that the object be

Fig. 6.

Base of offering table of King Piye (fig. 6), as found. Courtesy of Harvard University– MFA Expedition, April 1919, neg. C8830

followed by coating with Paraloid B-72 (formerly Acryloid B-72), and a recommendation that the object be

Fig. 7.

Excavation photographs show all four rim cups, and it is uncertain why one needed to be replaced. Young wrote that reduction was necessary before the piece could be ann base was supported with an internal armature of thick copper wire. The piece was coated after treatment (see sec. 4.7 for a discussion of coatings).

Gold and silver objects were also annealed and reshaped. The surfaces would then be polished to 0.3 µm alumina to remove annealing discoloration. One object treated in t Offering table of King Piye (figs. 6, 7), restored. Height of foot after treatment 82

Nubian gold ewer (MFA 20.341).

cm, diam. 45.5 cm. Courtesy of Harvard University–MFA Expedition, 1948, neg.


Nubian gold ewer (MFA 20.341). cm, diam. 45.5 cm. Courtesy of Harvard University–MFA Expedition, 1948, neg.

Fig. 8.

Solder repairs have been found on the offering table mentioned above as well as on some other bronze and gold pieces from the Sudan. In some cases, such as a set of gild


Gänsicke and Newman 2000), modern solder repairs extend over original decorative surfaces. Shellac, plaster, and unidentified water-soluble white adhesives h

Nichols's reports from the 1970s and 1980s commonly mention repairs done with Elmer's Glue-All, often with a backing of thick mulberry paper. Losses were filled with a sometimes used in place of paper as a backing. Repairs were also made with epoxy and aluminum powder. Plaster fills have also been found on objects, although there is n (PVAC) was used as a coating and an adhesive in the 1980s and probably earlier.

Corrosion associated with old repairs has been one reason for retreatment. Turquoise, green, and blue corrosion products found adjacent to old repairs on copper and bronz been identified, analysis of some of these corrosion products has found formate and acetate salts.

Current practice is for repairs and fills to be made with acrylic adhesives, usually Paraloid B-72 or B-48N, often in combination with glass microballoons, cellulose powde


The stripped surfaces of copper alloy artifacts that had been treated by reduction apparently required repatination in at least some instances, although there is no written do figure of Sekhmet (MFA 86.246) and patches of bright yellow-green in pits below the original surface on a bronze foot (MFA 24.896) suggest that these pieces have been with curatorial requests provides other indirect evidence that such procedures were sometimes carried out. Regarding a bronze knife (MFA 20.1799), a 1977 request was: “ now has a bare metal surface that would not seem to have been repatinated after stripping. Regarding a bronze bell (MFA 24.857), a 1979 request states:“Clean and repatin indeed repatinated.

Toning down stripped surfaces without chemical repatination was done with the application of jewelers' rouge over the stripped surface of a copper jug (MFA 01.7312) an some plaque reliefs (MFA 24.1062, 24.1065). Nichols's recipe file includes instructions for toning down overcleaned silver coins with 5% silver nitrate and heat, although


Early treatment reports mention inpainting with shellac and dry pigments, PVAC and dry pigments, as well as with bronze powder, silver conductor paint, Aquadag silver objects, presumably to enhance contrasts of designs, and whiting has been used for the same purpose. Acrylic emulsion paints have been the primary inpainting media for t found of inpainting on metals themselves.

  • 4.7 COATINGS

Most of the metal artifacts that have been retreated were previously coated and these coatings were often pigmented. In 1999 ceresine wax and beeswax coatings were iden mentioned in Part 1 of this article (Gänsicke et al. 2003).

PVAC was widely used as a coating for metals up until about 1980. In the mid-1960s Young instated a campaign of coating ancient metals with PVAC (PVA-AYAF) due file described mixing up PVAC “syrup” by dissolving the solid PVAC pellets in hot toluene over a double boiler and then adding small amounts of alcohol, Cellosolve, an 72, applied in a mixture of toluene, methylethyl ketone, and Cellosolve. Incralac, carnauba wax, and microcrystalline wax have been used to coat a few metal artifacts in re generally applied in a mixture of acetone and ethanol, is currently virtually the only coating used.

A review of treatment records has shown that coatings (likely to be PVAC, but generally not identified) frequently had to be removed within 10 years of application. React either to uneven application or to disruption or breakdown of the coating. Such cases necessitated further cleaning of the surfaces, either with ethanol on cotton swabs or w offering table of King Piye discussed above, we have chosen not to recoat an object rather than to risk further uneven corrosion.


When the Aegis of Isis was treated in 1972 Nichols wrote: “Suspect the very start of black disease.” This is a reference to copper sulfide corrosion that would have been ca above, and which occasionally can be observed on other bronzes in the collection. The corrosion on the Aegis does not seem to have worsened since then. Red coloration o

been identified as gold silver sulfide in some cases. (See

Frantz and Schorsch 1990 for a discussion of red gold.) Tarnishing of silver continues to be a problem in some of

Other corrosion induced by the storage or display materials includes formates and acetates found on a group of copper objects in 1993. Basic lead carbonates have been fou the aid of solvents.


Reproductions have been made to represent some fragmentary objects. An electrotype or electroform of one of the silver Heterpheres bracelets, made by Young in 1947, sh 52.1837), although some aspects of the reconstruction are now known to be incorrect.

Molds have also been taken and electrotypes made for replacement of missing elements. Silver claws on a set of anklets from the Middle Kingdom (MFA 21.984–.85) “we made electrotypes from a cut-down mold of the larger pendants, and these were substituted in the present stringing” (Eaton 1941, 97).

Finally, a number of molds were taken of objects in the Egyptian Collection for reproduction for sale in the museum shop and in some instances for the private use of frien


Documentation of early treatment procedures at the MFA is scarce for ceramics, faience, and glass objects, possibly in part because these categories of artifacts were not as Although records improved considerably after about 1970, they often do not include much detail on the nature of earlier restoration materials for objects that were being re treatments. Statements that, for example, old unsightly repairs were reversed with water narrow down the possibilities of what materials might have been used in earlier tre when wetted.

Almost all reviewed files for ceramics and faience involve the re-treatment of previously treated artifacts. In most cases the reasons for the re-treatment of ceramics and fai and pulling up of ceramic, darkening, and staining. In many instances where shellac, PVAC emulsion, or the more unusual sealing wax repairs were used, complete revers Paraloid B-72, is now introduced into the breaks for reinforcement.

Up to this point in time, only a fraction of the ceramic, faience, and glass artifacts have been treated in any manner since arriving at the MFA, and future examinations will have been carried out on those artifacts.


Groups of objects that were excavated from the same trench usually exhibit similar states of preservation today, probably related mainly to the salt content of their burial e treatments that appear to have been common in the field, and treatments were required at the MFA also. In 1928 Dunham wrote to George A. Reisner that ceramics require treatments himself (Dunham 1928). Desalination campaigns, in some cases more than one on the same object, continue up to the present. Efflorescence has been the result consequence of conditions during travel for loans.

The salt problem for some of the MFA Egyptian ceramics may have been aggravated or even made worse by the 1920 fire on board a steamer bound for Boston from Port months afterward.

An example of a piece that has suffered from salts is a Predynastic terracotta figurine (MFA 04.1803;

fig. 9;

D'Auria et al. 1988), part of an excavated group purchased for

condition, a result of salt efflorescence in addition to having been broken and repaired. The surface of this artifact has a dark saturated “skin” from a previous consolidation

caused delamination of the consolidated surface layer, the interior is powdery and light in color. Thicker areas of locally applied adhesives are also visible: one is opaque a are no records, were presumably performed to prevent the salt activity from completely destroying the artifact. Desalination was apparently never attempted, possibly beca

Predynastic terracotta figurine, Nagada II, 3670 B.C., ceramic, 18.6 × 9.0 cm, diam. 6.3 cm. MFA 04.1803. Courtesy of Marie Svoboda, 2001

  • 5.2 CLEANING

5.2 CLEANING Fig. 9. A fairly standard treatment for ceramic and faience objects was washing in

Fig. 9.

A fairly standard treatment for ceramic and faience objects was washing in Calgon and immersion in acid solutions, such as hydrochloric acid, to remove lime deposits. Do procedures and that silver nitrate tests were performed on the wash water to determine when all traces of chlorides had been removed. No adverse effects from these treatm


A survey of treatment records indicates that shellac was the adhesive of choice until 1975; pearl glue and Alvar were mentioned by senior staff as further choices. Other ad Dekadhese (DEK). Elmer's Glue-All was used primarily in the 1970s and early 1980s; generally PVAC resins were used extensively until the mid-1980s. Paraloid B-72 be commonly used adhesive.

Beadwork reconstruction continues to be performed today at the MFA. Restringing is based on the research conducted on preserved fragments, field notes, photographs, dr obtained from this investigation, in addition to studying the accurately restrung objects by Mary Reisner, has enabled MFA staff to restring beadwork objects using techniq

Ultraviolet examination of the Predynastic figurine, previously mentioned, showed three different adhesives on its surface (

fig. 10; see page 245 for color image). Analysis

containing glue. This treatment darkened the surface and apparently did little to consolidate the flaking terracotta due to its poor penetration. The thin surface “skin” that re activity. Shellac, identified in isolated areas, may have been used to touch up holes made for samples taken for thermoluminescence dating. Another adhesive was mysterio breast, and proper right foot. This thickly applied material was identified as a mixture of sucrose (from cane sugar or honey), lactose (from a milk product), oils or fats (wh Protein was also detected in this sample but may be contamination from the earlier consolidation campaign. Such complex adhesives were not uncommon during the midto readily available at the time (Fishman 1986).

A large ceramic artifact that underwent significant re-treatment is a coffin from Naukratis (Tell el-Yahudiya), dated to ca.1292–1075 B.C., that was excavated in 1888 (MF

Predynastic terracotta figurine (fig. 9), photographed under ultraviolet illumination. Courtesy of Marie Svoboda, 2001 (see page 245 for color image)

Fig. 10. among a large group of other ceramics coffins in a cemetery, almost all of

Fig. 10.

among a large group of other ceramics coffins in a cemetery, almost all of which had been damaged by grave robbers interested in their contents (Griffith 1890). In the fiel

staples reinforced with plaster (

fig. 11). A photograph from 1909 shows the ceramic coffin still in its field-assembled condition (

fig. 12; fourth coffin from right). The repa

addition to corrosion of the iron pins that resulted in expansion of the plaster, so that when it was requested for a new installation in 1998 it was in an unstable, fragmentary

and pins, with the aid of water. The old shellac was reduced with ethanol poultices, which softened the adhesive, followed by mechanical removal. Staining was reduced b

reassembled using Paraloid B-72, bulked with microballoons in areas with gaps ( strengthen the joins, and a supportive mounting system was developed.

fig. 13). Due to the object's weight and the decision to display it upright, strips of fiberglas


The fill composition most commonly noted in earlier object files consisted of a mixture of plaster and protein glue. Elmer's Glue-All replaced the latter in the 1970s. There substance has yet to be identified on ceramic or faience artifacts. Inpainting over plaster fills using dry pigments and shellac was the preferred method from the 1950s until

A faience hippopotamus statuette (MFA 51.8) from the Middle Kingdom was featured in an article in the MFA Bulletin in December 1951. The article Pottery coffin, during treatment. Naukratis (Tell el-Yahudiya), 1292–1075 B.C., ceramic. MFA 88.1041. Courtesy of

Fig. 11. notes that it was in a poor state of preservation when acquired and that

Fig. 11.

notes that it was in a poor state of preservation when acquired and that it had been skillfully restored by Young and his assistants: “what little restoration has been done in Today this pioneering repair remains stable and visually integrated. A similar philosophy is followed today. For example, the Hetepheres ceramics that were restored in the Compensation of losses on the artifacts was intentionally made to appear as well-defined, reattached fragments in order to maintain visual integrity and structural stability

Coffins lined up outside the Museum of Fine Arts in 1909. The ceramic coffin still in its field-assembled condition is the fourth coffi Fine Arts, Boston, 1909

Fig. 12. Not all re-treatments are successful or straightforward, and the course to be followed is

Fig. 12.

Not all re-treatments are successful or straightforward, and the course to be followed is not always clear. In the case of the Predynastic figurine, it is apparent that the salt p any further action. Additional consolidation treatment may be inhibited by the presence of earlier treatment materials and could further compromise the condition of the ob consolidation materials available today and their potential interactions with materials used in the past, treatment decisions can be made that will pose less risk to the artifac



It is clear that stone artifacts were cleaned early in the history of the museum, but specific cleaning methods prior to the 1970s are undocumented. During the 1970s, stains of Calgon, followed by a mixture of equal parts of methylene chloride and ethylene glycol. Poultices of attapulgite clay mixed with organic solvents were also used for stai calcareous encrustations from sandstone.

Granite statuary may have been polished with a mixture of water, Calgon, and a silica-based polishing compound, although it is unclear if this technique was specifically u have been used on the collection.

Dry-cleaning techniques, such as eraser crumbs and chemical sponges, as well the use of alcohol, acetone, and emulsions of nonpolar solvents with limited water, became

Pottery coffin (fig. 11), after treatment. Courtesy of Nina Vinogradskaya, 1998


Fig. 13.

There is no clear evidence that porous stone artifacts were desalinated in the field or in the museum in the early 20th century. However, desalination of stone of limestone

the literature (Petrie 1904; Lucas 1932).

Sandstone and limestone sculptures were desalinated by aqueous immersion in the 1970s, although details, such as length of immersion and quantity of water, were not rec using a silver nitrate spot test. On some occasions, treatment records indicate that desalination was ended prematurely due to pigment loss and/or structural damage to lime from limestone and sandstone. Apparently in a response to problems that arose from soaking, stone artifacts were tested for the presence of water-sensitive mineral inclusio immersion is not performed on stone artifacts, and attempts to reduce soluble salt activity are made through management of the environment.

Although water immersion of stone artifacts had the significant benefit of reducing soluble salts, one of the primary factors of stone decay, the process could significantly j

surface decoration. Immersion of the Nefermaat and Atet limestone relief fragments (MFA Eg. Inv. 40;

Petrie 1892) in the 1970s caused swelling of clay deposits, internal

grant from the National Endowment for the Arts funded investigations into the mineral composition of the stone as well as potential consolidation with silanes, acrylic resi

lack of a totally satisfactory treatment procedure, treatment was postponed. Currently, treatment of this important relief is being reconsidered. Due to advancements in the addressed through a detachable mounting system that surrounds and supports the fragments individually. Delamination and flaking of the surface will be consolidated with environment are considered critical for the long-term well-being of the reliefs.


Review of museum records clearly demonstrates that the primary challenge of stone conservation over the last century has been the treatment and subsequent re-treatment on limestone and sandstone artifacts due to the presence of soluble salts and/or poor cementation of particles. Additional internal structural problems may arise from cracki and intergranular cleavage, the latter a condition most commonly observed in granite. Attempts to stabilize these conditions through impregnation with various adhesives h not mandatory, for short-term preservation, but in many other cases consolidation has proven to be detrimental for long-term stability.

Wax, shellac, and natural resins have been identified as early consolidants of limestone and sandstone artifacts. Possibly some of these treatments were carried out in the fi the museum into the 1970s, particularly to consolidate pigmented limestone and sandstone surfaces prior to desalination.

PVAC resin was the favored stone consolidant in the 1970s. A dilute solution, usually in toluene, was routinely used on sandstone and limestone, both as consolidant for a did not yet show signs of salt efflorescence. Nubian granite statues and stelae that showed delamination and networked cracking were stabilized with thicker concentration All was also used as a stone consolidant. Sometime in the history of the museum, flour-based wallpaper paste was also used to consolidate flaking limestone and sandstone limestone reliefs.

During the 1980s and 1990s, many new materials were investigated as possible stone consolidants. Vacuum impregnation of poorly cemented sandstone with Paraloid B-7 monomer, polymerized in situ with ultraviolet radiation, was used to consolidate sandstone in the early 1980s. In the later 1980s, in response to the lack of information on t


Mangum 1986) on the consolidation of a pigmented Meroitic sandstone triad (MFA 21.11808). Methyl triethoxy silane was chosen as a consolidant for the poorly cement

with gelatin. In 1992, after extensive consideration and testing, ethyl silicate was successfully used to consolidate a monumental Nubian sandstone coffin bench and chapel

consolidated with methyl methacrylate monomer.

Consolidation with materials favored earlier, such as shellac, natural resins, and wax, has caused notable darkening of surfaces, a condition that often warrants their later re applied thickly forms an impermeable layer, which causes further structural decay with the onset of soluble salt activity.

Over time, cellulose nitrate typically takes on a dark gray appearance and, if applied heavily, forms a thick, glossy layer that has a tendency to delaminate as the result of s soluble in many polar organic solvents, its removal is complicated by the presence of original pigment, which can be disrupted by dissolution of the resin and mechanical a wallpaper paste.

The bust of Prince Ankhhaf (MFA 27.442;

Bolshakov 1991), a lifelike portrait composed of painted gypsum applied over carved limestone, illustrates the ongoing struggle

among Reisner, Smith, and Dunham in 1927, two years after the bust was excavated, reveals that Lucas had consolidated the bust with celluloid in Egypt (

fig. 14). By Apri

presumably prior to Lucas's consolidation. The bust came to Boston in the summer of 1927, and shortly after its arrival was placed in a case with deliquescent salts as an ef

that year, Dunham noted that the “celluloid coat has been lifted in small patches and bubbles, together with the surface layers of the paint” (

fig. 16;

Dunham 1927). He attr

occurred before the bust was placed in the desiccated environment. He noted that the surface appeared shiny and called “the celluloid coating a mistake.” It is possible that celluloid (i.e. too strong a solution or too many coats of a dilute solution) on certain painted objects, especially tempera paintings on clay plaster, may cause the paint to cra surface” (Lucas 1932, 42–43).

Bust of Prince Ankhhaf, condition after excavation. Giga, Mastaba tomb G 7510, 4th Dynasty, 2555–2532 B.C., painted plaster, limestone, height 50.48 cm. MFA 27.442. Courtesy of Harvard University–MFA Expedition, 1925, neg. B5609

Fig. 14. By the summer of 1938, the celluloid coating had begun to peel. Young reduced

Fig. 14.

By the summer of 1938, the celluloid coating had begun to peel. Young reduced the coating, apparently without disruption of the underlying pigment, and designed the firs

of the display case (

fig. 17), circulated internal air over a tray of calcium chloride. The humidity was lowered from 60 to 30% RH, where it remained for some time. The b

remarkably stable under current gallery conditions.

Over the past 30-plus years, PVAC coatings have remained easily reversible and have not significantly discolored. Exudation of the resin under elevated temperatures has (MFA 23.736). This object had been consolidated with 18.9 liters of PVAC in the 1970s due to severe internal cracking.

Bust of Prince Ankhhaf (fig. 14), overpainted. Courtesy of Harvard University–MFA Expedition, 1927, neg. A4651

Fig. 15. Some other efforts to consolidate Egyptian stone have been problematic. Approximately 10 years after

Fig. 15.

Some other efforts to consolidate Egyptian stone have been problematic. Approximately 10 years after a set of sandstone relief blocks (MFA 24.1793) were consolidated w (unpolymerized monomer) were visible along the sides of the blocks, and white residues, possibly tidelines of resin, were noted in many areas. External surfaces were repo stabilization. Reconsolidation with ethyl silicate 10 years later was not apparently adversely affected by the presence of monomer remaining from the earlier treatment.


Museum practices for mending stone artifacts appear to have paralleled those used in the field. Mucilage, animal glue, and plaster were most likely used as adhesives until the use of shellac and cellulose nitrate to mend joins has been found on a surprisingly low number of Egyptian stone artifacts in the museum's collection.

Detail of bust of Prince Ankhhaf (figs. 14, 15), showing curling celluloid and overpaint. Courtesy of © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, fall 1927

Fig. 16. PVAC resin came into use as an adhesive in the 1970s. At this time

Fig. 16.

PVAC resin came into use as an adhesive in the 1970s. At this time epoxy and polyester resins were reserved for structural joins of large stone pieces, many of which were Dekadhese and Hydro-Stone mixed with Elmer's Glue-All for structural mends. In the 1980s, Paraloid B-72 and Paraloid B-48N began to replace PVAC for mending smal application of polyester or epoxy resins was also adopted during this time. By the early 1990s, the employment of stainless steel pins and structural epoxies for joining or m

Bust of Prince Ankhhaf (figs. 14–16), installed in gallery with environmental controls. Courtesy of © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1939, neg. A7417

Fig. 17. Artifacts mended with mucilage, animal glues, and barium sulfate cement have usually required retreatment.

Fig. 17.

Artifacts mended with mucilage, animal glues, and barium sulfate cement have usually required retreatment. Mucilage and animal glue tended to shrink and become brittle it has retained its strength and cohesion, but in others it has weakened and begun crumbling. Due to its resistance to water, acid, and organic solvents, this cement is extrem treatment option for reversal.

Plaster and Hydro-stone are the most commonly encountered fill materials. Wax was used to restore translucent calcite (Egyptian alabaster) vessels and statuary, probably as well as with plaster has been identified on some artifacts.

In the mid-1990s, a thermoplastic mixture composed of PVAC, ethylene acrylic acid copolymers, and antioxidants (Gänsicke and Hirx 1997) was used as a fill material for transition temperature, slumping of large fills has occurred, and its use is now reserved for small, shallow fills. Currently, bulked Paraloid B-72 fills and detachable epoxy

  • 6.5 COATING

At some point in the history of the MFA, several of the stone masterpieces sculpted from graywacke were coated, possibly in preparation for mold-making in 1942 (see bel

(MFA 11.1738;

Reisner 1931) and the smaller triad of King Menkaure (Mycerinus), Hathor, and the Hare Nome (MFA 09.200) both have a thin coating of an acetone-solu

In the case of the triad, the coating is discontinuous due to wear and handling and has developed a cloudy, whitish appearance in some areas. Surface cleaning can be done can be accomplished with acetone but is complicated by the presence of original pigments, which in part have been consolidated by the resin. Additionally, the saturated ap change as a result of reduction of the coating. Due to these considerations and the overall stability of the sculpture, no re-treatment has been carried out.


Up until the mid-1960s, wall reliefs were installed by stacking individual blocks on top of each other, typically held together with mortar or plaster and supported by a woo also set into walls with bricks, mortar, plaster, and/or Portland cement, often without a moisture barrier. In several cases, the backs of large reliefs were removed in order to 89.557, 90.235) were installed after “useless granite” was sawed from their backs (Whitehill 1970, 283).

In response to rigorous exhibition schedules and a need for more portable mounting systems, new approaches to the installation of large-scale stone artifacts were develope support blocks individually are now used instead of immobile installations. The reconstruction of the Koptos Gateway (MFA 24.1632–33;Thomas 1995), a monumental Pt scale mount to be designed in consultation with a structural engineer. The project, initiated in the early 1990s in preparation for a three-venue traveling exhibit, required a p earthquake zone. Since this time, collaboration with structural engineers on the design of portable earthquake mounts has become standard practice in the treatment of larg

In the spring of 1942, due to a growing threat of attacks on Boston by German U-boats, significant pieces in the collection, such as the bust of Ankhhaf and the pair statue replaced with plaster replicas produced by the Conservation Department (MFA 1944). The composition of plaster and the painting techniques were documented, but the m that the mold-making process was the impetus for coating both the pair statue of King Menkaure and a Queen and the triad of King Menkaure, Hathor, and the Hare Nome

The sale of replicas in the museum shop became popular during the 1970s and 1980s. Treatment notes by Nichols indicate that Egyptian limestone objects were brushed w The petrolatum, applied primarily to prevent staining from silicone oil, was then reduced with hexane. In the 1980s, Paraloid B-72 replaced petroleum jelly as an isolating silicone rubber trapped within fine crevices have been documented.



The treatment of specific wooden objects at the MFA is largely undocumented before about 1985. An indication of earlier treatments can be gleaned from Nichols's recipe chloride, ethylene glycol, methanol, and hexane, with ammonia and soap, followed by a 50:50 solution of ammonia in water, and finally ethanol. Wood was also cleaned w resin, which was prepared by heating in toluene. Elmer's Glue-All was used as an adhesive and sometimes as a coating. Pearl glue was also used as an adhesive, to which t combination sometimes being referred to as “compo.” A gesso for the repair of wooden figures included whiting and hide glue (pearl glue). Soluble nylon was also prepare

The 5th Dynasty statue of Metjetjy from Saqqara (MFA 47.1455) was treated by Young after its arrival at the museum in 1948. Deep cracks in the wood were recorded (B distracting. A number of objects entering the collection from private hands had been altered before arrival at the MFA, usually to make them more transportable. For exam with an original varnish had been sawn in half; a piano hinge had been put in the middle so it could be transported or stored more easily, but unfolded for viewing. This de and the losses around the middle were filled. Other coffins were substantially reduced in size, presumably to make them easier to display. In such instances, current questio

Although the application of wax in the field undoubtedly preserved many objects that would otherwise not have survived the rigors of travel, some objects clearly suffered attracting dirt and causing streaking. Disrupted surfaces remained lifted, and although immobilized, they were not readhered to substrates and so remained inherently unsta materials such as gelatin sometimes stained surfaces. PVAC resins and emulsions left glossy or milky films, were difficult to remove, and contracted, pulling painted surfa these materials led to the development of new fill materials and treatment methods that are less intrusive.


The wet-cleaning of polychromed surfaces (often with saliva) was replaced with dry methods such as kneaded artists' erasers, then vinyl eraser crumbs. Wax was removed were used to drive excess wax deeper into the wood or replaced with dilute solutions of acrylic resins in compatible solvents (Hatchfield and Koestler 1987).

In some objects treated early in the history of the MFA collection, damage can be observed where wood was infiltrated by adjacent water-bearing plaster fills or other resto color and saturation of polychromed areas. They were also often heavier and stronger than original materials and were intractable and difficult to remove. In addition, treat associated areas of wood within a very short period of time (Blanchette et al. 1994). For this reason, filling materials that do not contain calcium carbonate or sulfate or inv

Polychromed wood in the MFA collection, which had been treated with cellulose nitrate, animal glue, and PVAC emulsions, show contracted, curled, and flaking paint sur

remained fragile because they were separated from the substrates. Although more recently the use of water-based consolidants such as gelatin provided the possibility to so resulted in staining and tended to dissolve the poorly bound paint and gesso layers before they could be re-adhered. Over the past 15 years, the use of cellulose ethers such provided improvements in re-adhering polychromy to substrates without damage or discoloration and maintained the possibility of later re-treatment should it become nece cellulose ethers for visual integration of polychromed surfaces (Hatchfield 1988). Plaster-based fill materials have also been largely replaced with glass microballoons in a

fills for fragile and sensitive objects (

fig. 18) (Hatchfield 1986). Paper pulp–based fills have been used as well (

Podany et al. 1995).

Among the most important of the wood artifacts are the coffins of Djehutynakht (called the Bersha coffins) (MFA 20.1822) and tomb models from the tomb of Djehutynak

after excavation (see Part 1,

Gänsicke et al. 2003), no treatment record for the Bersha coffins were found between their arrival at the MFA and 1984. However, the coffin p

1960s. The lid did not appear to have been treated, but the east panel had been treated with hide glue and an ethanol-soluble resin, PVAC. The ends had been consolidated identified on the surface of the coffin, presumably having formed in the tomb. In 1984 areas of raised cleavage were softened

A microballoon-acrylic resin fill material is used to substitute for the severely deteriorated wood interior of the shawabti of Huy. Provenance unknown, New Kingdom, 19th–20th Dynasties, 1293–1070 B.C., polychromed wood, height 23.5 cm. MFA 72.4902, Hay Collection, Gift of C. Granville Way, 1872. Courtesy of Pamela Hatchfield, 1986

Fig. 18. with a commercial paint stripper containing methylene chloride; then a dilute solution of CM

Fig. 18.

with a commercial paint stripper containing methylene chloride; then a dilute solution of CM Bond-4 was applied and the cleavage was flattened. Varnish was removed wi damp swabs. Due to their inaccessibility, the coffins have not been examined since the 1984 treatment.

Since the mid-1980s, many of the tomb models have been treated with cellulose ethers and tissue paper fills for exhibitions, loans, and gallery installations. In the summers in Cairo, matched missing parts and conducted stabilization treatments of the polychromed models from the tomb of Djehutynakht using methods based on those now appl Paraloid resins and microballoons; and Plexisol B 597 5% in toluene and trichloroethane. During reconstructions following excavation, component parts of the tomb mode lasted for many years. This was the case with the Bersha Procession, which was reconstructed in 1941 and again in 1987, in preparation for the exhibition Mummies and M identified fragments found in storage, produced a new and more accurate reconstruction. Attributes such as the mirror case were definitively placed based on the presence elements (such as a table) were identified, correctly located, and restored with balsa wood.

The Henettawy coffin treated with wax in the field had undergone some reconstruction with hide glue while at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1925. At some point, th no records have been found describing this treatment. Leaking steam pipes in storage caused further damage during the late 1970s or early 1980s, although the damage wa consolidated. Nevertheless, the coffin required treatment in 1987 and again in 1998. Paraloid B-72 in toluene was applied to facilitate manipulation of the wax and cellulos objects that have undergone previous treatments, methods and materials are chosen more for their interactions with previous treatment materials than with the original mat


Shipping to the United States was equally perilous for other organic materials. Ostrich feather fans, for example, were damaged beyond salvage when wetted on board the Inappropriate storage in Boston led to further losses of already fragile material. The lack of documentation previously mentioned is particularly true for organic materials. these are related to treatment of ivory inlays and recent exhibition activity.

Reisner's excavations at Kerma, located along the trade route between Egypt and Sudan, opened burial tumuli with a wealth of organic materials including burial beds, leat decorated with thin ivory inlays depicting African animals such as elephants, gazelles, and lions, as well as mythological creatures such as winged giraffes and divinities. E a long-term loan to the Dallas Museum of Art required the re-treatment of a group of inlays consisting of eight vultures, six Tawerets (knife-wielding hippopotamus godde

at Kerma (Reisner 1923). As was the case with many other finds, these had been consolidated with wax in the field (

fig. 19). The inlays were broken into many small fragm

caked with soil. Some were delaminating in multiple layers and were extremely fragile (

fig. 20), most likely a result of water damage, while others could be handled safely

removal of wax, attachment of joining pieces to reconstruct the images, filling of losses, and the creation of safe supports by mounting them in a way that would suggest th

B-72, ranging from 2% to 10% in toluene. The resin was applied by pipette or through immersion, depending on the fragility of the piece. The consolidant solubilized the strengthened the ivory at the same time. Once the staining was minimized, repeated application of Paraloid B-72 was often necessary. Most figures could be reassembled u

were filled with a mixture of B-72 and 3M glass microballoons, which was surfaced with a fine spackle (LePage's Polyfix) and inpainted with Golden acrylic emulsion pai

support. The completed inlays were mounted onto a Plexiglas board in a stylized interpretation of the footboard of the original bed (

fig. 21).

Other conservation materials used in the past for treatment of organics include hide glue, mucilage, gelatin, cellulose nitrate, and PVACs; often surfaces were cleaned with mentioned as a fill material for ivory. Obviously some of these materials may cause damage to soft and friable substrates and are extremely difficult to reverse. Current tre damage. Loose linen wrappings on mummies, for example, are being secured or enveloped with custom-dyed crepeline; single threads are sometimes used to tie loose elem heat-tack loose crepeline membranes or sometimes to connect linen, but today acrylic resins such as Paraloid B-72 are favored for such treatments. Fibrous plant materials areas consist of Hollytex or various types of tissue paper.

In addition, objects or object groups are frequently mounted in a way that minimizes handling. Supports can range, according to material and shape of the object, from for polyethylene felt, to Plexiglas with appropriate cushioning layers, or carved Ethafoam forms covered with fabric or inert materials. Such mounts support fragile materials a

Ivory furniture inlays on a wooden footboard of a burial bed, after being consolidated with wax in situ. Kerma, Sudan, Tumulus I 1600 B.C. Courtesy of Harvard University–MFA Expedition, February 1914, neg. B2154

were filled with a mixture of B-72 and 3M glass microballoons, which was surfaced with a

Fig. 19.

Medical studies of MFA mummies in regard to age, gender, and diseases using radiographic examination date back to the 1930s, when collaborative efforts with local hosp of the museum's mummies were examined by CAT-scanning (D'Auria et al. 1988). Not only was medical information retrieved, but also the location of amulets and other j

Over the last decade, increasingly sophisticated analytical methods have led to a growing database of identified organic compounds (Newman and Serpico 2000;

Serpico 2

as traces in vessels, as for example fatty residues in Egyptian cosmetic vessels (Newman 1998). In the past these were often seen as distracting and would have been remov

change in approach can be illustrated by considering an earlier treatment of the cartonnage of Tabes (MFA 72.4833), dating to the early 22d Dynasty. The inscription ident

estate of Amen Nesptah, and the cartonnage may have come from Thebes (D'Auria et al. 1988). As can be seen in a 1909 photograph (see

fig. 12; the fifth mummy case fro

libation material applied during a burial ritual. While the remnants of the libation material from this coffin have not been analyzed to date, such black substances on two ot The original color is unknown, but it is likely that this layer darkened and turned completely opaque over time, yet its presence is integral to the purpose and history of the underlying designs were fully obstructed. It must have been for those reasons that the ancient dark layer was

Fragments of ivory furniture inlays, before treatment. Kerma, Sudan, Tumulus IV, tomb K 439. Late Classic Kerma, 1630–1600

Fig. 20. removed at an unknown point in the past—probably with organic solvents ( fig. 22

Fig. 20.

removed at an unknown point in the past—probably with organic solvents (

fig. 22). In the process, an original, partially applied orange-colored varnish was also lost. Outli

stained the underlying gesso and paint layers. Today, infrared reflectography would allow retrieval of the hidden design and, with the aid of appropriate software, the creat analysis of small paint samples taken through the darkened layers.

Twenty-four ivory furniture inlays (fig. 20), cleaned, assembled, and mounted to resemble the footboard of the bed. MFA 20.1354, 2 20.1370, 20.1371, 20.1373, 20.1375, 20.1376, 20.2039, 20.1514, 20.1515, 20.1516, 20.1517, 20.1518, 20.2040, 20.2041, 20.2042, 20.2043, 2 Gänsicke, 1993

Fig. 20. removed at an unknown point in the past—probably with organic solvents ( fig. 22


Fig. 21.

In the past 75 years, the field of conservation has promoted great advances in the development of innovative treatment approaches, the use of increasingly stable materials,

the long-term preservation of collections. The care of the Egyptian Collection at the MFA reflects this progress. In addition, great improvements have been made in the sen quality and extent of written and photographic documentation (which today includes museumwide databases incorporating curatorial and conservation information). Innov works, drawing upon the field of materials technology. A current grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities is facilitating the unpacking, examination, and re museum from the field. Planning is under way for climate-controlled galleries and storage areas. These measures ensure that the collection will be available for generations their connection with our own.


Thanks are due for providing advice, memories, resources, and support to Arthur Beale, Lawrence Berman, Michele Derrick, Denise Doxey, Rita Freed, Joyce Haynes, Jea generously supplied many of the images published here), Yvonne Markowitz, and Richard Newman.

Scientific analyses referred to in this article, unless otherwise noted, were performed by the MFA's Scientific Research Department by Richard Newman and Michele Derr

Mummy case of Tabes, after cleaning to remove libation material. 3d Intermediate Period, early 22d Dynasty, ca. 930– 880 B.C. cartonnage covered with painted and partially varnished gesso, contains human remains, height 167 cm. MFA 72.4820. Courtesy of © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1988

Fig. 22.

Fig. 22.


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SUSANNE GÄNSICKE received a certificate in archaeological conservation from the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Mainz, Germany, in 1987, followed by an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in objects conservation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She worked as site conservator at the New York University Apis Expedition at Sudan. Currently associate conservator of objects in the Department of Conservtion and Collections Management, she has been employed at the Museum of Fine Arts, Bos study of ancient Egyptian and Nubian material culture and on issues of site preservation. Address: Objects Conservation, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 465 Huntington A

PAMELA HATCHFIELD is head of objects conservation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she has been employed since 1985. She has a master's degree in art h served an advanced-level internship at the Harvard University Art Museums and has worked and volunteered in conservation at numerous institutions including the Metrop Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and the Grenada National Museum. She has also served as site conserva Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Expedition to the Western Cemetery at Giza. She has held numerous positions within AIC, including program chair and chair of the Objects chair of the Publications Committee. Under a Kress Publications Grant from AIC, she has recently authored Pollutants in the Museum Environment: Practical Strategies fo Formaldehyde: How Great Is the Danger to Museum Collections? Her research interests include the museum environment, the examination and treatment of archaeologica for Gänsicke

ABIGAIL HYKIN is associate conservator of objects in the Department of Conservation and Collections Management at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She received h State University College at Buffalo, New York, in 1992. She continued her training at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the Center for Conservation and Technical conservator of decorative arts and sculpture at the J. Paul Getty Museum from 1995 to 2000. Address as for Gänsicke

MARIE SVOBODA is a graduate of the State University of New York, College at Buffalo, Art Conservation Program, receiving her M.A. and certificate of advanced stud Fine Arts, Boston, the Smithsonian Center for Materials Research and Education, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Her interest and excavations in Turkey, Pakistan, and Honduras. As of 1997 she has been an assistant conservator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Address as for Gänsicke

C. MEI-AN TSU received her M.S. in objects conservation from the University of Delaware in 1995 and held conservation fellowships at the Freer Gallery of Art, Harvar and Education. She has worked as an archaeological conservator in Turkey, Israel, Honduras, and Pakistan and is currently involved in the preservation of cuneiform tablet Fine Arts, Boston, in 2000, she was a project coordinator and assistant conservator at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Address as for Gänsicke


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Section Index Table . Copyright © 2003 American Institution for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works
Section Index
Section Index

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Copyright © 2003 American Institution for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works