New Publications

Next column: In Memoriam >>

Christophilopoulou, Anastasia. Material Cultures in Public Engagement: Re-inventing Public Archaeology Within Museum Collections. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2020. ISBN: 9781789253689. This book seeks to document and explore significant change in the relationship of museums with collections of the Ancient World and their audiences, drawing on the voices and experiences of museum professionals (curators, conservators, and researchers), and public engagement professionals. Individual chapters present case-studies about the variety and diversity of public engagement projects conducted currently within museums in Europe and beyond.

Hofmann, Christa, ed. The Vienna Genesis: Material Analysis and Conservation of a Late Antique Illuminated Manuscript on Purple Parchment. Wien: Böhlau Verlag, 2020. ISBN: 9783205210573. This book documents a three-year research project that investigated the parchment, the silver inks, and the pigments and dyes used in the making of the Vienna Genesis (Austrian National Library, Codex Theologicus graecus 31).

Kempski, Mary, Jo Kirby, Victoria Leanse, and Kristina Mandy, eds. ‘Tales of the Unexpected’ in Paintings Conservation. London: Archetype Publications in association with BAPCR, 2020. ISBN: 9781909492745. The papers in this volume, presented at the British Association of Paintings Conservator-Restorers conference Tales of the Unexpected in Conservation (January 2020) look at the unusual or surprising discoveries that sometimes arise during examination or treatment. 

Lowe, Adam, ed. The Aura in the Age of Digital Materiality: Rethinking Preservation in the Shadow of an Uncertain Future. Cinisello Balsamo, Milano: Silvana, 2020. ISBN: 9788836645480. This publication accompanies the exhibition La Riscoperta di un Capolavoro at Palazzo Fava in Bologna, which reunified the sixteen original panels that still exist from the Polittico Griffoni. The altarpiece stood in the Griffoni Chapel in the Church of San Petronio, Bologna, until it was broken up in 1725. The publication includes essays that reflect on the ways that digital technologies are changing our approach to the preservation and conservation of the material evidence of the past.

Marincola, Michele D. and Lucretia Kargère. The Conservation of Medieval Polychrome Wood Sculpture: History, Theory, Practice. Los Angeles: Getty Conservation Institute, 2020. ISBN: 9781606066553. This book offers a comprehensive overview of the conservation of medieval polychrome wood sculptures. It begins with chapters on the history, techniques, and meanings of these works, then discusses examination, documentation, and treatment. The volume also includes four case studies.

Paetz gen. Schieck, Annette and Isa Fleischmann-Heck, eds. Zeitkolorit: Mode und Chemie im Farbenrausch 1850 bis 1930. Oppenheim am Rhein: Nünnerich-Asmus Verlag & Media GmbH, 2019. ISBN: 9783961761005. This publication accompanies an exhibition held at the Deutsches Textilmuseum Krefeld (29 September 2019-29 March 2020). The exhibition marks the end of the Weltbunt research project, which aimed to situate the influence of synthetic dyes in a cultural-historical context. The essays included in the publication deal with topics that range from the development of fashion, the properties of textile dyes, the history of the collection, and methods used to assess the state of these synthetic dyes. 

Sgamellotti, Antonio, Brunetto Giovanni Brunetti, and Costanza Miliani, eds. Science and Art: The Contemporary Painted Surface. London: Royal Society of Chemistry, 2020. ISBN: 9781849738187. Following on from the 2014 title Science and Art: The Painted Surface, this book consists of a series of chapters written together by scientists, art historians, conservators, curators, and artists dedicated to conservation, execution techniques, languages, and conceptual topics. While it includes chapters on Jackson Pollock, Lucio Fontana, Enrico Baj, Piero Manzoni, and Joseph Albers, its core is dedicated to the work of living artists.

Witting, Theresa and Ulrike Weinhold, eds. Farbfassungen auf Gold und Silber / Paints on Gold and Silver. Dresden: Sandstein Verlag, 2020. ISBN: 9783954985326. This volume publishes papers presented at a conference about paints on silver and gold objects held at the Residenzschloss, Dresden (November 14-16, 2018), organized by Grünes Gewölbe in collaboration with Dresden’s Hochschule für Bildende Künste. The authors look at examples spanning a period from the Middle Ages to the early nineteenth century.

—Sheila Cummins, Collections Development Librarian, Getty Conservation Institute,

Next column: In Memoriam >>