Two conservators, a whole lot of wallpaper and a room with a view—scenic respite or recipe for disaster?

Michaela Neiro


Working with different personalities and getting along with others are aspects of the conservation profession that are ever present and seldom discussed. Conservators are a unique breed and have a great deal in common simply due to career choice, but considering the amount of creativity in the profession, it is reasonable to expect that two people faced with the same problem might approach it in different ways, especially if they are from different disciplines, different experience levels, and different countries. Throw into the conversation a curator with 40 years at the institution in question, a site manager who wants the house looking good for frequent photo shoots, and house guides who have been telling the public the same story for 10 years, and you have a decision-making process for a project with the potential to become completely unmanageable. The collaborative process can also lead to innovation, and an interdisciplinary approach provides learning opportunities for all concerned.

This paper will discuss this decision making process and the subsequent treatment of extremely damaged and degraded wallpaper with water sensitive pigments, which involved the successful use of cyclododecane as both a barrier layer and a facing adhesive.

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2008 | Denver | Volume 15