Category Archives: Conservation

More on Syria’s archaeological ruins

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Above: A walnut tree stripped of its branches stands in the rubble of the Kalat al-Numan citadel, originally built during the Roman era some 2,000 years ago. (John Cantlie/AFP/Getty Images)

“Syria’s ancient sites were already damaged by war. Now they’re being looted.” The Washington Post, 12/21/14.

And a link from the above article to satellite images of Syria’s World Heritage sites:

“War has damaged all but one of Syria’s World Heritage Sites, satellite images show.” The Washington Post, 9/24/14.

And a link to UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list.


New media and art conservation

How do we conserve new media art that is based on/created with a technology that is now obsolete?  When the art no longer “works”?  Do we allow it to disappear?  Become corrupted?  Update the software?  Read what the Whitney Museum of American Art did with Douglas Davis’s “The World’s First Collaborative Sentence”.

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This raises questions about art making, art curating, and skills museum curators need today.

What interesting questions!

Be sure to click on the above links to see more about this art.

First depiction in Europe of indigenous Americans?

In 1494, Pinturicchio completed a fresco of the Resurrection in the Borgia Apartments of the Vatican f0r his patron, Pope Alexander VI Borgia.  The painting has recently been cleaned and scholars are debating the identity of the nearly nude dancing male figures in the distant background (visible immediately under the figure  of the resurrected Christ).


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This raises interesting questions.  Is this an accurate representation of the men Columbus encountered?  What did artists in Rome know about Columbus’s voyages, especially his first voyage of 1492?  If Pinturicchio depicted indigenous people here, why?  What might this say about views the Christian world held at this time?

For more, read this related article.

Van Gogh in the digital age

Van GoghDigital Van Gogh

At the top is Van Gogh’s painting, The Bedroom, from 1888 as we know it today and as it exists today.  But the blue of the walls has faded over the years, and the red he mixed with blue has gone.  The image below (with the lavender walls) shows Van Gogh’s painting digitally enhanced according to what conservators and art historians have learned about his painting techniques.  Read more about this project here.