Blog

VENUS BLUE DAMAGE (left) AFTER CONSERVATION TREATMENT (right)

The majestic deep shade and brilliance of the ultramarine blue pigment has conquered the heart of artists and viewers of the Western world since the medieval illuminated manuscripts from c.1100. ‪Natural Ultramarinus (lapis lazuli), which literally means: "beyond the sea” was imported from Asia, more specific from the quarries of Badakhshan, northeastern Afghanistan. According to Marco Polo’s description, the finest blue azuri “…appears in veins like silver streaks”. Due to its vibrant shade, unmatched by any other blue, the pigment was more valuable than gold during the 13th century and beyond. Renaissance artists such as Giotto and Cimabue res...

Read more
by Viviana Dominguez, Chief Conservator, Art Conservators Lab

Glynn Archer Elementary School Auditorium and Hoffman's Murals

Photo-documenting the mural. Workers building Florida East Coast Railway
to Key West

William Hoffman, originally from Savannah, Georgia, was one of the many artists invited in the late 1930’s to beautify the city of Key West as part of a rehabilitation and beautification program to promote tourism. The large oil on canvas paintings were created on the walls of Key West High School and represent historic Key West scenes: the Spanish conquistadors arriving to “Cayo Hueso”, and the construction of the Florida Coast Railroad that ran from Jacksonville to the Keys. Since 1936 the murals were the focus of attention for the students, teachers, alumni and parents,...

Read more

temp-post-image

The Conservation of Wallpaintings Workshop (2012 and 2014) in Yachay Wasi Institute in Lima, Perú is an introduction to different types of wallpainting media conservation. Instructor: Viviana Dominguez

The syllabus included the history of wallpainting and its social and political commentary; building and construction materials; techniques and materials; environmental problems; and causes of deterioration. It also included writing diagnostic condition reports and conservation treatment proposals, and how to approach photographic documentations.

temp-post-image

The 2012 workshop was four weeks long 6 (six) hours a day. Mornings were dedicated to hands-on and the afternoons to the theory.

The 2014 workshop was a 12 (twelve) hour webinar and a 6 day intense hands-on experience. The webinar was live and interactive. Participants were able to make comments during the class and they even presented their own Power Points on several occasions.

Read more

"Untitled" Pierre August Renoir

temp-post-image

After Treatment

temp-post-image
Read more

The eighteen-month long Smithsonian Institution Haiti Cultural Recovery Project was an international, collaborative, conservation effort to recover cultural patrimony gravely damaged by the January 12, 2010 earthquake. As Chief Conservator and Paintings Conservator, respectively, Stephanie directed conservation activities to support projects at twenty public and private institutions, and Viviana oversaw the paintings conservation activities. Here we relate the story of one remarkable conservation treatment and its context, the recovery of a fragmented Stivenson Magloire painting, mentioned in an earlier blog post here on The Bigger Picture.

Read More

temp-post-image

Photo: From left to right Erntz Jeudy, Jean Menard Derenoncourt and Viviana Dominguez.

Read more

temp-post-image

Read more

temp-post-image

The stabilization and removal of the celebrated murals at Ste. Trinité Cathedral in Port-au- Prince damaged during January 12 earthquake, 2010 in Haiti.

temp-post-image

The Haitian Cutlural Recovery Center (HCRC), with permission for the Episcopal and funded by the Smithsonian Institute contracted wall paintings conservator Viviana Dominguez from ARTCONSERVATIONLA and Rosa Lowinger form Miami and Los Angeles based architectrural conservation firm Rosa Lowinger and Associates.

Read More