2002 Title » Science
Contributions to Conservation Science: A Collection of Robert L. Feller's Published Studies on Artists' Paints, Paper, and Varnishes
The care and repair of works of art, broadly known as art conservation, is an activity as old as art-making. Art objects grow old, and while some last for centuries, others last for only a few years. What makes some objects so durable, while others age so quickly? Can the aging process be slowed through careful storage and display? When serious damage has occurred, either through again or some catastrophic event, what can be done to restore the object's former beauty?
These questions lie at the heart of conservation efforts, and just as medical sciences have led to longer, healthier lives for people, conservation science has revolutionized the care of art objects. The "health" of material artifacts can now be described and monitored, and new ways are being developed for minimizing their deterioration or for restoring them with safe and effective materials and techniques. In large part, these advances have been made possible by scientists working in art conservation.
This book is a compilation of the work of one of those scientists, Robert Feller, whose research stands among the most important contributions to this field. In this volume are collected the seminal and often definitive papers published by Robert Feller over his career, including many of his scholarly studies and explanations for lay audiences that originally appeared in books, journals, exhibition catalogs, and trade magazines. Ranging from his scientific studies of paper and paint deterioration, to his historical investigations of the color wheel and the various spellings of "damar" varnish, these works have formed the basis for the enlightened care and repair of art in our day.
Dr. Robert Feller was warded the National Gallery of Art Fellowship at Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh in 1950 shortly after receiving his Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry. In 1967 he became director of the Research Center on the Materials of the Artist and Conservator at Mellon Institute, then a part of Carnegie Mellon University. He is author of the book, Accelerated Aging: Photochemical and Thermal Effects; editor of Artists' Pigments, Volume 1; co-author with N. Stolow and E. Jones of On Picture Varnishes and Their Solvents, and with M. Wilt, Evaluation of Cellulose Ethers for Conservation. An Honorary Fellow of both the International and the American Institutes for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, he is a past president of the American Group of IIC (the forerunner of AIC). He received the Pittsburgh Award of the American Chemical Society in 1983 in recognition of his research contributions, and the University Products Award from AIC in 2000 for his service to conservation. Since his retirement in 1988, Dr. Feller has been Director Emeritus of the Center.
Paul M. Whitmore
The editor, Paul M. Whitmore, jointed the Research Center on the Materials of the Artist and Conservator to become Director after the retirement of Dr. Feller in 1988. After earning a Ph.D. in physical chemistry, he began his conservation career in Los Angeles, working at the Environmental Quality Laboratory at Caltech, where he studied air pollution damage to art objects for the Getty Conservation Institute. He later worked as a scientist in the conservation department of the Harvard University Art Museums.
To purchase Contributions to Conservation Science: A Collection of Robert L. Feller's Published Studies on Artists' Paints, Paper, and Varnishes edited by Paul M. Whitmore, please contact our distributor, University Press of New England toll free at 1-800-421-1561 or by fax at 1-603-448-9729. The book is also available online at UPNE, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other fine retailers.
To request a copy for review, please contact the Carnegie Mellon University Press Editorial Offices at (412) 268-2861 or by email at CarnegieMellonUniversityPress@gmail.com.