The Infill: enquiring minds want to know
Bored with Brexit? HaD it up to here with Hillary and Donald/Couldn’t give a Toss about Clinton and Trump? Or maybe you’re looking for a Brangelina Breakup-free safe space? Well, look no further. There shall be no Team Angelinas, Team Brads or even Team Jennifers here. We are one team and one team only: The Book & Paper Conservation Team. Although we do moonlight with the Cultural Heritage Team on a quite regular basis. And, come to think of it, we can occasionally be found down the pub with the Art History Team. But hey, there’s room enough for all of us at The Gathering!
News of the World
We’re not naming any names, but word on the street is that one famous contemporary British artist was so hell-bent on bearing a grudge that he actually denied one of his own paintings… but who got the last laugh? And – keep this to yourselves, if you don’t mind – we hear that one aristocratic yet ‘beloved Gilded Age artist’ lived out life in scenes of ‘absurdist debauchery that would surely make Salvador Dalí jealous‘. As if that’s not outrageous enough, our sources tell us that one famously hirsute celebrity art teacher wasn’t quite what he seemed. But you didn’t hear it from us. If anyone asks, just blame it on the drunken Ramblings of an Iranian Wino.
We just can’t quit you, IYoLaL-BT
We know what you’re thinking: The Infill has no future in tabloid journalism. And we couldn’t agree more, so let’s get back to doing what we do best, namely clinging desperately to our fond memories of UNESCO’s 2015 International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies (aka The Infill’s excuse to share stories about colour). Did you know that the Pantone system is based on birds (more or less)? And do you remember our Quick Quolour Quiz from the last Infill? If you got the first bonus question correct (or even if you didn’t), then you might be interested to read more about Mummy Brown. A slightly less frightening colour-related topic might well be artist palettes. And it appears that the Salmagundi Club in New York City has a lot of them. Speaking of lots, there’s lots of pigment analysis news to report: there’s a free XRF Spectroscopy Database of Pigments Checker, a report on pigment analysis of Rubens’ Samson and Delilah (both illustrated and interactive!) and some exciting new findings in the field of medieval manuscript pigments analysis.
Headline of the Month
‘Neandertals made their own jewelry, new method confirms‘. That’s right: Neandertals made their own jewelry. They made their jewelry themselves. And all this time we’d laboured under the delusion that travelling bands of wooly mammoth artisans once roamed the earth. We’re grateful to Science magazine for clearing that up.
Our second-favourite headline of the month: ‘Six Museum Words to Make You Vomit‘. We advise keeping all six to yourself on a first date.
Our third-favourite headline of the month: ‘The New York Public Library is Moving 1.5 Million Books to an Underground Lair‘. Because everyone secretly wishes they had an underground lair.
Our favourite sub-headline of the month: ‘The books will live highly organized lives underneath Bryant Park‘. Sounds like the librarian is either a scary Tiger Mother or a bit OCD.
This is not a headline, but a word we’ve come to love: wayzgoose. Not only do we wish we had an underground lair, but we also wish we had a wayzgoose.
This is not a headline either, but it’s just so darn satisfying to say: ‘stuffed with fluff‘. If you’re in Manhattan, you can see the original stuffed fluffies (fluffed stuffies?) – owned by Christopher Robin himself! – at the New York Public Library.
One is very serious about conservation
Recess is over. Put down the cuddly toys, because we’re ready to get lean and mean: it’s Business Time.
- making your own conservation tools
- conserving a hanging scroll in the Asian Conservation Studio at Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries
- treating photography collections at the New York Public Library
- consolidating a quarter parchment laced-case binding and preserving an 18th-century Irish presentation binding at Trinity College Library
- evaluating the light stability of photographs at the Hirshorn Museum
- conserving a Japanese scroll at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts
- preserving large-format photographs at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen
- conserving a Dutch still-life painting at the V&A Museum
- cleaning a whale at the American Museum of Natural History
Your video treat
Perhaps you never thought of chemical reactions as ‘beautiful’ whilst you struggled to remember how to draw the acid-catalysed hydrolysis of cellulose chains diagram… but we bet you will after watching this microphotography video.
The final word…
… comes thanks to the author of this nice little blog post: ‘Museums make you happier and less lonely, studies find’. We couldn’t agree more if we’d done the research ourselves.
We hope that today’s Infill has made you a little bit happier and a little less lonely. Actually, we hope you weren’t unhappy or lonely in the first place. But if you are, then why not head down to your local museum and enjoy the wonders that are our cultural heritage. And feel happy for knowing you’re doing your part to preserve it! Kisses, The Gathering