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Friday, June 1 • 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Discolored - Now What - Socratic Dialog with Lunch LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

The removal of a strongly yellowed varnish, the removal of the traces of corrosion caused by pigeon droppings on a bronze statue, bringing back original color and appearance. These are decisions which professionals make every day decisions on the conservation, preservation and restoration of objects in the broadest sense of the word, be it museum objects, parts of historic buildings, or entire buildings. Heated discussions still occur about which objects may be treated and exhibited or not, this since the “cleaning controversy” related to the “scientifically responsible” removal of yellowed varnishes at the National Gallery in London after the second world war. How may an object be treated and what is an acceptable results? Has the object become what it is supposed to be? Color and discoloration/fading play an important role in such discussions and the resulting conservation decisions. Color is an important part of the original appearance of an object, and the question is then, which color is the “right” one after restoration? What is a good interpretation of color? Thus, what is a good restoration with regards to color? Or, should the object be left in its discolored state? Such questions are certain to continue to incite lively discussions. However, it is often useful to step back and ask what the essence of the debate is, and why such restoration decisions are so controversial. In order to do this, a Socratic dialogue is proposed for the 2018 general sessions in Houston, continuing a series of such dialogues at AIC annual meetings. Participants will look at the role of color, discoloration and fading in conservation decisions. A Socratic dialogue is a structured form of dialogue in which all participants actively contribute. The purpose of the dialogue is not to solve the question at hand, that is, find specific answers to how one should treat discoloration and fading of objects, but to investigate each other’s experience, opinions and concerns with color and discoloration of objects. The Socratic method provides a safe, open environment for participants to investigate what the essence behind these issues is, and to understand their own points of view as well as those of others. It provides a solid foundation for thinking about and understanding how we deal with discoloration, and how this understanding might help us in making treatment decisions in the future. Cost $35 ($45 non-members)

avatar for William Wei

William Wei

Senior Conservation Scientist, Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed
Dr. Wei (1955) is a senior conservation scientist in the Research Department of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE - Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed). He has a B.S.E. in mechanical engineering from Princeton University (1977) and a Ph.D. in materials science... Read More →

Friday June 1, 2018 12:00pm - 2:00pm MDT
Memorial Meeting Room Marriott Marquis Houston
  7. Lunch and Learn Session