Friday, June 1 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
08. (Collection Care) Mercuric Chloride Reduction on Feathers

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Pesticides have historically been used in the museum environment to prevent, repel, destroy or mitigate pests in order to preserve collections. Many of these compounds, particularly heavy metal pesticides, are toxic to humans as well as pests (Pool et al. 2005). While heavy metal pesticides are no longer used in the museum environment their presence is acutely felt within collections as they do not dissipate and remain on treated artifacts (that may not be labeled as such), which can cross contaminate adjacent object (ibid). What might be more concerning, handling items treated with heavy metal pesticides presents a potential risk to those in contact with these collections. X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) and scanning electron microscopy energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) were used to analyze feathers treated with mercuric chloride on twentieth century Kachina figures from the Buffalo Museum of Science. Six feathers were selected for treatment and three pesticide mitigation methods were compared. Two sample sets were solvent cleaned on a vacuum suction platen; one set with ethanol and the other with isopropyl alcohol. Another set was washed in a deionized water bath. The feathers, used blotters and wash water were analyzed to evaluate the movement of the mercuric chloride and effectiveness of these meditation methods.

avatar for Stephanie Cashman

Stephanie Cashman

Graduate Fellow, Midwest Art Conservation Center
Stephanie is originally from Denver, Colorado where she received a BFA in Fine Art from the University of Denver. She is a recent graduate of the Buffalo State Garman Art Conservation Department specializing in objects conservation. Currently, Stephanie is the objects fellow at the... Read More →

avatar for Dr. Aaron Shugar

Dr. Aaron Shugar

Professor/Educator, Garman Art Conservation Department State University of New York College at Buffalo
Ph.D., University College London M.S., University of Sheffield B.A., York UniversityAaron Shugar, PhDDr. Aaron Shugar is currently the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Conservation Science in the Art Conservation Department, SUNY - Buffalo State. Dr. Shugar earned his M.Sc. from Sheffield... Read More →

Friday June 1, 2018 3:30pm - 4:00pm
Texas Ballroom (Foyer outside Ballrooms - Poster Session) Marriott Marquis Houston

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