Conservation Ethics

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Conservation Decision-Making


Contributors: Michele Marincola


Salvador Muñoz Viñas, Contemporary Theory of Conservation, Butterworth-Heinemann, 2004. [Chapter 5 is particularly relevant – M. Marincola, 9/2013]


Paul Eggert, Securing the Past: Conservation in Art, Architecture and Literature, Cambridge University Press, 2009. [Prof. Eggert is an English literature specialist and approaches art conservation from the field of textual amendation. Particularly good discussion of the Sistine ceiling controversy. – M. Marincola, 9/2013]


Ségolène Bergeon Langle, “Polemics surrounding the restoration of painting and sculpture: a short history.” Zeitschrift für Kunsttechnologie und Konservierung 15 (1) 2001: 7-24. [This reference offers a conservator's overview of cleaning controversies – M. Marincola 9/20/2013]


William J. Diebold, “The Politics of Derestoration: The Aegina Pediments and the German Confrontation of the Past,” Art Journal 54/2 (Summer 1995), 60-66. [M. Marincola, 9/2013]


Jeffrey Spier, "Blinded with Science: the Abuse of Science in the Detection of False Antiquities," Burlington Magazine, Vol. 132, No. 1050 (Sept. 1990), 623-631. [M. Marincola, 9/2013]


John Richardson's "Crimes Against the Cubists" in the NY Review of Books, 1983. [This article intelligently sets out the problems with varnishing Cubist pictures, and the subsequent protest letter to the editor from Caroline Keck, followed by a response from Richardson – M. Marincola 9/2013]


Chris Caple, Conservation Skills: Judgement, Method and Decision Making. London and New York: Routledge. 2000.


Barbara Appelbaum, Conservation Treatment Methodology. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann. 2007.


N.S. Price, M.K. Talley Jr., A.M. Vaccaro, eds. Readings in Conservation: Historical and Philosophical Issues in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage. Los Angeles: Getty Conservation Institute. 1996. [I use this as a textbook for a general course on conservation for art history and conservation students – M. Marincola 8/2014]


Roberts, Zoe. 2010. “Decision making and the broadening of conservation boundaries: a personal perspective.” Textile Conservation: Advances in Practice. Eds. Frances Leonard and Patricia Ewer. London: Elsevier, 269-76.


Ewer, Patricia. 2010. “Treatment Options – What are we Conserving?” Textile Conservation: Advances in Practice. Eds. Frances Leonard and Patricia Ewer. London: Elsevier, 53-62.

Approaches to Restoration


Controversy