Recently one of the Museums’ most generous supporters, Dorothy Saxe, purchased a sculpture for the collection in memory of our late director John E. Buchanan. Created by contemporary glass artist Beth Lipman, Candlesticks, Books, Flowers and Fruit (2010) is a complex compilation of multiple elements balanced precariously on a table. My role as an objects conservator is to ensure that all the elements of this fragile sculpture are installed safely and in keeping with the artist’s original intent.
The objects conservation lab is busy doing their part for the installation of Olmec: Colossal Masterworks of Ancient Mexico. So what exactly is a conservator’s role when dealing with huge, monolithic objects?