Art-i-facts

One of the earliest projects CCAHA Senior Conservation Assistant Jilliann Wilcox remembers from her 30 years at CCAHA is a series of 18th-century anatomical drawings by Dutch illustrator Jan van Rymsdyk. “They were so, so beautiful,” she says, “The detail was exquisite. I loved thinking about their...
As this issue of Art-i-facts goes to press, CCAHA Fellow Rémy Dreyfuss-Deseigne has just returned to Paris to present the findings of his research project on nanocellulose at an international conference for museum conservators. He is working in a long tradition of utilizing CCAHA’s state-of-the-art...
The 1830s were a dynamic time in photographic experimentation. On either side of the Atlantic, scientists and amateur hobbyists alike traded techniques and guarded discoveries as they sought to capture the world around them in a still image. The first widely-used method of photography was introduced...
The great collectors often desire to leave the world a physical legacy—whether it’s Albert Barnes establishing the Barnes Foundation, Henry Huntington bequeathing his collection to the Huntington Library, or J.P. Morgan amassing the collection that would form the core of the Morgan Library & Museum....
While William Marshall Bullitt (1873-1957) is best remembered as a successful lawyer and outspoken critic of Alger Hiss, he had two private passions: mathematics and book collecting. In 1936, inspired by a discussion with mathematician G.H. Hardy, Bullitt set out to acquire first edition texts by 25...
Ingrid E. Bogel retired as CCAHA’s Executive Director in September 2014. During her 23 years at CCAHA, Ingrid witnessed a veritable parade of our cultural legacy passing through the Center’s laboratory. Artifacts come to the Center from every region of the world, covering millennia of history—the...
Books are often no match for the rigors of childhood play, so it comes as no surprise that children’s literature poses unique challenges to conservators. Rogue marginal and interlinear additions need to be excised, torn pages repaired, and all manner of cuts and scrapes mended. These days, many...
Because of the constraints of photography in the art form’s early days, photographs of the Civil War tended to be either posed portraits, camp scenes, or—most haunting of all—images of a battle’s aftermath. Taken days or even weeks after the violent events had passed into history, the aftermath...
Like many archival repositories, the Moravian Archives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, opens its reading room to those wishing to study its holdings. Scholars researching papers, family historians investigating their genealogy, and church leaders seeking information on their congregations: all are...