Friday, September 28, 2012

Seeing it all differently

I went to a museum for the first time since becoming a conservation student today, and I’m afraid I’m doomed.
I used to see museum objects the way curators and conservators wanted me to see them: as consolidated things, basically whole, unless deliberately presented as fragments.  Now I see the cracks. The fills. The supports, carefully color-matched and integrated almost seamlessly. Almost.
This probably has something to do with having spent all day Thursday doing this:
(I'm studying for an MSc in Conservation at UCL Qatar, btw, that's what I'm going on about.)
(See? I'm in a lab!)
So I went to the Museum of Islamic Art, all innocent-like, and it was fascinating, both to suddenly see all these details of choices made by conservators, and also to see how my own eyes and mind have changed after a few short weeks of training. I realized I will never see museum objects as a plain old museum visitor again. There’s no going back. 
The ceramics are especially noticeable, because that's what we're focusing on right now. Up above, I'm trying to figure out the best color to fill in the hole in the tile. Finding a pleasing neutral is surprisingly difficult.

The exciting part is that every object in the museum is part of my education now.
So far, this degree program = total overstimulation.  Woot!


Gail Roach said...

This is fascinating. If I understand, the color swatches by your palette are to try to determine the best fit colorwise for the missing part of item X? Wow.

Good luck to you in your studies.

Laura said...

I am rereading your blog quite often. This post touches an amazing craft - thank you for broadening my horizon yet again - there is just not enough time in one lifetime to see it all!