WAG Rag - April 2024 Edition

By Olav Bjornerud posted 04-17-2024 10:57


WAG Rag Issue 4 


Welcome to the fourth issue of WAG Rag where I will be urging you to sign up for both our first WAG online lecture, and the WAG Reception in Salt Lake City. Also included: a reminder about how to post to the WAG Community and our usual round up of events, courses, workshops, and internships/fellowships.

April 25, 12-1pm EDT  

Register now for the first in WAG’s webinar series – a lecture by the brilliant Adam Bowett, followed by Q&A. Free for you and $10 for your non-AIC friends (get them all to sign up so we can put money aside for future programming!).  

This presentation looks at the way in which British commercial and colonial policy shaped the availability of exotic furniture woods to British furniture-makers. It is a story that runs in parallel with the growth of British maritime trade and the expansion of its colonial empire. Above all it was competition with other colonial powers – Holland, France, Spain and Portugal – which was the primary determinant of which woods were imported from which parts of the world, and at what date. Trade with North America is also considered, especially the development of timber imports from Canada and the United States in the 19th century. 

A bit about Bowett: Bowett is an independent furniture historian and chairman of the Chippendale Society. Since 1992 he has worked as an advisor on historic English furniture to public institutions and private clients in both Britain and North America, including The National Trust, English Heritage, Arts Council England, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Strawberry Hill Trust, and the Wallace Collection. He publishes in both popular and academic journals and is the author of seven books on English furniture and furniture-making. 

Sign up for the WAG Reception in Salt Lake City

Join your fellow wooden artifacts conservators at Squatters Pub Brewery on Thursday, May 23 6-8pm for an evening of companionship, craft beers, wine, and creative appetizers (there will be enough food to have apps as a dinner). $49 for members; $35 for students. Add your reception tickets to your AIC Annual Meeting registration today to make new acquaintances and catch up with old friends! Thinking of joining your friends at the OSG/ASG/RATS reception the day before?  Then save $10 with our combination ticket! 


How to post to the WAG Community

I have recently had a couple of members ask how to post to the WAG Community and I have to say it isn’t that obvious. For anyone else wondering: You go here and log in. Then pick “My Communities” from the Communities drop down menu, and find WAG below. In the discussion tab you can post a new message. Bear in mind that most people have their settings set so that they receive a compilation of messages the following morning. Post away! 


Events Round-Up US 

Yale University, West Campus Building 900 (Collections Study Center) 

Join us on the first Friday of the month for a one-hour, in-person tour of the Leslie P. and George H. Hume American Furniture Study Center at the Collection Studies Center, Yale West Campus. See more than 1,300 examples of American furniture and clocks from the 17th century to the present in this facility, which opened in 2019, as well as an outstanding collection of contemporary wood art. Registration required; space is limited.  

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 

The 2024 reinstallation of the Anthony W. and Lulu C. Wang Galleries of Eighteenth-Century American Art of The Met’s American Wing elevates a pivotal moment in American furniture design between 1720 and 1770. This fresh installation encourages us to look closer at the materials and sculptural expression of this period, as well as the sensuality and ergonomics embedded in furniture design. 

Hosted online by WAG 

See above for details 

Hosted online by WAG  

Free for members; $10 for non-AIC members 

Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, Winston-Salem, NC (in-person) 

The MESDA Furniture Seminar is a biennial forum for collectors, curators, woodworkers, and conservators to explore a variety of topics related to the serious study of antique furniture.  The program is known for its intimate size that allows speakers and attendees the change to interact with each other and the MESDA and Old Salem collections. 


Events Round-UpInternational 

Art Gallery of Ontario, Ontario (in person) 

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) will host a two-day conference on the history and conservation of picture frames. The symposium will present current research that contextualizes frames, including research on frame makers, framing traditions, frames’ afterlives, frame collections, pairings of frames to paintings, artists’ frames, the commercial history of framing, and related topics. Keynote lectures will be delivered by Lynn Roberts, acclaimed frame historian and publisher of The Frame Blog, and Hubert Baija, recently-retired longtime conservator of frames at the Rijksmuseum.  



Beloit College, Beloit, WI (in person) 

This five-day course presents case studies about gilding conservation, frame history, and conservation ethics. Documentation; communication with patrons; stereo microscopy; seeking further analytical support (cross-sections, X-rays, M-XRF, etc.); original materials, constructions, and finishes; and dealing with previous interventions; and conservation strategies are addressed. Lead by Hubert Baija. 



The Preservation Society of Newport County, Newport, RI

The Preservation Society of Newport County is offering an 8-week summer internship in the Conservation Department. The intern will work under supervision to prepare a group of 19th century painted wooden toys for the 2024 exhibition Wild Imagination. Activities will include condition recording, photo documentation, paint consolidation, surface cleaning, inpainting, and mount-making. The intern will also assist with other department projects and treatments as required. The Preservation Society’s collection consists of 11 historic museum buildings (seven designated National Historic Landmarks) and 60,000+ collections objects dating from antiquity to the mid-20th century. 

Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth, UK 

Conservation interns will work on a variety of conservation tasks on the Mary Rose hull including cleaning the hull and monitoring crack markers. Interns will also participate in collection audits, support IPM activities and  have the opportunity to work on an independent project. 

The Royal Oak Conservation Studio, Sevenoaks, UK 

The Nigel Seeley Fellowship will support a conservator and provide the opportunity to gain training and experience in the conservation of frames and furniture, the Fellowship will be 3 months in duration starting from mid-September 2024 at the Royal Oak Foundation Conservation Studio. The Fellow will be supervised by a studio conservator, who has specialized in decorative surfaces, treatments will span gilded frames and painted or lacquered furniture. The Fellow will be based at the studio but there will be opportunities to travel to other properties with members of the team to undertake collection surveys, participate in training events and carry-out remedial conservation treatments in-situ. 

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, Winterthur, DE 

This Fellowship is designed to provide a recent Conservation advanced level graduate with additional mentored   experience in Furniture and Wooden Artifacts Conservation and will be assisting with the preparation of objects for display. This will include assessment, treatment, and preventive maintenance. The Fellow will be supervised by the head of the Furniture lab with additional mentoring from the Furniture curator and the staff of the Scientific Research and Analysis Laboratory (SRAL). 


Best wishes, 


Cathy Silverman 
WAG Chair 
Associate Conservator of Furniture and Objects 
Yale University Art Gallery