Conservation Opportunities: Courses

ArtHist 387/ 592: Issues in the Conservation of Art and Cultural Property
This course will provide an introduction to the field of Art Conservation as well as an overview of the principle issues surrounding the care and preservation of cultural properties. Lecture and discussion will address historic materials and technologies, as well as aging properties, deterioration, and conservation treatment. Examples will be drawn from a wide variety of cultures and will represent diverse media, including paper, paintings, stone, metals, ceramics, archaeological remains, and historic monuments. We will examine the use of science to recognize fakes or forgeries, document artists' working methods, and identify historic materials. Discussions will consider issues of aesthetics, artist’s intent, change over time, and compensation for loss or damage.

ArtHist 393/ Phys 380: Special Topic – Investigating Art with Physics
This course will introduce students to a selection of art materials and to the physical techniques used to analyze them. Questions of material choice, working method, authenticity, provenance, and restoration are each addressed through the scientific investigation of art. Lecture and discussion will consider historical uses of materials in the production of art, as well as the circumstances motivating the scientific investigation of specific objects. Case studies from the Carlos Museum collection will provide context for these discussions. In hands-on workshops students will produce paper, drawings, and paintings on which they will conduct practical lab experiments using beta radiography, infrared reflectography, neutron activation analysis, and ultraviolet fluorescence. Prior coursework in physics, visual arts, or art history is not required.

ArtHist 397R: Internships
Hands-on experience introduces students to a variety of conservation activities, including documentation, re-housing, cleaning, repair, and materials identification. ArtHist 387 "Issues in the Conservation of Art and Cultural Property" is generally considered a pre-requisite.
Permission from the supervising conservator is required for enrollment.

Emory Public Art ConservationArtHist 397R/ ArtVis 398R: Condition Survey of Public Art on Campus
Student interns work with Carlos Museum conservators to complete condition surveys for Emory's public sculpture, located on the grounds and in campus buildings. Written (check-list) and photographic documentation of individual sculptures are prepared to record surface and structural conditions, noting damage, deterioration, instabiltiy, etc. Recommendations for maintenance and intervention are based upon the survey results, and these priorities will be presented to the University Public Art Committee. Minor treatment steps are undertaken during the survey to promote the safety and long-term preservation of the sculptures. The internship is especially relevant for students with interest in contemporary art, sculpture, public art, conservation, arts management, and related fields. Students may receive academic credit through the departments of Art History or Visual Arts.  The project can accommodate two interns.  

Podcast on public art conservation at Emory University: VIEW/DOWNLOAD

CHEM 365L: Analysis of Ancient Art
This course introduces a variety of instrumental methods through case studies drawn from the collections at the Michael C. Carlos Museum. Chromatography, spectroscopy, and x-ray techniques will be used. Students will participate in activities and laboratory exercises to address questions about material composition, evidence of use, and original appearance. Issues relating to sampling, data interpretation, and interdisciplinary collaboration will be discussed. This course is a collaborative effort between the Emory Chemistry Department and the Michael C. Carlos Museum.