Week two at Saint-Gaudens was focused on curatorial and collections management. This entails inventory, catalogue, object labeling, rehousing items, and safety concerns/near miss reports. Our main project was inventory, we had to account for objects in the Collections building, Aspet, Little Studio, New Gallery, Atrium, Stables, and Visitor Center. To help us locate and document items we would log on to the computer and use Re-Discovery, which is a catalogue database for all the objects at Saint-Gaudens. It can tell you whether the item is out on loan or at conservation. Is gives a small description about the item, what the item is made of, and who made it. It definitely narrows down the search for certain items. Abigail and I made a binder that separates into sections that correspond to the building located on the grounds here at Saint-Gaudens. Best part of inventory was going through and cataloging all the books that were either bought, given, or written by Saint-Gaudens. Aside from cataloging we complete our weekly cleaning.
The third week focused on conservation and preservation. Out project for the week was to complete annual cleaning for bronze statues and reliefs with the objective of learning basic conservation techniques for bronze objects. The techniques ensure protection against environmental factors such as pollen, dust, water, and insects. We started off with the Shaw Memorial. The SCA interns helped us since it was huge and very details with hard to reach places. The next day we cleaned the farragut statue and throughout the week all the bronze reliefs in the Atrium and the Diana in the Little Studio. We start off by rinsing then using a mild soap (orvus) we wash the piece. Once it is completely dry we apply a thin layer of wax and let it sit for ten minutes and then we buff it out.
Tasco is their security for the alarm systems throughout the park and they came to do a check and switch out the batteries for some of the artwork in the New Gallery. Abigail and I got to learn how to disconnect and change the batteries on the alarms, while also carefully moving and handling the objects. After we were done, we did a test on the items to make sure that the alarms would go off in the case of someone trying to move the art. We also got to visit a Paper conservationist who showed us her studio and some of the documents and pictures she was working on.