Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Impromptu Clinic

I am sitting in the Inner Courtyard right now - the inner courtyard comes complete with wireless internet access - having just held an impromptu conservation clinic.

As you may or may not know, WUDPAC has monthly conservation clinics, where happy owners bring their objects (a la Antiques Roadshow) to Winterthur and get conservation advice from students and professors.  We fondly refer to it simply as Clinic.  Unlike Antiques Roadshow, we don't give appraisals and we don't give monetary values.  You will get technical information, condition information, and advice on storage/display/where to go for conservation treatment.

Apparently word in this crazy place travels quickly...  I was sitting in the garden for maybe five minutes when out comes a neighbor, who spoke in declarative sentences.

"You are in Steef's apartment."


"And you are doing the," wiggles fingers in the air, "restoring the art."

"Yes."  And by this point in the conversation, I can totally tell where it is headed.  I know exactly what the next line will be: it will begin with I have this...

"I have this drawing..."

So we talk about the drawing.  Where he got it, who the artist is, he brings it out to show me.  I say I don't do drawings, and I'm a student and I'm not comfortable taking on a project like that.  But that I'll ask around for names of private paper conservators who can help him.  We talk about careful handling, proper storage, limiting light levels.  I talk about what sort of treatments could be possible, and that no, I can't give a cost estimate.

Look behind me!  There is one of the semi-feral but still bell-wearing cats who live in the courtyard.  I wonder if some mysterious person feeds them at night, secretly, when all the other neighbors are asleep.

One of the cats, an orange/yellow-striped white-nosed cat, is meowing really loud in my ear.  Right now.  Eek!

No comments: