THE OHIO ART CONSERVATION CENTER: All conservators of McKay Lodge attend pertinent conferences to keep apprised on technologies and are often engaged as speakers at many events. An April 2014 conference on aluminum was attended by sculpture conservator James Gwinner.

The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation, in partnership with the Lunder Conservation Center and the International Council of Museums Committee for Conservation Metal Working Group, sponsored an inaugural conference on the history, technology and conservation of aluminum alloys.

Aluminum: History, Technology and Conservation

The conference, was held at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, McEvoy Auditorium in Washington D.C from April 7-9, 2014. The one-and-a-half dayworkshop will be hosted by the Emil Buehler Conservation Laboratory at the National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, from April 10-11, 2014.

The preservation of objects made from aluminum alloys is an issue of high priority in the materials conservation field. Artifacts as diverse as domestic objects, modern sculpture, scientific and technological objects, outdoor architectural structures, airplanes and spacecraft, constructed in whole or in part from this material, can suffer severe deterioration. Little technical information is readily available to the conservation community about how to effectively conserve these artifacts. The recent invention of many of these alloys and their ever-increasing prevalence in museum collections adds to the severity of the problem.

CONFERENCE THEMES

The conference will explore the following conservation and research themes:

  • History, production, fabrication and use of aluminum
  • Corrosion and deterioration studies
  • Conservation of archaeological objects – marine, terrestrial and industrial
  • Materials characterization and identification
  • Coatings, surface treatments and corrosion inhibition, particularly the latest developments in corrosion mitigation through development of innovative and environmentally friendly inhibitors and modern coating systems
  • Conservation and use of aluminum alloys in contemporary art
  • Conservation of architectural structures and elements
  • Preventive conservation
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