Every Little Thing: A Look at an Artifact’s Pit-stop in Conservation before Going out on Loan

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Needles from sailmaker’s needle case. Photo credit: Paige Schmidt, The Mariners’ Museum and Park.

Hello again, Mariners. If you don’t remember me, I’m the museum’s Assistant Objects Conservator. Recently, I’ve been working on several items that are going out on loan to various institutions next year. While only a couple of these projects will be very treatment intensive (probably more on those later…), I thought I’d share an example of the routine care and due diligence paid to every artifact prior to loan. Every little consideration is important to ensure the safety of an object while it is being appreciated elsewhere.

Our Collections Manager, Jeanne, asked me to look at this sailmaker’s needle case and needles (accessioned in 1934), which was requested for loan by the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown for an upcoming exhibit.   Read more

Contributions from Conservation: More than Meets the Eye

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Assistant Objects Conservator Paige Schmidt. Credit: The Mariners’ Museum and Park.

Hello there Mariners! I thought it was about time I introduced myself on the blog. My name is Paige Schmidt, and I am the Assistant Objects Conservator for the museum’s general collection. While I work in the Batten Conservation Complex alongside the archaeological conservators who dedicate their time to conserving the U.S.S. Monitor, I myself do not work on the Monitor. My job is to conserve and help care for the 18,000 three dimensional artifacts within our impressive collection!

While hands-on treatment of artifacts is a regular part of a conservator’s job, conservation encompasses a whole lot more than just treatment. In addition to assisting with the preventive care of the collection (i.e. avoiding the need for treatment as much as possible by regulating the environment in which artifacts exist), we can also provide insights into the history of an object, help objects tell their stories, and sometimes literally ‘unlock’ their secrets.   Read more