New Publication: The Conservation of Medieval Polychrome Wood Sculpture

The Conservation of Medieval Polychrome Wood Sculpture

Conservators Michele Marincola and Lucretia Kargère have published a new volume on the history, theory, and practice of the conservation of medieval sculpture.

Medieval polychrome wood sculptures are highly complex objects, bearers of histories that begin with their original carving and adornment and continue through long centuries of repainting, deterioration, restoration, and conservation. Abundantly illustrated, this book is the first in English to offer a comprehensive overview of the conservation of medieval painted wood sculptures for conservators, curators, and others charged with their care.

Beginning with an illuminating discussion of the history, techniques, and meanings of these works, it continues with their examination and documentation, including chapters on the identification of both the wooden support and the polychromy itself–the paint layers, metal leaf, and other materials used for these sculptures.

Published by The Getty Conservation Institute, this volume also covers the many aspects of treatment: the process of determining the best approach; consolidation and adhesion of paint, ground, and support; overpaint removal and surface cleaning; and compensation. Four case studies on artworks in the collection of The Cloisters in New York, a comprehensive bibliography, and a checklist to aid in documentation complement the text.

Purchase a copy today on the GCI’s website.

Michele D. Marincola is Chair of the Conservation Center at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU. Lucretia Kargère is the principal conservator at The Met Cloisters.

Published by ameliahyde

Amelia Roché Hyde holds an MA from The Courtauld Institute of Art, where she studied cross-cultural artistic traditions of medieval Spain, taking an in-depth look at the context and role of Spanish ivories within sacred spaces. Her favorite medieval art objects are ones that are meant to be handled and touched, and she has researched ivories, textiles, and illuminated manuscripts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The British Museum. Amelia is the Research Assistant at The Met Cloisters.

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