Dialogues in Heritage Science: Slow but sure - a good motto for conservation science

March 2, 2015

Thursday, March 26, 2015, 3:00 pm at the Sterling Memorial Library, Memorabilia Lecture Hall, 128 Wall St Entrance, New Haven, CT

This lecture will develop the theme of the need for long-term experiments, spanning many years, in conservation research.  The lessons which can be learned from both natural and accelerated aging evaluations will be assessed.   Discrepancies between the results of natural and accelerated aging will be mentioned, as well as examples where the two approaches are in agreement.  Examples will be drawn from the testing of polymers, prediction of glass stability (including an ambitious but doomed burial experiment lasting several decades), zinc hydroxy chloride for stone repair (which is still looking good in exterior marble figures of the Royal Palace in Amsterdam after a century, but no longer in favour), identification of salt efflorescence, and the photo-bleaching of lead sulfide in painted surfaces and in ceramic glazes.

Norman Tennent

Biography - Norman Tennent, Emeritus Professor, University of Amsterdam, graduated with a PhD in Chemistry from Glasgow University and worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Ohio State University.  In 1975, he was appointed to establish a new conservation science section for Glasgow Museums & Art Galleries, where he remained till 1987 when he began a career as a freelance conservation science researcher, teacher and consultant.  Research interests predominantly concern polymer degradation and stability, indoor atmospheric pollution, and the technical study and conservation of inorganic materials (primarily ceramics and glass), with more than a hundred publications. He is a former editor of Studies in Conservation and founding editor of Reviews in Conservation. He was appointed as a Professor of Conservation Science in Amsterdam in 2009 and is also currently affiliated to the University of Glasgow as an Honorary Professorial Research Fellow in the Department of Art History.