ARTH 508
Art and Conservation: An Inquiry into History, Methods, and Materials Spring 2024
Division I

Class Details

In this course students will learn to recognize the materials present in cultural heritage collections, understand the history of artist’s methods and techniques, and hone their observation and examination skills when working with material culture. Students will form a basis in art conservation and condition assessment vocabulary and will exercise handling and examination skills for a variety of materials and artworks present during each session. Those who are planning careers involving work with cultural materials will explore cultural heritage through the lens of the art conservator and form a broader awareness of the ethics and procedures of conservation and preservation. An understanding of the vulnerabilities and condition issues of cultural materials and how to care for them will be developed as an impactful, practical resource for future careers in cultural heritage. A multi-disciplinary group of teachers from the staff at the Williamstown Art Conservation Center (WACC) will conduct lectures, practicums, discussions on conservation research literature and visits to nearby art institutions. Sessions are held at The WACC in the Lunder Center at Stone Hill on the Clark Art Institute campus. Students receive a syllabus with session outlines and required reading lists. Required readings are available via GLOW and on reserve at the Clark Library. Three exams will be given throughout the course and attendance is required at all sessions in lieu of a final exam (each weighted at 25% of the final grade).
The Class: Format: seminar; slide presentations, lectures, gallery talks, hands-on opportunities, technical examinations, and group discussions
Limit: 14
Expected: 14
Class#: 3499
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: attendance is required at all sessions; the course grade is based on exams given throughout the semester; there is no final exam
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Graduate Program students, then students in art history or studio art
Distributions: Division I
Attributes: EXPE Experiential Education Courses

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