Images can speak louder than words: Communicating conservation effectively

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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Gill, Kathryn (Kate);


Studies in Conservation, Volume 57, Number S1, p.114-121 (2012)


Developments in information technology have been exploited to improve the way in which conservation treatments are reported. Analysis of two case studies, the conservation of a nineteenth-century sprung upholstered chair with beadwork cover, and a fragmentary seventeenth-century garment with thread-wrapped buttons, demonstrate the effectiveness of image-based documentation. Challenges faced and solutions found by the conservator in documenting and recording with still and moving images every phase of treatment of two physically unstable three-dimensional objects are highlighted. The process of integrating the images using presentation and video editing software program is explained, as is the extent to which the target audience influenced material selection and sequencing. The way individual specialist skills were brought together to choreograph aesthetic and technical elements to maximum effect is demonstrated.