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Friday, May 31 • 8:30am - 9:00am
(Wooden Artifacts) 21st Century Art, Design, & Conservation: Protected Materials and Fine Arts Conservation

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Recent press reports seem to indicate a sharp uptick in the illegal trade of materials derived from endangered species, including ivory, tortoiseshell, tropical woods and exotic feathers. The drought in the American southwest has exposed Native American artifacts to predations of looters. And, in perhaps the most famous case of all, Robert Rauschenberg’s “Canyon,” which incorporates a stuffed bald eagle (a specimen acquired before it was illegal), is caught in a legal limbo. The IRS insists that the item is worth $65 million – and wants proportionate tax and penalty – while auction house Christie’s values the item at $0, citing the inclusion of the now illicit eagle.

The implications of now-protected materials incorporated into fine arts objects are far-ranging. They include legal, financial and ethical issues.

This presentation will give a legal and materials overview of these complex situations and how they may affect fine arts conservators in both institutional settings and private practice. The first half of the presentation will outline the various laws and international conventions that apply to protected materials, and will elucidate the multifaceted legal and ethical obligations of conservators when working with them. The second half of the presentation will examine materials that were used for centuries in the creation of furniture objects, but are now protected. We will provide pointers for identifying these materials, historical context of their use and options available to conservators when the integrity of the object intersects with the realities of procuring replacement materials.

avatar for Yuri Yanchyshyn

Yuri Yanchyshyn

Owner, Period Furniture Conservation LLC
Yuri Yanchyshyn is the Principal and Senior Conservator of Period Furniture Conservation, a New York City firm dedicated to furniture and objects conservation. Before the founding of his firm, Yuri worked as a consulting conservator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He holds degrees... Read More →

Friday May 31, 2013 8:30am - 9:00am EDT
JW Marriott Meeting Room 204-205 10 S West St Indianapolis, IN 46204

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