The general problems encountered with this bowl are not new to wooden artifacts conservation. The specific dynamics involved, however, are unique to the work of Moulthrop and those turners that have modeled their work on his. The artist kept few records and was known to be modifying his materials and technique throughout his career.1 Those materials used were themselves prone to modification over time due to inherent vice and through interaction with each other. In an effort to find a more proactive means to care for other works by this artist, this project attempted to collect data regarding Ed Moulthrops working methods by interviewing his son Phillip Moulthrop and from published contemporary interviews with the artist.2 3 Philip Moulthrop learned turning from his father and continues to turn along with his son Matt using primarily the same methods.4 In early January, 2005 a large turned wood bowl by Ed Moulthrop was being deinstalled from the Millennium Gallery in the Beck Building at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The bowl had been placed on exhibit in November as part of a small exhibition of the museums permanent collection of Modern and Contemporary Decorative Arts. The bowl was found to have developed blisters in the finish while on exhibit (fig. 2). On installation three months earlier the bowl was observed to be free of major surface blemishes but had developed several small patches of crazing and separating finish along the shoulder of the bowl (fig. 3).
The bowl was acquired in 1989 from a gallery in Scottsdale Arizona, the same year the bowl was made. An inscription on the bottom of the foot reads, Ed Moulthrop/Figured Tulipwood/Liridendron Tulipifera/109891. The number represented the finish date in code that stands for 01/19/89 (10=01, 98=1989, and 91=19) with the numbers in reverse order and the year in the middle (fig. 4).
Pages : 8
Size: 517 kb
Author : Steven L. Pine, Decorative Arts Conservator, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Adhesion Problems and Degradation of Epoxy Finishes on Peg Treated Wood