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Oct 2010

Symposium on Polychrome Sculpture: Tool Marks and Construction Techniques

Sunday 24 October - Monday 25 October 2010
(Categories: Art Technological Source Research, Sculpture, Polychromy and Architectural Decorations, Wood, Furniture and Lacquer)

Polychrome Sculpture: Tool Marks and Construction Techniques Symposium Sunday 24th & Monday 25th October 2010

Auditorium, Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht Capacity: 100 delegates

ICOM-CC Sculpture, Polychromy, and Architectural Decoration Working Group and the Stichting Restauratie Atelier Limburg (SRAL) will host a symposium on “Polychrome Sculpture: Tool Marks and Construction Techniques”. A number of guest scholars and conservators will be invited to discuss current issues relating to the technical study of polychrome sculptures. It is hoped that the ensuing discussion among experts from various fields will lead to further attention and research in this area.

The symposium will have as a focal point the study of tool marks on sculptures relating to the construction process. Work benches were often constructed as temporary aids to help the artisan during the carving process. Traces of clamps used to hold the sculpture in position during carving are often found on both the top and bottom of wooden sculptures. Traces of these clamps and those of tools used to carve the sculpture can be often hidden by subsequent decorative layers or misinterpreted. These marks, however, can give clues to the construction process and have, in the past, lead to the identification of a workshop or even master carver himself. Focus on the identification and classification of these tool marks, through a meticulous study and documentation, may provide more insight into the carving process of sculptures leading to tentative attributions to certain studios or workshops.

Furthermore, the symposium hopes to highlight wider issues in the material-technical study of polychrome sculptures through the discussion of a number of case studies. It is hoped that this may contribute to a consensus in terminology that will cross borders between the disciplines of art history, conservation and science.

The symposium will commence in the afternoon of Sunday 24th October with a number of Keynote lectures and a welcome dinner, and will continue with presentations and discussion sessions on Monday 25th October. The proceedings from the symposium will be published in an electronic format on the Sculpture, Polychromy, and Architectural Decoration Working Group home page of the ICOM-CC website.  

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