The Care and Handling of Art Objects - Shelley, Marjorie - Yale University Press

Art and Architecture

Published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Distributed by Yale University Press 

The Care and Handling of Art Objects

Practices in The Metropolitan Museum of Art

  • Marjorie Shelley; With contributions by Sondra Castile, Mindell Dubansky, Michael Gallagher, Christine Giuntini, Nora Kennedy, Chris Paulocik, Stewart Pollens, Jack Soultanian, and Florica Zaharia
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York houses one of the world's largest and most comprehensive collections of antiquities and works of art. Their preservation is a responsibility that involves everyone who serves the Museum and who has access to the collection. This handbook offers a practical guide to the ways in which different art objects should be handled and cared for, whether they are on display, in transit, or in storage; and it also explains some of the fundamental principles of conservation that underlie Museum practice.

The first part of the book sets out guidelines for dealing with the entire spectrum of works in the Metropolitan Museum: paintings, drawings and prints, textiles, costumes, musical instruments, and three-dimensional objects, whether monumental sculpture or filigree jewelry. In the second part the emphasis is on matters and procedures that affect the collection in general, such as climate controls, light levels, and photography. Included at the end are a selected glossary of conservation terms, a short reading list, and space for the reader's own notes.

Drawing on the professional experience of curators and conservators from many different departments, The Care and Handling of Art Objects has been put together primarily for those who work in the Metropolitan Museum. What it has to say, however, will be of great interest to others—private collectors large and small, museum visitors, and concerned members of the public. [This book was originally published in 1987 and has gone out of print. This edition is a print-on-demand version of the original book.]

Marjorie Shelley is Sherman Fairchild Conservator in Charge in the Department of Paper Conservation at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.