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Textile conservator, Gwen Spicer of Spicer Art Conservation at work

Friday, May 31, 2019

Puerto Rico - One Year Later

I sit here comfortably in my home. The lights on, heat when I need it, and even water (this is sporadic due more to regional geographic issues than natural disasters). Even this year in the mid-west crazy events are happening on unusual scales - flooding and endless rainfalls, record numbers of days with tornadoes. Nationally, the incredible weather events this spring make one wonder if some of their underlying causes are related to climate change.

Lost siding from strong winds on the Museo de
Arte de Puerto Rico. 

It was only a year ago I found myself in Puerto Rico surveying collection damage for FEMA in the wake of Hurricane Maria. I was reminded of this fact by FEMA's countdown clock which announced next hurricane season begins June 1st.

Blue tarps on unprepared roofs.

A year later and Puerto Rico's recovery is far from complete. Perhaps a roof has been repaired on an university's library. Volunteers, like me, have come and gone. But I can't helping asking myself if the  the collections that library roof had once protected will ever be the same. Can students safely read the books without masks? Will the staff at the library every resume their jobs or health?

LIbrary at the Universidad de PR-Humacao.
The roof was completely lost.
Circulation dest at the library at the Universidad
de PR-Humacao.

Capuana Ceremonial Ball Courts site, Utuado.
Metal building in Caguas.
Museo Casa Antonio Roig, Humacao.
Moisture in the walls of Casa Alonso, Vega_Baja.

Mold is silent, till it is awakened
Waves of assistance come and go
No electricity or generators,
More mold grows

Am I safe?
Are my loved ones safe?
My home, my belongings?
Yet mold grows

Mixed with a humid climate, mold grows
Stone walls remain wet
Wind can slow it, if at the shore
More mold grows

Collections are disfigured
Collections are distorted
Collections are never the same
As more mold grows

What is the remedy?
Without assistance
More mold grows

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Magnetic Mounting Systems for Museums and Cultural Institutions is now available!

The book is now available and it is time to get yours today! 

We have been waiting for this day for a long time. I especially want to thank all of those who pre-ordered books. In all, they ordered over eighty books. Some ordered at the time of the International Mountmaking Forum in London. Since that meeting, there has been a steady flow of orders from museum professionals, framers and mountmakers globally. I have been overwhelmed and pleased by this early support and enthusiasm for the book.

All the boxes delivered. 

The book! It looks really great, too.

How do I get a book? It is easy, you can go here to place your order and we will ship a copy to you.  Are you going to be at this years AIC annual meeting in Connecticut and don't want to wait or pay for shipping? It is only a few weeks away. I will be there too selling copies of the book.

How do you find me at AIC? You can find cards with ordering information at SmallCorp's table in the exhibit hall. Or look for conservators wearing a large button with the book cover. These conservators will also have cards with ordering information available. Or you can just find me walking around. I will have books available for purchase and am happy to arrange meeting up with people to facilitate the purchases; just send me an email at gwen@spicerart.com and we can work out the details!

An assembly line was needed for
the packaging of all of the books.
These books are headed abroad!

All of the pre-ordered books packaged and ready
to be shipped out!