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The Restoration of Engravings, Drawings, Books, and Other Works on Paper Hardcover – Mar 27 2006
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About the Author
ROY PERKINSON is head of the Virginia Herrick Deknatel Paper Conservation Laboratory at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book is excellent and the editorial emendations are indispensable. Regrettably, they don't go far enough. This is perhaps the product of the ultra-cautious mindset of the conservator editor. The refrain from editorial intervention turns what could have been in invaluable resource into more of a historical curiosity. This is sad because it undervalues the book's content in the process. On a side note, the book is beautifully designed and laid out, although I might fault its faux-bradel bound spine (made in China).
One of the biggest flaws is the decision to banish the editor's essential commentary into endnotes rather than footnotes. This makes reading *this* book very frustrating. Often an endnote does no more than say "see glossary" meaning the poor reader has to flip through the pages twice. I suggest having some sticky notes at hand. Furthermore, there are two sets of endnotes, and the main set is not at the end; rather, it is two thirds of the way through. I found myself turning to the wrong set on many occasions. After the introduction where the editor makes clear the valuable insight in his commentary, he puts the commentary where the reader is challenged to bother with it. Footnotes would have been perfect, especially given the ample upper margin in the book's somewhat-overwrought design, and given their urgency when the author is occasionally dead wrong.
Next of all, the editor firmly establishes his credentials as a conservator, and it would have been lovely to have made better use of his authority. Namely, the reader of this volume is constantly left to question the validity of the book's methods? Are they current? What is outdated? What is the current preferred practice? Are there alternatives? Sadly, the editor is too often silent on these points. Here, the book could have been a starting point from which to branch out rather than a ghost from the past. The editor, although he professes to avoid so, denigrates the book's authoritative style. I did not find the style offensive as much as slightly antiquated. In contrast to the academicized editorial wishywashyness of modern institutional conservation journals, it was rather refreshing.
One final point I should make, and one the editor somehow misses whilst trapped in his bubbleworld of institutional conservation, is this book's techniques do not have to apply solely to conservation and restoration. They can be used creatively, especially in paper arts. The idea that you can split paper to make old prints sufficiently translucent "for use on lampshades" doesn't have to be comic, as the editor muses. Why not make lampshades!
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