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Thursday, May 29 • 5:00pm - 5:30pm
(Wooden Artifacts Session) We Can Fix It But Should We? Take 2, Part two - The Treatment of Mr. Chips

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This paper is the second installment of a two part paper first given at the Wooden Artifacts session of the AIC annual meeting in 2013, and will discuss the journey and decision making process that ultimately guided the treatment of Mr. Chips.

A local private collector approached the Studio of Fallon & Wilkinson LLC in late 2012 to consult on the treatment of a contemporary piece made by California based studio furniture maker and wood sculptor John Cederquist (born August 7th, 1946).
The piece, titled Mr. Chips, is a “Kosode” form two-door cabinet, and had sustained severe UV damage with significant fading of the originally colorfully dyed surface design elements. The surface decoration included a Mickey Mouse Arm using a traditional wood plane, inlaid wood shavings falling from the tool, checkerboard “parquetry”, geometric clan signs, and Japanese writing. The inside of the cabinet was protected from the UV exposure and subsequently retained the wonderful rich color and surface characteristics that had disappeared from the front of the cabinet.

The client’s request was to conserve and restore the vibrant dye and ink colors and surface topcoat to the now faded areas, particularly on the large front of the cabinet, which is shaped like a life sized kimono.

As conservators, occasionally we are asked to undertake treatments that ultimately may have complex professional, ethical and market valuation considerations, and these issues become a large part of the equation when dealing with Contemporary Art.

A year in the making, there were a series of research and technical developments that ultimately informed the treatment strategy and guided the treatment of Mr. Chips. By using a “guided studio assistant” approach, with the full cooperation of both the Artist and his Studio Assistant, Mr. Chips was additively restored and re-coated using the Artists original materials and techniques. This Paper will discuss the Artist involved process and treatment in depth.


Tad Fallon

Principal, Fallon & Wilkinson, LLC
Tad Fallon grew up around art and antiques, working within the family business, Copake Auctions Inc., prior to college. In 1991, after beginning college as a studio art major, he entered the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Restoration program in New York City and studied... Read More →

Thursday May 29, 2014 5:00pm - 5:30pm PDT
Regency Room