Preserving the Past for Museum Visitors of the Future

art conservators working on artifact

"In February, when the Walters puts its St. Francis Missal on display, the exhibit will include a lengthy explanation of how the book was deconstructed and reconstructed because the binding glue had been severely damaged by bugs. The 12th-century missal’s mystique relies on St. Francis and two followers debating God’s plan for them. As the story is told, they opened the missal three times to a random spot, and in each case a passage told them to renounce earthly goods. And so the Franciscan order took root. Henry Walters acquired the work in 1913. The conservation work began in 2017 and took two years. The museum, with funding from the Mellon Foundation, hired a conservator, Cathie Magee, to work exclusively on the project. Several times a month visitors could watch."

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Geraldine Fabrikant, "Preserving the Past for Museum Visitors of the Future,"  The New York Times, October 29, 2019.