This presentation is part of Preserving U.S. Military Heritage: WWII to the Cold War, Fredericksburg, Texas, June 4-6, 2019.
by Josephina Maldonado
Conservation Solutions, a division of EverGreene Architectural Arts (EverGreene), has been leading a multi-year project for the assessment and treatments for a collection of over 1500 artifacts, for the Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration (MARAD). The collection is comprised of artifacts coming from predominantly Victory Ships, circa 1940s, which includes clocks, chronometers, barometers, nautical instruments, and hardware such as ship’s bells, steering wheels, and engine order telegraphs. As part of the mandate of the MARAD organization, the collection underwent conservation to clean, stabilize, and repair the collection for future display.
Historic use and storage over time varied from artifacts’ conditions such that the procedures to treat the objects also varied based on the type of object. The collection is comprised various materials such as finished and unfinished brass, glass, aluminum, plastic, wood, and other materials. Conditions varied on the artifacts that included failing lead paint, serious metal corrosion, and objects coated with industrial grime. Before any treatments, a team of EverGreene conservators and technicians conducted tests and mock-ups of the different execution strategies throughout the duration of the project. Conservation treatments were divided into the following categories: dry cleaning, wet cleaning, corrosion reduction, lead paint abatement, repairs, and coating applications.
A continual delivery and pick-up schedule by object group was developed to meet project milestones within the allotted time frame. The artifacts were transported from the Naval warehouses at Cheatham Annex, in Williamsburg, VA to EverGreene’s studio in District Heights, Maryland. The Maritime Administration was consulted throughout the life of the project to ensure that all treatments were to the specification of the scope of work to ensure preservation of the collection.
This paper will explore the historical context of these objects to provide perspective for the object’s conditions. We will also review the extensive documentation, transportation plans, and treatment program carried out by EverGreene staff between 2016-2019.
Josephina is a Conservation Technician with EverGreene Architectural Arts and key team member in the Maryland office. She holds a BS in Chemistry from the University of Texas, as well as a BFA from New Mexico State University. Prior to joining EverGreene, Josefina brings experience from working at the National Air and Space Museum. For this project, she was the Senior Conservation Technician who oversaw the daily operations of this multi-year project; managing the staff, object handling and transportation, client relations, and overseeing conservation treatments carried out by the staff.