Category Archives: 2014 Fall, ART/MST 488: Basic Conservation of Art and Artifacts

First offered in 2011 by Dr. Billie Follensbee, ART/MST 488 is an innovative, experiential, hands-on course that combines the advanced historical study and research of art and artifacts with an introduction to conservation techniques.

Students in this integrated Citizenship and Service-Learning class researched the objects as part of their course projects. Objects studied by the students are on loan from the Ralph Foster Museum, Drury University, the Guy Mace collection, and other private collections. Students were also able to work on-site at the Union Campground Cemetery in Springfield.

Oil Painting Series by Howard Garrison Research and Conserved by Jessica Brenneke

An Ozarks native of Christian County, Howard Garrison was a colorful character. He is remembered most as a bootlegger and as a businessman, perhaps most importantly as the first owner of the Ozarks landmark known as the Riverside Inn, which he designed, built, and decorated after purchasing five acres of land along Finley Creek. However, as illustrated by these paintings, Garrison should also be remembered as a painter of Impressionist-style “Outsider Art.”…

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Turtle Shell Basketry Mask Researched and Conserved by Marissa Ewing

The art of the Sepik River region of Papua New Guinea revolves heavily around men’s societies and their associated ceremonies and initiations. Sepik River religions involve ancestor worship, and many of the masks produced in this region represent either mythological or ancestral spirits, which are believed to provide aid in warfare activities. The masks…

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Conservation of Gravestones by Allison Robbins, Megan Kell, and Amanda Horned

Rural or “garden” cemeteries such as the Union Campground Cemetery were established in the early 19th century and continue to be used in the United States today. Stone and concrete grave markers, including headstones, footstones, and sometimes side rails or box tombs, are used in such cemeteries, the result of long-held traditions for marking graves that began in the European…

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Mukudj Tourist-Trade Mask and Kifwebe Mask Researched and Conserved by Caitlin Baker

Traditional Punu culture Mukudj masks are worn in rituals to represent the ideal female and to represent deceased ancestors. The masks usually have white or light-colored faces, full red lips, slit eyes, arched eyebrows, and three distinctive scarification marks consisting of nine raised bumps in a diamond shape that are placed low on the forehead and on each temple. They also…

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Native American Beaded Rosettes Researched and Conserved by Amanda Flavin

The beaded rosette is a solid-beaded, circular medallion that developed from Native American quillwork that was made in a circular form. These circular designs served as depictions of protective spirits and of Native symbols such as the double whirlwinds and the four directions. Rosettes are attached to shirts, tipis, bonnets, headdresses, moccasins, quivers, and pouches as decoration. Although…

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Yipwon Figure Researched and Conserved by Sara Moore

The sculpture presents an abstract representation of the human figure that is made by the Yimam cultures of Papua New Guinea. The figure consists of several parts: The top of the figure is the abstracted form of a bird, and there are ridges that look like ruffled feathers on top of the bird’s back. The next part is a human male face with a domed head and eye and a semi-circular ear…

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Hisatsinom Ring-shaped Vessel Researched and Conserved by Alexandra Thrower

This pottery vessel embodies an irregular ring shape that makes it quite identifiable. Otherwise known as the “doughnut-shaped” vessel, the ring vessel first appeared in the American Southwest region around 500 CE. The specific, vertical style of this ring vessel–that it stands upright, with the spout facing up–did not come into existence until about 900 CE. The lack of fire clouding…

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Gelede Headdress Researched and Conserved by Nicholas Deckard

This Gelede mask (or headdress) has a superstructure that appears to represent a ceramic pottery vessel. The superstructures of traditional Gelede headdresses come in many different shapes and sizes. They can be elaborate, with complex and elaborate scenes comprised of many figures of animals and humans, or the superstructure can be a very simple, everyday object. This mask…

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Two Kuna Molas Researched and Conserved by Paige Marney

Mola is the Native Kuna word for clothing, and it specifically refers to the traditional, elaborately reverse-appliquéd panels sewn onto the front and back of a Kuna woman’s blouse. Molas likely developed from traditional geometric body-painting designs, which derive from mythical scenes such as the Kuna creation myth. The earliest molas were made in response…

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“Chancay Dolls” Researched and Conserved by Jonathan Kohlhorst and Sophie Grus

These two figures, known popularly as “Chancay dolls,” are not ancient objects but 20th century and contemporary figures made by Peruvian Mestizo (mixed Native and Spanish ancestry) artisans using scraps of ancient Chancay textiles. The Chancay were an Andean culture that flourished from 1000 to 1460 CE in what is today the country of Peru, and they are celebrated…

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Beaded Bandolier Bag with Flower Motif Researched and Conserved by Rebecca Warden

This beaded bandolier bag was likely made by the Native American cultures often called the Chippewa or the Ojibwe, but who are more properly known by the name they call themselves, the Anishinabe. The Anishinabe are part of the larger central Algonquian group of cultures that also include the Potawatomi, the Ottawa, the Iroquois, the Illinois, the Miami, and…

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Hopi and Navajo Kachina Dancer Figures Researched and Conserved by Chaney Jewell

Navajo and Hopi Kachina (plural Kachinam) dancer figures are wooden sculptures that represent men dressed as Kachinam for traditional dances.  Kachinam are spirits that represent objects, plants, or animals of the Pueblo and Navajo (Diné) spiritual world. All objects are represented by the Kachinam because the Hopi and Navajo religious systems incorporate the belief…

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Navajo (Diné) Black and Tan Rug Researched and Conserved by Ceisha Brownell

This rug is a contemporary take on the traditional third-phase Chief Blankets made by the Navajo, who call themselves the Diné, of the American Southwest. Chief Blankets had wide, black and tan stripes and a nine-diamond pattern; the nine-diamond pattern has one center diamond, one triangle at the center of the top, at the bottom, and at each side, and a quarter-diamond…

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Mississippian Female Figural Vessel Researched and Conserved by Olivia Hunter

This figural vessel was produced by people of the Mississippian cultures. Flourishing between approximately 800 to 1600 C.E., these cultures lived in what are now the mid-western and eastern regions of the United States. They were known for their complex settlements, architecture and mound-building, their societal structures including ranked chiefdoms, and their figural artforms…

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