The Walters Art Museum

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Lunch and Learn: The John Bourne Collection: From Private to Public Domain


Thursday, March 1, 2012


12:15 PM–01:15 PM

Explore the journey of the John Bourne collection of 300 ancient Americas artifacts from a private collection to the Walters, a public art museum. Bringing artifacts into the public domain puts them in a new context with which comes additional exposure and scrutiny. Using a multi-faceted approach, Julie Lauffenburger, Senior Objects Conservator will address how the museum tackled issues of authenticity, over-restoration and materials identification with respect to newly acquired materials now that the objects are housed in a public collection. 

About the speaker
Julie Lauffenburger is a Senior Objects Conservator with over twenty years of museum experience. She has coordinated the research and treatment of the Bourne collection since its arrival in 2009 and authored an essay on the approaches to authentication published in the accompanying exhibition catalogue. Julie earned her MA and certificate in art conservation in 1989 from the State University College at Buffalo and participated in a post-graduate internship at the Smithsonian Institution’s Materials Conservation Institute where she worked on excavation at the Indus river civilization of Harappa. Julie has also lectured and published on such diverse topics as Thai sculptural techniques, the use and identification of baleen in museum collections, Byzantine ceramic tiles from Constantinople and technical studies of Barye bronzes.

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