Author: baracks

The process of a restoration is being shown with a close up shot of a person leaning over a work desk with paintbrush in hand.
Conserving Silver-Leaf Mirrors
“Conserving Silver-Leaf Mirrors in a Surtout de Table at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.” Sarah Barack, Jessica Walthew, and Drew Anderson. ICOM-CC Glass and Ceramics Interim Meeting, London, England. September 5–7, 2019. Download a PDF of the presentation poster here (6.5 MB). Sarah Barack, Head of Conservation and Senior Objects Conservator, will be presenting the...
All that Glitters
“All that Glitters: Treatment and Technical Study of an Ormolu Surtout de Table at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum,” Sarah Barack, Jessica Walthew, and Jakki Godfrey. ICOM-CC Metals Interim Meeting, Neuchatel, Switzerland. September 2–6, 2019. Download a PDF of the presentation poster here (6.5 MB). Sarah Barack, Head of Conservation and Senior Objects Conservator,...
A horizontal photograph of an elaborate gold and glass table centerpiece, against a dark background, focusing on a central sculpture of three women and two towers of glass dishes.
Conserving the Surtout de Table: Cut Glass
Written by Sarah Barack, Head of Conservation, Senior Objects Conservator Thanks to a generous gift from the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, Cooper Hewitt’s spectacular surtout de table centerpiece was the focus of a recent technical study and conservation treatment by the museum’s conservation department. In this series of posts, conservators will be sharing the results of...
Conservation for Multisensory Engagement
The exhibition The Senses: Design Beyond Vision challenged Cooper Hewitt's conservation team in its innovative use of multisensory installations. Learn how conservators addressed specific object issues, including scratch-and-sniff wallpaper, pillows, and chocolate.
Photograph of a tabletop in a lab. It pictures a box of small viles containing pigrments. Various cups, jars, and brushes are placed around the workspace.
Protecting the Iridescent
Have you ever noticed shimmering rainbows floating along puddles in the road? This bright iridescence is created by oil floating on the water, and is caused by the way light interacts with itself as it travels through the oil film to the water below. We often refer to this phenomenon as interference colors (good explanation...
Life in the Lab: Conservation at Cooper Hewitt
Cooper Hewitt’s permanent collection includes more than 210,000 objects, which together span thirty centuries and reflect cultures from around the world. The Conservation Department’s main responsibility is the care and technical study of these pieces, to ensure their preservation for today and into the future.