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H. A. Meek, Harold Meek and Marion Meek

The stabilization, repair or reconstruction of buildings of historic, cultural or architectural significance. The history of building conservation is beset with ideological and aesthetic problems, including whether it should be practised at all and, if so, to what extent restoration should supervene in the original structure. Modern conservation principles, as set out in the Venice Charter (1964; see §3 below), are based on specific alternative approaches. Preservation involves minimal intervention, ensuring the stabilization and maintenance of remains in their existing state and retarding further deterioration. Restoration involves returning the fabric to a known earlier state of greater significance by removing accretions or by reassembling existing components, but without the introduction of new material. Reconstruction involves returning the fabric as nearly as possible to a known earlier state and is distinguished by the introduction of materials—new or old—to the fabric. Architectural conservation may include any of these approaches or a combination of more than one, as well as the adaptation or modification of a building to suit proposed new and compatible uses....


Rupert Featherstone


Jill Dunkerton

Painting on a wooden support. This article treats the construction and conservation of panel supports from a technical point of view; for the application of the ground and paint layers in a panel painting see Ground, Encaustic painting, Oil painting, and Tempera.

Wood was used in ancient Greece and Rome as a support for encaustic painting, and the first Byzantine icons, of the 6th century, are executed in this technique (see Early Christian and Byzantine art, §VI). In the late 20th century the Greek and Russian Orthodox churches were still using wood for their icons (see Icon), though encaustic painting has long been replaced by tempera. In western and northern Europe wood was not widely used as a support until the Gothic period (see Gothic, §IV, 2, (ii)). The painted altarpieces and altar frontals of the 13th and 14th centuries are on wood, as are the more complex altarpieces that evolved at this period, for which wood was the only suitable support. Most surviving works from the 15th century are on wooden supports, but during this period ...


Catherine Hassall

Process of conveying an image from one surface to another. Preparatory drawings or designs can be transferred to another support by several methods: see Cartoon, Counterproof, Pouncing, Squaring up, Stylus and Tracing. For the history of transfer printing in the decoration of ceramics (a process in which an engraved copperplate is printed on to paper, which is then pressed while still wet against the ceramic surface to be decorated) see Ceramics §I 4.. The article below discusses the conservation technique of transferring paint layers on to a new backing following the complete removal of an irretrievably deteriorated support. It concentrates on the use of transfer for panel and canvas supports; for information on the detachment of frescoes see Fresco §2.

The process of transfer was developed in France in the mid-18th century by Robert Picault, a restorer who worked on many of the large altarpieces brought to Paris from Italy. Since then, it has been a regular part of conservation practice, though it is now used only in extreme circumstances, when all other courses of treatment have been tried and found to fail. The transfer of a painting is a long and laborious task, but a relatively straightforward one. The reluctance to carry it out is partly due to the fact that it goes against the conservation principle that all treatment should be reversible. A transfer is clearly not reversible: the panel, board, paper or canvas is removed in little pieces, and an important part of the historical record of the painting is lost. Another reason for caution is that the appearance of the painting is inevitably slightly altered, however carefully the process is carried out. Paintings transferred from wooden supports are worst affected. Old ...


Peter L. Laurence

Although the theory and practice of renovating cities is ancient, and although the term is still used to refer to similar practices today, “urban renewal” typically refers to the large-scale, federally funded redevelopment projects that took place in US cities in the 1950s and 1960s. Such projects wrought dramatic physical transformations and caused controversial social upheaval. Urban renewal in this sense came into being with the US Housing Act of 1954, although it evolved out of a history of government-funded slum clearance and housing project construction dating back to the 1930s. Following two decades of slum clearance and model housing projects including First Houses (1935), Williamsburg Houses (1937) and Stuyvesant Town (1947), all in New York, the US Housing Act of 1949 was signed into law with broad political support due to a national postwar housing shortage. As the immediate legislative predecessor of urban renewal legislation, the Housing Act of ...