Thaw Conservation Center

The Thaw Conservation Center at The Morgan Library & Museum, a world-class laboratory for the conservation of works on paper and parchment—drawings, prints, photographs, illuminated manuscripts, rare books, fine bindings, and literary, historical, and music manuscripts—as well as a place for conservation studies, opened in February 2002. Occupying the entire 5,600-square-foot fourth floor of the historic Morgan House, the Thaw Center more than doubles the size of the previous conservation facilities and affords broader investigation, treatment, and training opportunities. Designated areas accommodate wet and dry conservation treatments, book conservation, matting and framing, advanced seminars, graduate internships, postgraduate fellowships, and visiting scholars. The Center provides the safest environment for the care of objects as well as for the conservators who handle them.

The New York–based firm Samuel Anderson Architect designed the Thaw Conservation Center, in collaboration with Margaret Holben Ellis, Director of The Thaw Center from its inception through 2016.

Contact
Maria Fredericks, Drue Heinz Book Conservator and Acting Director, Thaw Conservation Center

mfredericks@themorgan.org

Reba Snyder, Paper Conservator
rsnyder@@themorgan.org

Frank Trujillo, Associate Book Conservator
ftrujillo@themorgan.org

Lindsey Tyne, Associate Paper Conservator
ltyne@themorgan.org

James Donchez, Preparator
jdonchez@themorgan.org

More from the Thaw Conservation Center

Technical Analysis of The Crusader Bible

To enhance our understanding of the Crusader Bible, the Thaw Conservation Center performed non-destructive analysis including X-ray fluorescence spectrometry and digital imaging techniques to characterize the pigments in folios believed to be executed by different illuminators. This post will introduce the analytical methods used and the fascinating information that the data revealed about the Crusader Bible.

Jean-Joseph Chamant: The Lost Sketchbook

Take a peek inside a rare and fascinating 18th-century artist's sketchbook of theater designs, recently discovered at NYU's Villa La Pietra, in Florence, Italy. This video highlights the little-known history of an itinerant French artist, Joseph Chamant, as revealed through a collaborative material examination and conservation treatment of his sketchbook.

From Drawing to Print: Abraham Bloemaert's Danaë Receiving the Golden Rain

Until the nineteenth century it was common for works of art to be disseminated in the form of prints. But how was an artist's work transferred from paper to printing plate? In this post, we take a close look at a seventeenth-century drawing by the Dutch painter, draftsman, and printmaker Abraham Bloemaert (1564–1651) and the engraving derived from it.

Edgar Degas

In the early 1890s, when Degas' work became increasingly less naturalistic, he produced a series of pure landscapes that freely interpret the scenery he encountered on his way to visit the painter and printmaker Pierre-Georges Jeanniot in the village of Diénay, near Dijon. There Degas produced about fifty monotypes, which he enhanced with vivid pastel work.

Ingres at the Morgan: Materials and Methods

Whether he was making portraits of family and friends or preliminary studies for important history paintings, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780–1867) created drawings of great subtlety and nuance. Close examination of the paper and media allows us to glimpse the working methods of one of the greatest draftsmen and portraitists in French history.

Jim Dine: Drawing with Light

Jim Dine was inspired by a 1984 trip to The Glyptothek in Munich, to create a series of figurative drawings based on Greek and Roman antiquities; they would ultimately function as positive transparencies in the production of the heliogravure prints (helio — "light"; gravure — "engraving") for his limited edition book Glyptotek, 1988.

Dürer and the Woodcut

The woodcut, one of the earliest printmaking techniques, became popular in Europe around 1400. Woodcuts are produced by carving an image into a block of wood, usually a hard fruitwood, cut parallel to its grain. Only the lines and shapes of the drawn design are left standing in relief; all other areas of the wood are carefully excised with sharp woodworking tools, such as gouges, chisels, and knives.

Jane Austen's Writing: A Technical Perspective

While it is conjectured that Jane Austen wrote over 3,000 letters, only 160 have survived. Of these, the Morgan owns fifty-one—more than any other institution in the world. After examining this extensive resource, the conservators of the Morgan's Thaw Conservation Center were able to make several general observations regarding the materials used to produce handwritten manuscripts and letters in early nineteenth-century England.