The Care and Documentation of Ivory

  • 28 Feb 2018
  • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM (MST)

Ivory has been a valued material for the carving and inlay of artifacts and art objects in many world cultures. It has been discovered in archaeological contexts and found use in ethnographic, historic, and decorative arts contexts. While an entire object may be carved of ivory; smaller amounts may be added to other materials like wood boxes or furniture and metal objects such as musical instruments or firearms. This webinar will focus on the collections care of elephant ivory objects and address the other mammal ivories. As all natural ivories share some important similarities, regarding collections care, they are generally treated as a class of related materials. The causes and evidence of damage, as well as preventive measures that can be undertaken, will be discussed. The importance of legal acquisition of ivory and its relevance to the critical protection of living animals will be emphasized. The role of regulatory measures implemented to protect wildlife conservation, such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA), that impact acquisition and travel of raw and worked ivory objects will be noted. Documentation for internal record-keeping and for travel will be addressed. While conservation treatment will not be covered in this webinar, indications of when to contact a conservator for assistance will be noted.

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New Mexico Association of Museums

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Albuquerque, NM 87110

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