October 20-22, 2011

Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH

The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of
Historic & Artistic Works
in partnership with the Cincinnati Art Museum

Terry Conners, University of Kentucky
Larry Osborn, West Virginia University - Appalachian Hardwood Center

Course Fee: $275, AIC members, $475, non-members

Enrollment Limit: 12
Registration Deadline: September 6, 2011 (if space is available; early registration is advised)

Course and registration info at:

Course Description
This two-and-a-half-day course will be of value to any conservator working with wooden artifacts, such as furniture, sculpture, or ethnographic or archaeological objects.  The goal of the course is to teach a systematic approach to identifying wood using simple tools and techniques, suitable for application to furniture, wooden artifacts, musical instruments, craft, archaeological and ethnographic objects etc. The primary focus will be on commonly used North American and European wood species, but will also include some of the foreign/imported/tropical species most likely to be encountered such as mahogany and mahogany “substitutes.” Wood identification is a visual exercise, so emphasis is placed on visual feature and pattern recognition at the macro and microscopic level, using actual wood specimens.

Discussion topics will also include: basic wood types, structure, and important anatomical features; basic specimen preparation and examination using hand lens and microscopes; important properties of selected wood species, and how those properties relate to specialized uses and objects; and the limitations of wood identification.

The course will include lectures and hands-on exercises, including the use of identification keys and online web-based resources. Set in a museum environment, participants will also view collection objects as examples and are encouraged to bring samples of their own for examination. 
Each course participant will be given their own reference wood specimen kit, course material, and additional wood identification resource material.

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