The Conservation of Decorated Surfaces on Earthen Architecture

Edited by Leslie Rainer and
Angelyn Bass Rivera; 2006

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For millennia, people of all cultures have decorated the surfaces of their domestic, religious, and public buildings. Earthen architecture in particular has been, and continues to be, a common ground for surface decoration such as paintings, sculpted bas-relief, and ornamental plasterwork. This volume explores the complex issues associated with preserving these surfaces. Case studies from Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas are presented.

The publication is the result of a colloquium held in 2004, at Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado, co-organized by the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) and the National Park Service (NPS). The meeting brought together fifty-five conservators, cultural resource managers, materials scientists, engineers, architects, archaeologists, anthropologists, and artists from eleven countries to present recent conservation work and discuss possibilities for future research and collaboration.

Divided into four themes—Archaeological Sites, Museum Practice, Historic Buildings, and Living Traditions—the papers examine the conservation of decorated surfaces on earthen architecture within these different contexts.