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The Museum Conservation Institute - Staff


Melvin J. Wachowiak, Jr.

Melvin J. Wachowiak, Jr.

Senior Conservator

 

Phone: 301-238-1218
Fax: 301-238-3709
E-mail Address: WachowiakM [at] si.edu

Address:
Museum Conservation Institute
Smithsonian Institution
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, MD 20746


Education

B.S. Springfield College (1981)
M.S., Art Conservation, Joined Wooden Objects Major, University of Delaware, Winterthur Museum, Art Conservation Program (1989)

Research Specialties and Interests

I am a conservator, and as such I have a broad interest in the preservation, documentation, analysis and enhancement of collections. While my training is in wooden objects such as furniture, I have worked with many types of collection material. This has included furniture and other wooden objects, paintings, sculpture, and modern materials such as historic aircraft.

Recent Research Activities

I am currently involved in imaging for research and documentation. This includes digital photography, microscopy, and other computational methods. We are beginning to explore 3D scanning and multispectral imaging for cultural heritage applications.

Courses Taught

1995-2001 Director of Furniture Conservation Training Program, Smithsonian Institution
1989-1994 Instructor in Furniture Conservation Training Program, Smithsonian Institution
1989-1991 Instructor of Wood Science, University of Delaware/ Winterthur Museum Art Conservation Program, Newark and Winterthur, Delaware

Professional Activities

American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC), Professional Associate

Awards, Honors and Special Recognitions

United States Patents
December 5, 2000 Wax Emulsion Polish (Patent Number 6156108) formulated for high gloss and for ease of use by broad consumer market.
February 27, 2001 Wax-resin Polish (Patent Number 6258882) water-free formula for maximum protection and superior treatment of surfaces, especially historic and chemically sensitive.

Recent Publications

“3D Scanning and Replication for Museum and Cultural Heritage Applications.” Journal of the American Institute for Conservation. Vol. 48 (2009): 141-158

Wachowiak, Basiliki Vicky Karas and Robert E. Baltrusch “Reconstruction of a Nineteenth Century Plaster Piece Mold and Recreation of a Casting” Computer Applications to Archaeology 2009. In review

“Efficient new methods for embedding samples for microscopy.” Journal of the American Institute for Conservation. Vol. 43 (2004):205–226

“Routine and high-volume preparation of embedded coatings cross-sections.” Microscope vol. 50:4 147-153. 2002.

Wachowiak, M,J. and K. Muñoz-Alcocer. "Imaginería de Las Californias: Discovering our Past through Mission Sculpture," SMRC (Southwestern Mission Research Center) Revista, vol. 37, no. 135, pp. 12-16 (Summer 2003).

"Microscopy of protective and decorative coatings." CD-ROM. Suitland, MD: Smithsonian Center for Materials Research and Education, 2002.

Microscopy of Protective & Decorative Coatings. (Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution) Course manual. 2001.

Grissom, C.A., Charola, A.E., Wachowiak, M.J. Measuring Surface Roughness on Stone: Back to Basics Studies in Conservation 45 pp73-84. London: International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, 2000).

 

Books

Wachowiak, Melvin J. Microscopy of protective and decorative coatings (CD-ROM) 2002 SCMRE Suitland, MD

Book Chapters

Charola, A. E., Wachowiak, Melvin J., Webb, E. K., Grissom, Carol A., Vicenzi, Edward P., Chong, Wang, Szczepanowska, Hanna and DePriest, Paula T. Developing a Methodology to Evaluate the Effectiveness of a Biocide 12th International Congress on the Deterioration and Conservation of Stone, Columbia University, New York, 2012 ICOMOS-ISCS 2014 1- 10

Grissom, Carol A., Mack, Abigail, Wachowiak, Melvin J. and Bieniosek, Genevieve Mardikian, Paul, Chemello, Claudia, Watters, Christopher and Hull, Peter Imitation-Bronze Paints on American Zinc Sculpture Metal 2010: International Conference on Metal Conservation: Interim Meeting of the International Council of Museums Committee for Conservation Metal Working Group, October 11-15, 2010, Charleston, South Carolina, USA Clemson University Clemson 2010 225- 232

Alba, Ana, Lake, Susan, Wachowiak, Melvin J. and Giaccai, Jennifer A. A Question of Technique: Condition Issues Associated with Layering Structure in Richard Diebenkorn's Ocean Park Series Postprints of the Paintings Specialty Group American Institute for Conservation Washington, DC 2010 88- 96

Mudge, Mark, Schroer, Carla, Earl, Graeme, Martinez, Kirk, Pagi, Hembo, Toler-Franklin, Corey, Rusinkiewicz, Szymon, Palma, Gianpaolo, Wachowiak, Melvin J., Ashley, Michael, Matthews, Neffra, Noble, Tommy and Dellepiane, Matteo Artusi, A., Joly-Parvex, M., Lucet, G., Ribes, A. and Pitzalis, D. Principles and Practices of Robust Photography-Based Digital Imaging Techniques for Museums VAST 2010: The 11th International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage 2010 27-

Wachowiak, Melvin J. Wilder, Tom The Nature of Coatings and the Care of Historic Varnishes The Conservation, Restoration, and Repair of Stringed Instruments and Their Bows. Volume 1: General Issues Concerning Stringed Instruments and Their Bows IPCI-Canada and Archetype Publications Montreal and London 2010 567- 572

Wachowiak, Melvin J., Karas, Basiliki Vicky and Baltrusch, Robert E. Reconstruction of a Nineteenth Century Plaster Piece Mold and Recreation of a Casting Computer Applications to Archaeology 2009, Williamsburg, Virginia, USA, March 22-26, 2009 2009 8-

Wilson, Andrew S., Tuross, Noreen C. and Wachowiak, Melvin J. Roy, Ashok and Smith, Perry Blood Residues on Archaeological Objects - A Conservation Perspective Archaeological Conservation and its Consequences: Preprints of the Contributions to the Copenhagen Congress, 26-30 August 1996 IIC London 1996 213- 217

Charola, A. E., Grissom, Carol A., Erder, Evin, Wachowiak, Melvin J. and Oursler, Douglas Riederer, Josef Measuring Surface Roughness: Three Techniques Proceedings, 8th International Congress on Deterioration and Conservation of Stone Berlin 1996 1421- 1434

Wachowiak, Melvin J. Wright, M. M. and Townsend, J. H. An Introduction to Optical Microscopy for Analysis of Resins Resins: Ancient and Modern Scottish Society for Conservation and Restoration Edinburgh 1995 64- 69

Wachowiak, Melvin J., Williams, Donald C. and Lewin, William Conservation of an 18th Century English Japanned Surface Lacquerwork and Japanning UKIC London 1994 27- 29

Wachowiak, Melvin J. New Directions in the Study of Chinese Furniture Asian Art IV, Vol. 3 1991 35- 52

Wachowiak, Melvin J. Scientific wood identification applied to the study of Chinese furniture Papers presented at the fourteenth annual Art Conservation Training Programs Conference: May 4-6, 1988, Art Conservation Department, Buffalo State College SUNY Buffalo, Art Conservation Department Buffalo, NY 1989 63- 75

Journal Articles

Antoine, Beth, Mecklenburg, Marion F., Speakman, Robert J. and Wachowiak, Melvin J. 2011 The conservation of letterpress copying books: a study of the Baird Collection The Book & Paper Group Annual 30 ( ): 9- 27

Moskal-del Hoyo, M., Wachowiak, Melvin J. and Blanchette, R. A. 2010 Preservation of fungi in archaeological charcoal Journal of Archaeological Science 37 ( ): 2106- 2116

Gervais, Claire, Grissom, Carol A., Little, Nicole C. and Wachowiak, Melvin J. 2010 Cleaning Marble with Ammonium Citrate Studies in Conservation 55 ( ): 164- 176

Wachowiak, Melvin J. and Karas, Vicky 2009 3D Scanning and Replication for Museum and Cultural Heritage Applications Journal of the American Institute for Conservation 48 ( ): 141- 158

Bathow, Christiane and Wachowiak, Melvin J. 2008 3-D Scanning in Truly Remote Areas The Journal of the CMSC: The Publication for 3-D Measurement Technology 3 (2): 4- 9

Wachowiak, Melvin J. 2004 Efficient New Methods for Embedding Paint and Varnish Samples for Microscopy Journal of the American Institute for Conservation 43 (3): 205- 226

Wachowiak, Melvin J. and Munoz-Alcocer, Karla 2003 Inagineria de Las Californias: Discovering our Past through Mission Sculpture SMRC (Southwestern Mission Research Center) Revista 37 (135): 12- 16

Wachowiak, Melvin J. 2002 Routine and high-volume preparation of embedded coatings cross-sections The Microscope 50 (4): 147- 153

Grissom, Carol A., Charola, A. Elena and Wachowiak, Melvin J. 2000 Measuring Surface Roughness on Stone: Back to Basics Studies in Conservation 45 ( ): 73- 84

Wachowiak, Melvin J. 1999 The Nature of Varnish and the Care of Historic Coatings Journal of the Violin Society of America 17 (2): 51- 66

Online Publications

Web Page Webb, E. K. and Wachowiak, Melvin J. Quadra Flash Mantis for Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) 2011

Web Page Webb, E. K. and Wachowiak, Melvin J. Flexible Solutions for Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) 2011

Web Page Higgins, W. M., Wachowiak, Melvin J., Overstreet, Leslie K. and Taylor, E. G. Higgins, the house Painter 2002

Patents

Wachowiak, Melvin J. US Patent 6,258,882: Wax-resin surface polishes 1998 http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.htm&r=2&f=G&l=50&d=PTXT&p=1&S1=6258882&OS=6258882&RS=6258882

Wachowiak, Melvin J. US Patent 6,156,108: Emulsion-containing surface polishes 1998 http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.htm&r=3&p=1&f=G&l=50&d=PTXT&S1=6156108&OS=6156108&RS=6156108