Materials and Techniques of Artefacts

Subject CUMC90004 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

On campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1-hour lecture and a 2-hour tutorial or practical class each week
Total Time Commitment: Total time commitment 120 hours
Prerequisites: Completion of 100 points of Cultural Material Conservation subjects and permission of the subject coordinator. 108-446 Introduction to Materials and Techniques
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Assoc Prof Robyn Sloggett


Nicole Tse
Subject Overview:

The subject builds upon the prerequisite subject. Students focus on their chosen field of specialisation, allowing a more detailed study of the history and manufacture of traditional and modern materials, their properties and behavior, and more complex chemical and physical deterioration processes. Areas of specialisation will include: Objects - a wide variety of organic, inorganic and composite artifacts. Paper - papers, traditional printing, photographic and digital processes, pigments, binders and book binding technologies. Easel paintings - easel painting supports, grounds, pigments, binders and coatings.


Upon completion of this subject students should:

  • be able to identify and characterise artefacts within their specialisation, and will be able to locate and assess them in their cultural and technological context.
  • have an advanced understanding of the chemical and physical behavior of artefacts within their specialisation including complex mechanisms of deterioration.
Assessment: An annotated literature survey of 1500 words 30% (due mid semester), a written essay of 3000 words 50% (due at the end semester) and tutorial presentation (500 words) 20%.
Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Recommended Texts:

(selected from the following according to student#s specialisation) (1999) Looking at paper: evidence and interpretation (eds, Slavin, J., Sutherland, L., O\"Neill, J., Haupt, M. and Cowan, J.) Canadian Conservation Institute, Toronto. (2000) Modern works, modern problems? (Ed, Richmond, A.) Institute of paper conservation, London. (2002)The Broad spectrum. Studies in the materials, techniques, and conservation of color on paper (eds, Stratis, H. K. and Salvesen, B.) Archetype, Chicago. (1994) Bomford, D., Brown, C., Roy, A. and The National Gallery London Art in the making series, National Gallery Publications, London. Crook, J. and Learner, T. (2000) The impact of modern paints, Tate Gallery Pub, London. Feller, R. L., Stolow, N. and Jones, E. H. (1985) On picture varnishes and their solvents, National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • demonstrate sound and independent critical and ethical thinking in their choice of materials and processes.
  • be able to present written and oral communication to a professional standard regarding their treatment and material choices.
Related Course(s): Master of Cultural Material Conservation
Master of Design (Heritage)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Cultural Material Conservation)
Postgraduate Diploma in Planning & Design (Arch.History & Conservation)

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