Art Conservation Demonstration with Tom Fuller

by University Communications,

Art conservators often work in conservation labs hidden from public view. Here they play an important role documenting, repairing and preserving objects for the present and the future. Thanks to a Cultural Development Grant through the Oregon Cultural Trust, visitors have several opportunities during May to observe and talk with art conservator Tom Fuller as he works with objects from the Native American collection at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University. Demonstrations will take place on May 7, 11, 14, 18, 21, and 28 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. in the Maribeth Collins Lobby.

Jonathan Bucci, the museum’s collection curator says, “Tom has worked on a wide range of objects at the museum including contemporary sculpture, African sculpture, Roman mosaics, and many of our Native American baskets. He is an integral part of our team and I encourage the public to take advantage of this opportunity to speak with a seasoned conservation professional.”

Fuller’s interest in conservation began with his BA in classical and Near Eastern archaeology. Participating in archaeological digs, Fuller discovered that he was drawn to working with individual objects. This led Fuller into the world of art conservation where each object poses its own challenges and calls upon one’s ability to problem solve. He received his diploma in conservation in 1976 from the Institute of Archaeology, London. Fuller has worked as an excavation conservator in Italy, Greece, Libya, Iraq, and Turkey. Much of his early professional life was spent in Philadelphia, PA, working with the Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

In 1990, Fuller relocated to Corvallis, OR where he continues to work in his own lab and through on-site visits. He travels nationally to do his work on institutional and private collections and works with a range of objects that include: archaeological and ethnographic materials, historical collections, scientific instruments, natural science collections, and sculpture. Recent clients have included the Oregon Historical Society, Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site, Maryhill Museum of Art, and the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, among others.