Posted by: stackedfivehigh | August 4, 2011

Sometimes you have to do nothing

Conservators find best treatment for wedding veil from “Gone With The Wind” is no treatment

“Gone With The Wind is full of lessons about love, life, and loss. Almost 75 years later, Scarlett’s silk wedding veil has one more lesson….Varnell explains that the conservation team could conceivably decide to support the veil with replacement tulle netting. The problem is that they wouldn’t be able to stitch the tulle to the cap because the cap is friable, meaning it will turn to dust if handled too much. “It becomes this trade-off,” Varnell said. “If we try to conserve it, what will happen? I wouldn’t achieve anything by way of support, and it would require so much handling I might end up with nothing. If we leave it alone, what will happen? We’ll pack it properly, it shouldn’t be shown, and it will be an object to be studied, not one to be displayed.” Since conservation will probably deteriorate the veil even further, Varnell and the conservation team have decided to keep an eye on the veil and regularly monitor its condition…”

One important, and difficult lesson – just because something *can* be done, doesn’t mean it should. It must be hard to make that call in conservation work, especially when you’re dealing with something that has such value to so many.

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